To quote the famous North American poet Marshall Mathers from his classic sonnet "Square Dance":
"PEOPLE!!! IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACK!!"
For the first time in a while, I was actually excited to go to "work" on a Monday morning. Because this particular Monday signified the beginning of my annual pilgrimage to Mankato that symbolizes the end of a long, dark, depressing stretch of time without football in our lives.
In other words, I'm back at Minnesota Vikings Training Camp.
As always, the morning walkthrough was rather uneventful. But then again, when has a morning walkthrough ever been eventful? That said, there were a few rather interesting tidbits to cover:
- There were no changes among the starting defensive lineup. Robison, Joseph, Floyd, and Griffen along the defensive line; Barr, Cole, and Greenway at linebacker; Newman, Blanton, Smith, and Rhodes in the defensive backfield. One interesting wrinkle they added this morning was a few backups "shadowing" the starters. For instance, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti stood directly behind their counterparts on the first team to add a few more "mental reps" for the 2's in practice. Hodges even made a few coverage calls against the scout team offense.
- If you were under the impression that Trae Waynes was strictly going to be an outside corner with the Vikings, think again. Waynes spent much of the practice shadowing Captain Munnerlyn in the slot. And judging from George Edwards' press conference (which we'll get to shortly), it sounds like the team is giving Waynes a fairly serious look in the slot corner position.
- New signing Josh Thomas was out on the field, with no name yet above the #33 on his jersey. He was mostly getting third team reps.
- The starters on offense looked the same as yesterday, including Mike Harris lining up at right guard along with Loadholt, Sullivan, Fusco, and Kalil on the O-line.
- The wide receiver depth chart is still a mess to figure out after the starters. Receivers were rotating in and out so much that it would be irresponsible of me to speculate how everyone ranks after Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson, and Jarius Wright.
- That said, it might be worth noting that Cordarrelle Patterson got a handful more reps with the second team than Stefon Diggs did this morning. But not enough to glean that one was significantly ahead of the other. I'll wait until after I've been here more than a handful of hours to jump to irresponsible conclusions.
- The new STRIVR virtual reality system that Chris mentioned this morning was already in use out on the field today. It's really cool looking--think a tripod with a cube made out of GoPro cameras--but it's also really close to the action. Like, "someone could trip over the tripod if they're not careful" close. I hope the team is only collecting great data and not the league's first-ever virtual reality-related injury.
You try not to pay attention to those things or see them, and I see some of the rankings and none of it matters because obviously how he plays is the key...there are only four or five guys I would trust in evaluating quarterbacks because I don't think there are many guys that understand what you're trying to do at the position and understand the evaluation process.