The Minnesota Vikings just wrapped up their first practice, with a one hour walk through in Blakeslee Stadium. The first part was team offense and defense, followed by about a 20 minute special teams session. Notes and observations from practice:
The initial first team offense and defense looks to be as follows:*
WR-Jarius Wright/Cordarelle Patterson
RB-Adrian Peterson...didn't see a lot of two back sets in the first practice.
*Please, take with a grain of salt. It's one practice.
--Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder walked out to the practice field singing a pretty good rendition of 'Sweet Caroline'...bah..bah...bah, good times never felt so good. And yes, you have that song in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome.
Really, they weren't terrible.
First and second team offense looked okay.
Adrian Peterson is magnificent. His vision and cutback ability makes your jaw drop, even in shells with no helmets.
Teddy Bridgewater throws a very crisp football. Threw a nice deep completion to Jerome Simpson. Maybe a tad underthrown, but Simpson had to slow maybe half a step. The offense was working into a pretty good wind, too.
Christian Ponder seemed to struggle a bit. Seemed caught off guard on one defensive call, which would've been a jailbreak sack in real life. He also had one really poorly thrown ball.
Joe Banyard fumbled a clean exchange from Bridgewater. Naturally, everyone in the stands blamed Christian Ponder for that.
Kyle Rudolph looks healthy. He moved well, and still has some of the softest hands for a tight end in the NFL. Made a couple of really nice fingertip catches. They also had him working outside routes, too. Too early to tell if splitting him out wide is a thing, or just something they're looking at.
Matt Hall and Josh Cooper, who were both at the walk through this morning, have been released. Signed in their place were Andy Cruse and Ty Walker.
Lots of movement and activity by the defense in the 11 on 11 part of the practice. My first impression is that it will be a lot more of a proactive defense, and will try to force the action, other than the reactive attitude we've seen in recent seasons.
LCB--Josh Robinson, NOTE: Captain Munnerlyn, the presumed starter on the left, has been put on the PUP list. No word on when he will be activated. More to follow.
**Seriously, grain of salt theory still applies
Second team linebackers looked to be, from left to right: Anthony Barr, Mike Mauti, Gerald Hodges
Second team secondary looked to be Marcus Sherels, Derek Cox, Kurt Coleman (yay Ohio State dude WOOO) and Jamarca Sanford.
Mike Mauti looks healthy and in great shape. Got an interview with him coming up, so stay tuned.
I get the feeling that as a unit the linebackers will be a lot more aggressive off the line, especially in terms of applying perimeter pressure.. Hold that thought, though, as it's just one practice, and they might have been working on specific things. Still, it was refreshing to see.
Mike Zimmer was very hands on with the defense for the first part of practice. At one point, he walked to the 50, looked over at the offense, then returned to the defense. BECAUSE MIKE ZIMMER DGAF AND CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS, YO.
The first f-bomb from the staff? If you had Norv Turner in your office pool, you win the grand prize.
Speaking of the staff, more animated than the previous staff, but not demonstrably so. I have yet to hear a "don't tell me about the labor, show me the baby' type Zimmer-ism yet...but when we do, it will be glorious, and it shall be tweeted.
There was also a lot of teaching going on, too. And that's what the morning walk through is for. I would expect a more animated staff as they continue the installs, and in the afternoon practices.
The next practice today is scheduled to be from 3:00 - 5:10 PM, over on the practice field adjacent to Blakeslee Stadium.