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Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Day Two: AM News and Notes

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A recap of Monday morning's Minnesota Vikings Training Camp walkthrough along with recaps of the press conferences of George Edwards and Norv Turner.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

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.
After practice concluded, Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards took the podium for a Q&A session. Throughout the press conference Edwards emphasized consistency and having players returning into the system was important to "taking the next step" with his defense. Edwards mentioned that having veterans like Chad Greenway and Terrence Newman on the field to mentor new young guys like Waynes and Eric Kendricks is invaluable. Edwards also explained that lining up Waynes in the slot was nothing new: "We worked with Trae in the slot a lot in the offseason."

But before we get too caught up on who might play where, Edwards reiterated that the coaching staff is "just getting started" with the evaluation process and he expects every position to be competed for. In other words, we have a long way to go before deciding what the starting lineup will look like in San Francisco Week 1.

Next up at the podium was Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner. Like many Vikings fans, Turner is excited to see just how good this offense can be. "It's nice to be back at work...we're not real good right now but we have a real chance to be." Like Edwards, Turner hit on how important competition is throughout his side of the ball. "Competition makes everyone better and this will be a very competitive camp," he explained.

Unsurprisingly, Turner is thrilled to have Adrian Peterson back in the mix. He isn't worried about getting AP "up to speed" in the offense after playing only one game in it last season. "This 'scheme' thing is overrated." Turner actually claimed that Peterson is ahead of the game when learning the offense.

Finally, Turner explained that he doesn't listen to the noise when it comes to where NFL talking heads rank his quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
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.
Turner went on to explain that "The only evaluation we care about is ours. Based on where we got to last year and where we think we're going, I think we have a top-flight quarterback." He explained how perception of quarterbacks can change in a matter of weeks and used the Buffalo game from 2014 as an example. After Bridgewater struggled in Buffalo, Turner explained how the narrative was all about how Teddy was struggling. When Aaron Rodgers went there a couple months later and had his worst game of the season, it was all about how good Buffalo's defense was. Turner explained that Bridgewater doesn't get too high or too low, which is one of his strengths.

That wraps it up from this morning's session. Stay tuned for much more here on Daily Norseman, and make sure to follow along with me on Twitter over the next few days as I cover camp and tour US Bank Stadium on Wednesday morning. One improvement I brought with this year is a real photographer with a real camera. Mankato resident and avid DN reader Thad Chesley will be providing great images from camp over the next couple days. I'll be posting galleries of all the action along with the usual coverage from camp.