Hazing Gets Hairy, Practice Stays Focused

The rookies entered the practice field with some new hairdos, but, after the initial shock of the hazing wore off, the rest of Thursday's morning practice went well. Notes on the no-hudddle, injuries, defensive line, kicking game and a little Glen Taylor talk to round it out.

Two days before the first exhibition game of the season versus the Arizona Cardinals, the Minnesota Vikings found themselves having a good laugh in the form of rookie haircuts.

First-round pick Kenechi Udeze sported a canyon-like cut with a buzz down the center of the middle, while Alan Reuber's hair looked more like a law mower gone bad. The rookie also got a ring … in the form of a halo shaved around the top of his head.

Brock Lesnar, the wrestler-turned-football player didn't receive a haircut, leaving speculation to rest on what rookie-hazing prank the Vikings will give him.

Mike Tice said both the no-huddle offense and defense was a strong point from the morning practice. The Vikings worked in shells for the practice and did some light hitting.

"We were able to bang around a little bit, work some soreness out," Tice said.

Jermaine Wiggins and Marcus Robinson participated in drills. Tice said Wiggins was able to move well and take contact. Tice also said that Moe Williams and Matt Birk are the only two players who will sit out Saturday.

Birk said the four-week rehabilitation program the Vikings staff prepared is on schedule.

"I feel good," he said. "Every day I feel a little better. It's frustrating, but at the same time I can't rush back."

Brian Baker led an intense defensive line practice. The vocal Baker worked hard with Udeze, Lesnar and defensive tackle Spencer Johnson, but his mantra of the morning came in the form of a statement:

"You're gonna be a ball player," he told Lance Johnstone, a 10-sack defensive end from a year ago.

Johnstone replied: "Gonna be a player?"

Tice insists the team is sticking with second-year kicker Aaron Elling, stating that Elling's attempt to over-think his position is the reason for any struggles the kicker's encountered. But Dan Orner might feel differently after becoming the crowd favorite during field goal practice.

The rookie from North Carolina sent several 30 to 40-yard kicks off the top of the camera towers located 10 yards behind the uprights.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor surfaced at camp. He stopped at a tent to sign autographs for fans.

While some speculated that Taylor's presence might have something to do with a Vikings sale, Taylor's talk was on the possible signing of Tom Gugliota.

Taylor said Gugliota contacted the Timberwolves and would like to finish his career in Minnesota.

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