The Vikings and Bengals had the first of their two joint practices today, and based on reports coming from Cincinnati, we have some things to talk about:
1. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT: I can't stand Adam 'Pac Man' Jones. I really like Adam Thielen. They got into a fight fairly early on, and the fact that Jones was involved was about as surprising as finding out meth houses ruin property values in neighborhoods:
Tensions boiled over briefly in Bengals-Vikings practice after helmet comes off. Adam Jones/Adam Thielen involved pic.twitter.com/D2sFZI5ovR— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 10, 2016
It was a minor deal, no one was hurt, and both players brushed it off after practice. And it's awful early for Pac Man to be in playoff form. I would think he'd want to wait to lose his shit until the deciding drive in their one and done playoff game, but that's just me.
2. Jayron Kearse making noise. The seventh round pick from Clemson has been steadily making progress since training camp began, and saw some time with the some first team guys on a few snaps:
Bengals 1's break thru! pic.twitter.com/Q4pmAVB56h— Stephen A Turner (@StephenATurner) August 10, 2016
I don't think this means Kearse is going to be named a starter, but it does look like Kearse might be one of the biggest steals of the 2016 draft when it's all said and done.
3. Bridgewater to Diggs is going to be a lot of fun to watch. By all accounts--Vikings reporters, Bengals reporters, and national football reporters, Teddy looked good today:
CINCINNATI-Bridgewater put on show today in joint Min-Cin practice. Weather? As Cosmo Kramer would have said: "It’s like a sauna out there."— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 10, 2016
At Bengals Camp for Bengals-Vikings joint practice. Teddy just threw a strike to C.Patterson on a deep out— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) August 10, 2016
He had a couple of highlight throws to Stefon Diggs, who avenged Adam Thielen's death* by slaying the evildoer** Jones on this sweet go route (might have been a fade, not exactly sure b/c of the flight of the ball and the route Diggs was running initially):
Nice connection between Bridgewater and Diggs over Adam Jones. After Jones said "nice route" to Diggs. pic.twitter.com/N4fYXaEXeP— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 10, 2016
Either way, nice play. Suck it, Pac Man.
*He didn't kill Thielen
**Not an evildoer. Just seems like a total douchebag.
4. Defense wins championships. From that earlier tweet that showed Kearse working with some first teamers, it was titled 'Bengals 1's break through'. That's because the Vikings defense, both the first and second team, completely stuffed the Bengals offense:
Seen this a lot today... pic.twitter.com/vqc4KF9vTg— Stephen A Turner (@StephenATurner) August 10, 2016
Throughout franchise history, the Vikings have fielded some storied defenses. From the Purple People Eaters of the '60's and '70's, to the Browner-Millard-Doleman defenses in the mid to late '80's, to the John Randle led units of mayhem of the '90's, defense has been the hallmark of this franchise.
And this defense, under Mike Zimmer, has the potential to be one of the best in franchise history. I understand that the games still need to be played, and injuries will factor in for every team, but if these guys can stay relatively healthy, look out. They have a chance to be a truly dominant defense, and they're young enough (and teamed with a salary cap wizard that can manage the salary cap), that they can keep their core group of guys (Barr, Kendricks, Smith, Rhodes, Griffen, Joseph) together for awhile.
I am as excited as a kid on Christmas morning waiting for this season to start.