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Observing the Observations: Days 2 and 3 of Vikings Training Camp

What’s been happening in Eagan?

NFL: JUL 29 Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
I had no idea that the gun show had returned to the Twin Cities.

I’m on the outside. . .I’m lookin’ in. . .

Yes, we’re still not allowed at Training Camp. This is going to be a running theme, or a running gag, depending on your perspective. But there are plenty of things to talk about from the past couple of days at Minnesota Vikings Training Camp, so let’s take a look at a few of them here, shall we?

  • The first one involves second-year cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who had to deal with a significant number of injuries last year. The coaching staff told him to get bigger this offseason, and according to Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he did just that, adding about five pounds thanks to a program he did with former Steelers’ safety Ryan Clark.

“Lifting was huge with me for Cam,” Clark said. “Making sure the lifts were correct, but also lifts to build mass. You need bigger shoulders for contact. You need bigger legs to hold up throughout the season with the pounding and running.”

Granted, the nickname of “The Needle” still fits for Dantzler, as he still tips the scales at 192 pounds, but there’s progress being made.

  • Usually there are fights to be had in Training Camp, and it only took a couple of days for the Vikings to have their first one. Apparently center Garrett Bradbury and defensive tackle Armon Watts were the parties involved in a mild skirmish during the afternoon session. Thankfully, neither of them did anything stupid like punch a dude that’s wearing a helmet in the head.

At least, I don’t think they did.

  • We’ve also had our first significant injury of camp, as receiver Bisi Johnson went down without contact and was helped off of the field. He returned to the practice fields later with a fairly large brace on his right leg to observe things. Hopefully it won’t be anything too serious, but non-contact injuries are always a bit worrisome.
  • Will Ragatz of Sports Illustrated (among others) says that tight end Irv Smith Jr. had a big day on Friday, including a highlight-reel catch

It sounds like Smith and Kirk Cousins are developing a nice little rapport in the wake of Kyle Rudolph’s departure. Perhaps, as the video above says, Smith Jr. will be in line for some of those red zone targets that Rudolph got over the years.

One thing that’s a bit worrisome is the continued absence of rookie Christian Darrisaw, who continues to sit out with a groin injury. I can understand that they’re being cautious with the youngster and everything, but I sincerely hope that this isn’t a “tweak” or anything.

Those are a few of the random observations from Vikings’ camp from the past couple of days. Eric (per his Twitter account) is going to be at the night practice that will be taking place tomorrow and is going to have a report of everything that happened, so stay tuned for that. Actual Training Camp coverage! Huzzah!