Training Camp

Vikings Training Camp Diary: August 4

The Minnesota Vikings practiced under the lights Saturday night at TCO Performance Center.

Welcome to the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Diary! Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Vikings’ training camp practice on August 4 in an easy-to-read bullet form.

  • TCO Performance Center was absolutely gorgeous under the lights. I really didn’t think it could look any better than it did during the day. Maybe it’s because thousands of Vikings fans screaming “SKOL!” left me with a skewed view but either way, hats off to the Wilfs and the Vikings executives for the awesome facilities.
  • The Purple and Gold faithful have already embraced Kirk Cousins as their quarterback. It didn’t take long for the $84 million man to win over the fan base — and he hasn’t even suited up for a game yet.

  • As long as I’m noting things that aren’t really football related, I’ll note that Brian Robison decided to wear the color rush purple pants while literally every other player wore the standard whites. I mean, the guy just took a large pay cut before the season, he can wear whatever color pants he wants — and he knows it.

  • Dalvin Cook and Nick Easton were not in pads for the night practice for undisclosed reasons. Cornelius Edison took over as the center for the first team and held his own quite well against one of the best interior defensive line groups in football.
  • Riley Reiff and Tom Compton at left tackle and left guard had a solid night in the run blocking department. Seemingly every run that was directed at the left side began with a good initial push up front.
  • Undrafted free agent Brandon Zylstra made consecutive circus catches in traffic. He nabbed a high pass in double coverage along the left sideline and followed that up with a juggling catch along the same sideline.

  • Anthony Harris is supremely underrated. His major weakness coming into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2015 was his ability to fill gaps as a run defender. That is now a strength in his game. He would be a starter on nearly every other team in the NFL.
  • Danielle Hunter now has a spin move — and it’s lethal. It’s scary. It’s awesome. Hunter has achieved most of his success as a pass rusher to this point without any real pass rushing moves. He used the spin move to torch Rashod Hill on back-to-back reps in the OL vs. DL one-on-one drill.
  • Eric Wilson made the splashiest defensive play of the night when he jumped a screen pass perfectly and picked it off for what would be six points the other way. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks were pleased with Wilson’s play, to say the least, sprinting to the end zone with Wilson to celebrate.

  • Laquon Treadwell continued his solid camp with a couple more contested catches with high difficulty. One, in particular, occurred in 1-on-1 drills against defensive backs. Safety Tray Matthews played excellent coverage on Treadwell, but the former first-round pick dove to the turf with Matthews draped all over him to haul in a 12-yard out route.
  • Both Kai Forbath and Daniel Carlson went 4-for-4 during their time to shine. They lined up from 36, 41, 46 and 53 yards along the right hashmark. Carlson’s attempt from 46 yards doinked off the left upright before sailing through, if that changes your perception of his performance.
  • Tashawn Bower has home-run ability off the edge as a pass rusher. There are still some kinks that need to be improved as a run defender, but his potential as a pass rusher is through the roof.
  • David Morgan is Jim Kleinsasser 3.0. He made all of the blocks tonight. (For what it’s worth, Rhett Ellison is Jim Kleinsasser 2.0).
  • Mike Zimmer took the mic after the practice and addressed the crowd just before Vikings radio personality Paul Allen introduced the team. Zimmer thanked the fans for their attendance and support and added that he thinks they “will be proud of this team in February.” Have to love confident Zimmer.


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Drew Mahowald

Drew Mahowald is the No. 1 Jim Kleinsasser fan and No. 1 Little Caesars pizza enthusiast on planet Earth. That about sums it up.

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  1. Thank you Drew for a great camp report ~ Anthony Harris is just another player who like Hunter and Bower who had done nothing to speak of in college ~ Just guys with great talents who were not coached very well in the college ranks ~ Then Zimmer and his defensive staff turn them into players over time ~ I think the offensive staff is now getting to the point that they will be capable of doing the same things ~ I think when all is said and done Hill will be no worse than a very good backup if he isn’t the starting right OT ~ They have brought Easton along the same way ~ Seem like some of these guys just needs great coaching along with adding some muscle and strength ~ Sometimes time is all these guys need ~ Treadwell would fit this mold ~ Thankfully the Vikings know talent much better than we do ~ 🙂

    1. To be fair, Gordon, Harris was a three-year starter at Virginia, was first-team All-ACC and a Sports Illustrated All-American as a junior with eight interceptions, and was third-team All-ACC as a senior. Before the draft, he was projected to go as high as the second or third round, and if not for the questions about his size (What was he playing at Drew, 175 lbs or something?), he probably would have instead of falling all the way out of the draft. On the other hand, I second Mr. Guffey on all of his shout outs for the Vikgins coaching staff, defensive and offensive.

      Drew, while I might hesitate from saying that Harris would start for nearly every other team in the NFL, I will say that he will be starting somewhere in 2019, hopefully here if Sendejo – whose style of play is really taking a toll on his body – retires after the team makes us all proud come February.

      Wilson may well be puttingthe fears that some of us had over our linebacker depth to rest, and I have hopes for Brothers and Williams, too, at least for this year.