Yesterday I went to the Viking's training camp down in Mankato. Even though it felt like global warming was finally beginning to take effect, it was a very fun experience. Watching the Vikings practice there is the closest you can get to the players unless you have 300+ dollars to pay for the good seats at the Metradome. Anyway, I'd definitely recommend going to it if you ever get the chance.
So I was there for the full pad practice and I took about 300 pictures. Of course, since I'm about as good at photography as Troy Williamson is at catching passes I only ended up with a dozen or so good ones that I could share with you guys. I'll start with my second favorite Vikings player.
On the other hand, Harvin was working hard during training camp.
Greg Camarillo again shows that he has some of the best hands in the NFL. If we hadn't picked up Jenkins from the Falcons I would have liked to have had him as our 2nd or 3rd reciever. Though that may still end up being the case if Berrian's play doesn't improve.
Speaking of Berrian, from what I saw, he was playing very well today. Besides from this very nice catch he made he also caught the first pass McNabb threw in 11v11's which was a touchdown. If he develops good chemistry with McNabb, our receiver corps will be in much better shape.
Of course McNabb is only standing in for this guy who at the moment is pondering some deep thought (yea...I couldn't resit making that joke).
Yea..a little blurry, but its the best picture I got of Ponder throwing. For the most part his throws were crisp and on target. Watching him play made me think that trading for McNabb might have been a bad idea. Ponder looked like he could survive being the opening day starter, but we've already gone too far down the McNabb road to turn around right now.
Rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph was another one of the players who had a very good day. I can't remember if he caught this pass, but he caught several other passes from Ponder. Their work together this summer looks like it has been paying off.
The funniest thing about this photo is that Shiancoe does not run in to the coach.
Here is a two pic sequence of Webb throwing and completing a pass during the 1v1 drills.
For the most part Webb's passing looked just fine. He had a few errant passes, but he had some very good completions to make up for it. It does look at this point like he will be the third string QB going into the season. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts a game or two this year.
Number 84 is our new receiver Michael Jenkins who we picked up as a free agent from the Falcons. Personally I think he is a rather underrated receiver who has been stuck behind Roddy White for most of his career. A few years back he made a 30 yard catch with 6 seconds on the clock to get the Falcons close enough to kick the game winning field goal.
Anyone who helps their team beat the Bears is good in my book.
Now for some observations from training camp.
- McNabb connecting with Berrian for a 30 yard touchdown pass on McNabb's first 11v11 play.
- Our tight ends both making some very nice catches. If running two tight end sets is the plan, it should work out well.
- Berrian was playing very well. This season is his last chance in MN so if he wants to stay he needs to keep it up.
- Toby Gerhart was doing autographs even though it wasn't his position's turn to be doing it. My sister got one of those autographs and gave it to me so that was cool.
- Webb and Ponder checking down a lot in 7 on 7's. Guys...there is no pass rush and you are dumping it off to a running back for 5 yards...
- Rhett Bomar. sorry dude, I don't think you're going to make the team.
- The offensive line's play was rather offensive. Obviously, the players are being moved around a lot at this point, but they need show some improvement or Webb will be our starter by week 5.
- Greg "hands of glue" Camorillo dropped a pass right in front of me. I think everyone was shocked. Not something you see very often.
- Peterson. I spent the first 20 minutes of the practice session looking for him before I realized that he just wasn't there. I thought he might have been holding out for a contract extension, but it appears he had a legitimate excuse to be gone.