Day One Camp Notes

From holdouts to placing players on the physically unable to perform list, the Vikings started camp this morning, producing a number of opening-day notes.

Just how uneventful was the Vikings' first training camp practice?

"We didn't do anything," coach Mike Tice said. "So there's nothing to gauge yet."

But Tice continued to preach his optimism for the upcoming season, including what he expects to be a much-improved defense.

The Vikings took to the field at 8:45 a.m., broke up into position drills and finished with their annual conditioning test about a half hour earlier than scheduled.

"The guys were very focused and very quiet this morning," Tice said. "I think that's a good sign."

The lone absentee was the team's unsigned fourth-round draft pick, running back Onterrio Smith. However, there was talk that Smith was in Mankato and could be signed in time for the afternoon practice.

As he did when the team arrived Friday, Tice said Smith is already well behind the rest of the team. Smith missed 14 days of developmental camp because of NFL rules, so in the coach's mind, Smith is more than two weeks behind.

"He's got to get up to speed," Tice said, "but he won't be able to do it in a week."

Vikings first-round pick Kevin Williams, a defensive tackle who signed on Friday, was glad to have taken part in the team's first practice.

"It's what I was hoping to do from the jump," Williams said. "I wanted to come in and play football."

Tice said Williams promised his coach he'd sign before training camp started, but Tice said he wouldn't believe it until he saw it.

"(Williams) grabbed me at dinner (Friday) and said, 'I told you I'd be here,'" Tice said.

* Injured RB Michael Bennett (foot) watched practice from a golf cart.
* Former Vikings WR Cris Carter was at camp and spent time on the sidelines, talking with coaches and players. Consider it part of his ceremonial contract to retire as a Viking for his eventual Hall of Fame induction.
* The Vikings placed WR Derrick Alexander, RB Michael Bennett, WR Nick Davis, K Hayden Epstein, CB Ken Irvin and C Cory Withrow on the physically unable to perform list Friday.
* LB Jarrod Penright was released.
* LB Chris Claiborne and RB Moe Williams celebrated their birthdays Saturday.

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