The first full day of two a days has come and gone, and man, is it great to be talking football. Saturday was an eventful day, and we'll talk Percy Harvin, EJ Henderson, Cedric Griffin, the quarterback situation without mentioning Brett Fa-- ah, crap.
Percy Harvin suffered a minor ankle injury during the morning session, but was back out for the evening practice. I think Harvin, although not injury prone, is a guy who will probably miss 2-3 games a season every year. His migraine situation is bad enough, but he was always battling some injury last year, and while in college at Florida. Harvin will always be battling something; maybe we better just get used to it.
I can't tell you how cool it is to see that EJ Henderson is practicing. The low point for the regulalr season, at least for me, was EJ's injury, especially since he had misssed most of 2008. I thought he was just returning to his 2007 form and hitting his stride, and I thought that after the Arizona game he might not play again. I mean, that was a gruesome injury. There are other guys on defense that get more headlines, like Jared Allen, Kevin WIlliams, and Antoine WInfield, but Henderson is the soul of that defense:
Less than eight months later, Henderson is back on the field and his stunning recovery is having an equally strong effect on the team in the first few days of training camp.
"I know it was a bad injury and I know some of those injuries can be career-ending," defensive end Jared Allen said. "So to see him back running, to see him back with a helmet in his hand, to me is awesome. It's inspiring."
The quiet Henderson is not a Ray Lewis, fire-and-brimstone type of leader. He smolders in the huddle, quietly and calmly making the calls with a style that is perfect for this veteran unit. There is no more respected player in the locker room than the middle linebacker, who is battling back from his second serious injury in the past two years.
I'm glad the Vikings are taking the cautious approach for Henderson; he is an important member of this team.
Cedric Griffin is frustrated that he isn't going full speed, and I appreciate his wanting to get back out there and play. Like Henderson, there's no sense in rushing things and suffering a setback:
"I don't have a timetable," he said. "I wanted to participate in training camp and I wasn't able to. My timetables are up. I'm not giving no more. Whenever I'm ready I'm going to go out there -- and I will be ready."
Tarvaris Jackson is holding down the #1 spot. It's his job to lose until...well, I won't mention him.
Okay, the quarterback situation. Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Minneapolis thinks Sage has trade value. Of course, he then went on to throw four interceptions during 7 on 7 drills Saturday night. Yikes.
The Joe Webb reviews are a lot like Tarvaris Jackson in 2006--athletically gifted, but drinking from a firehose and he is thinking too much. Again, Tom Pelissero:
Childress described Webb's camp so far as "just rough, like most first-year quarterbacks that are taking third-string turns. ... But he's got an aptitude, and you can see the arm strength. Now, you see some (bad) stuff, but a lot of times, guys are thinking so much that they can't let their God-given athletic ability come out, and you just want to keep accelerating that curve."
I feel bad for Sage Rosenfels, but it looks like his days are numbered. He is a consummate pro, but hey, he's made some good money just for wearing a baseball hat and holding a clipboard. The backups seem to be Jackson and Webb at this point, and any draft pick at all for Sage would seem like a steal at this point. He's 32, never been a starter, and looks like he could be the odd man out in less than a month.
And unfortunately, this is his career highlight:
As a former helicopter pilot, I love that video.
So that's all the latest reports from Mankato for Saturday.