It’s a wonder what kind of information is suddenly available when the media is allowed to watch the Vikings practice. Yesterday we got little bits of info from Vikings.com, but today Tom Pelissero and company were in full force reporting live on Twitter and simulcast on their 1500ESPN website. If you missed it live, you can still catch the play-by-play here.
Starting with injuries, none of this is serious at this stage in the game, but it’s still worth mentioning:
-John Sullivan, didn’t participate because he’s still rehabbing after surgery
-Michael Mauti, ditto
-Greg Jennings, twisted an ankle yesterday and didn’t participate today
-Greg Childs, made a brief appearance during warmups, and then went back to rehabbing
-Chris Summers, tweaked his hamstring and didn’t participate
There were a ton of storylines to follow for these practices, as outlined down in the fanshots from all over the web, but here are some that were addressed by Pelissero and Wobschall:
Erin Henderson played the MLB position as expected, and called the defense during practice, but it was Marvin Mitchell taking his old spot on the weak side, not Gerald Hodges. Henderson got beat up the seam by Rudolph on one play, not that it means much. Greenway gave the media his support of Henderson saying, “I’m telling you, he’ll be fine.” Even so, Frazier said that Audie Cole and Michael Mauti will compete for MLB during training camp. This will probably be fluid all off-season as they try various looks with different personnel. My guess is that the MLB job is Henderson’s to lose. Also, the Vikings filled their last training camp roster spot by signing linebacker Stanford Keglar, a Titans 4th rounder out of Purdue in 2008. He never caught on and played 2010 with the Texans before playing in the UFL. He has experience as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, so has a shot to compete with Hodges and Mitchell, or potentially Dean and Cole for special teams. It would be shocking to see him make the final 53, but he’s got his last chance to make it in the NFL.
We probably shouldn’t read too much into it, but Ponder didn’t have a particularly great day at practice. According to Pelissero here were the QB stats at the end of the day: Ponder 6-for-12 (INT), Cassel 6-9, Bethel-Thompson 3-5, Vandenberg 1-1. It’s just one practice, during OTAs, so we can’t overreact, but I think this still qualifies as a minor disappointment. He missed Rudolph up the seam and was picked off by Harrison Smith.
3. Wide Receivers
CP84 was returning punts today along with a host of others: Sherels, Randle, Jerodis Williams, McCoy, Robinson. Joe Webb, after not dropping a single pass yesterday looked good again today. Practice ended with a Joe Webb reception over the middle of the field. Jarius Wright and AJ Jefferson must have gotten a little heated during 1-on-1’s as apparently Greg Jennings had to step in and serve as “peacemaker”. It happens…just shows they’re passionate and getting after it.
As I mentioned above, Harrison Smith tallied an INT. Cook and Robinson lined up at CB in the base defense with Rhodes coming in during the nickel (and Robinson sliding into the slot). It will be interesting to watch this develop during the off-season to see if Rhodes eventually overtakes Robinson in the base defense.
Vikings.com still has some of the best coverage of OTAs, even though I expect to see some more stuff from other media outlets later tonight. In the meantime, check out these videos:
So, what are you all looking to see from the players in these OTAs?