I wonder what happened to the real Brad Childress -- because after what we've seen these last couple days, the man at minicamp claiming to be the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings is clearly an impostor. On Saturday, he trots out the Wildcat in front of the media and we get word that roughly 30 plays have been designed specifically for Percy Harvin -- indeed, we hear that Harvin is being used all over the field. Then, on Sunday, Chilly busts out the visor/wig combination. What happened to the deadly-serious, no-frills, bald coach that used to patrol the Vikings' sideline?
The weekend's practices are in the books -- we'll wrap up minicamp after the jump!
A New Brad Childress
I can't emphasize enough that a couple practices in late May are hardly an indication of what we'll be seeing on September 13th when the Vikings take the field in Cleveland, but I must admit...I'm impressed with Brad Childress. When he does something right, you've gotta give the man credit. This weekend, he did something right.
It's hardly a given that the Vikings will be utilizing the Wildcat this season...as far as I'm concerned, though, that's not the biggest issue here. No, the biggest issue is Chilly's sudden willingness to try new things offensively, which is something that never happened during these last three seasons -- but he's finally turning the corner. Whether it's the Wildcat or something else, we finally saw signs of life in this offensive coaching staff, and that's reason to celebrate.
And hey, I kinda like the wig, too. He's not exactly turning into Mike Tice (don't even remind me of the Lovable Lug putting the pads and helmet on), but for a coach who was extremely distant from his players during his first season in Minnesota, he's become increasingly communicative and even slightly fun. Good for him.
Percy Harvin is a Highlight Machine
Throughout the weekend, Percy Harvin was used in a plethora of different ways by a coaching staff that moved him all over the field, he took some direct snaps in the Wildcat on Saturday, and he capped off an excellent minicamp with what Zulgad called "perhaps the catch of the weekend."
The Vikings wrapped up their three-day mandatory minicamp today with perhaps the catch of the weekend being made by first-round wide receiver Percy Harvin during 11-on-11 drills in the red zone. Sage Rosenfels threw a high pass into the corner of the end zone that Harvin extended himself high into the air to catch. And this came with cornerback Marcus Walker (I goofed earlier and said Benny Sapp) having good coverage.
It was one of those passes that coaches love to see because the only guy who was going to make that catch was Harvin and that appeared to be a long shot until he used his athletic ability to go into the air and grab it.
Man...the season cannot get here soon enough. If this weekend was any indication -- and it's obviously impossible to know how much stock to put into minicamp -- Harvin appears to be every bit as good as advertised. I couldn't be happier to hear about his outstanding weekend, not to mention the hints that he'll be used all over the field with a direct snap sprinkled in every now and then.
I left draft weekend thrilled with the threat presented by Harvin's athleticism but greatly concerned about this coaching staff's willingness to think outside the box when finding ways to utilize him. The final exam on that starts in September for Chilly and Bevell -- but only the most cynical Vikings fans wouldn't have their concerns eased just a little after seeing what took place in minicamp over the weekend.
Five Greatest Games? Meh
Remember that DVD Gonzo mentioned several weeks ago? The Minnesota Vikings 5 Greatest Games DVD set that will be released this August? Well, as it turns out, it's really the "5 Greatest Games the TV Companies Released."
Fans hoping to relive some glory days might be surprised at the choices. Todd Schmidt, senior producer of NFL Films, said this week that the five games that were selected do not include any from the 1960s or 1970s, in part because of the challenge involved in getting those telecasts from various networks.
So, here are the five games: The final game of last season (Ryan Longwell kicks the winning field goal against the Giants to clinch the division title), Adrian rushing for 296 yards against the Chargers, the Vikings beating the Cowboys in a 2000 playoff game, opening the playoffs after the 15-1 season with a win over the Cards, and the 227 receiving yard performance by Anthony Carter in the playoffs against the 49ers.
Whelp, that's a disappointment. I'll probably buy it anyway to relive some of the 1998 season and revisit that mind-boggling performance by Peterson, not to mention that 1988 game, but what the hell is the Giants game from last season doing on the DVD? That game was hardly memorable -- putting up 10 points in the fourth quarter to come back and win the division is cool and all, but that wasn't a "great" game by any means. And hey, if you're gonna go with the more recent games, where's Randy Moss embarrassing the Packers at Lambeau in his rookie season?
Well, I got around to starting a Twitter account...follow me!...must say, I'm already enjoying that whole 140-characters-or-less thing...John Clayton proposes adding three players to each team's active roster if the season is expanded to 18 games, which I think is a solid solution to the health risks posed by the extended regular season...but as he notes, you think the owners want to pay three additional salaries?...Sporting News ranked Ryan Longwell as the eighth-best kicker in the NFL...if you've got a little loose change lying around, you might be interested in putting it toward the purchase of the St. Louis Rams, a team that will soon be put up for sale...there are reportedly no preconditions to the sale, so you can move 'em back to Los Angeles if you'd like...