Yes, after a little less than seven months of waiting, the Minnesota Vikings are back on the football field. Even though it's just Blakeslee Field in Mankato and not the raucous confines of the Metrodome, it's just the sign we've been waiting for. We're less than two weeks away from the first exhibition game of 2009, and right around five weeks away from the kickoff of the 2009 regular season.
One of these days, I'm actually going to make it up to training camp and see what it's like to watch these guys do their thing. Not sure when "one of these days" will be, exactly, but it will eventually happen. For now, though, I. . .like 99% of the rest of you. . .am reduced to following the Twitter feeds of roughly every journalist in the Twin Cities area with even a remote connection to the Vikings. (If you're scoring at home, that would be Judd Zulgad, Chip Scoggins, Sean Jensen, Rick Alonzo, and Phil Mackey.)
What, exactly, did our intrepid reporters tell us about today's happenings in Mankato? Well, hit the jump, and I'll give you some of the highlights.
-The big story in training camp is, obviously, the quarterback situation. Tarvaris Jackson started out the day with the first team, but he and Sage Rosenfels split the first-team snaps equally After Day 1, we apparently don't have a winner in the QB derby, which will probably upset some folks. (Yeah, that was sarcasm. . .mostly.)
-By all accounts, however, Jackson looked much better than Rosenfels did during today's drills.
-Jackson threw the best pass of the day, as he connected with Sidney Rice on a 65(!?)-yard pass where Rice had Marcus Walker draped all over him.
-The second-team cornerbacks were Benny Sapp and Marcus McCauley. Sapp, by all accounts, is out there in the role of nickel back.
-The second team defensive tackles are Fred Evans and Letroy Guion. . .we may have to get used to seeing those two in the middle of the line.
-Jaymar Johnson continues to impress, but Aundrae Allison made a couple of nice plays today, too. These two guys probably realize that they're competing for one roster spot, and it might be the most interesting non-QB position battle of camp.
-Karl Paymah is wearing #41. That was Charles Gordon's number last season.
-Tyrell Johnson says that he feels much more comfortable in the defense this year and hopes to be more of a playmaker. Which is nice when you consider he's pretty much the starting strong safety by default this year.
-Glenn Holt managed to drop a pass when there wasn't a defender within five yards of him.
-From our friend Capital J: "Phil Loadholt is the hugest mofo I have ever seen. He makes McKinnie look miniscule. He lined up as the starting RT all practice from what I could see."
We'll be here following tomorrow's Twittering as well. If any of you good folks are at camp or anything like that tomorrow, please take advantage of DN's (fairly) new mobile commenting features and let us know what's going on from your perspective. So, with that, start enjoying your weekend, folks. . .because, by God, it's FOOTBALL SEASON again!