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Smith, Burton, And Others Get Time With The First Team

Here are some interesting tidbits for how the depth chart looked during Tuesday’s OTA practices:

SAFETY:  It didn’t take long for first round pick Harrison Smith to “work his way up” the depth chart and received mostly first team reps on Tuesday.  Across from him, Mistral Raymond and Jamarca Sanford rotated first team reps.

“I saw a play (Tuesday) where he really got angry,” Leslie Frazier said of Smith. “He got pretty fired up, and you kind of need that out of your defensive backs. You need them to have a little something about them, and it was good to see.”

CORNERBACK:  Smith and Matt Kalil aren’t the only rookies to be getting first team reps at this point.  Third round cornerback Josh Robinson received some reps as the starting right corner.  It isn’t clear why, but Antoine Winfield missed Tuesday’s practice, and it is equally unclear if Winfield’s absence resulted in Robinson getting his chances with the first team.

LINEBACKER:  Jasper Brinkley suffered a minor groin injury last week and, while he is expected to be fine, has missed some time.  Chad Greenway has been in South Dakota dealing with his family matters and Solomon Elimimian has had to sit out with a hamstring injury.  That means that the starting group of linebackers has looked like this:  Erin Henderson, Larry Dean, and Tyrone McKenzie.

WIDE RECEIVER:  With the absence of Percy Harvin, Stephen Burton has been filling in as the go-to flanker with the first team.  Burton has generated a lot of offseason buzz, along with Jerome Simpson, and these reps with Christian Ponder could give him the inside track to a roster spot.

OFFENSIVE LINE:  Matt Kalil, Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt.  These guys are assumed to be occupying four of the starting spots along the offensive line from day one, which means there should be one hell of a competition for the starting gig at right guard.  Right now, Brandon Fusco is acting as the starting right guard with Geoff Schwartz getting reps with the second team.

KICKER:  Blair Walsh has been handed the kickers position on a silver gold platinum platter.  On Tuesday, during 11-on-11 drills, Walsh made four of six field goal attempts.  He missed from 42 and 44 yards.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Thanks for the depth chart tidbits. If Blair Walsh is missing 40 yarders in practice… can we depend on him to hit those clutch kicks to win a few close games?

    1. I dont think so at least not early on. I’m afaid there’s gonna be a few growing pains with a rookie kicker. It’s interesting that Fusco is getting first team reps, I just hope he can stop when the whistle blows.

  2. This could already be a bad vibe for the linebacker depth chart. Hamstring pulls and family issues. No way to win many games with that line-up from Tuesday

    THinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn at LB!

    Spielman needs to add a couple of experienced players on this team

    1. Sandiamond,
      Could very well see that when teams have to cut back their rosters…

      1. Good point Charlie! they are comin’ soon
        Vikes have the #3 claim on the waiver wire this year and could have acquired TE Ballard from the Giants yesterday