Williamson Gets Limited Time

The highlight of Tuesday morning's training camp session was the presence of No. 7 overall pick Troy Williamson. The Vikings are taking it slow with him, but others on the team were making plenty of noise in Day 4 of training camp.

Three consecutive short passes were the highlights of rookie
receiver Troy Williamson¹s first day at training camp, but it was enough to get him excited about joining the Minnesota Vikings.

"It went pretty good," he said. "I caught everything I was supposed to catch."

Williamson, the seventh overall pick from South Carolina, signed his first professional contract Monday night, then arrived at Minnesota State at 1 a.m. Tuesday. Five hours later, he was waking up, preparing for the morning practice.

He worked with the receivers early, then spent much of practice working on an adjacent field with Mark Ellis, assistant strength and condition coach.

Williamson worked some on route-running and conditioning.

"Nothing is ever given to you," Williamson said. "You always have to work for it. That's what I'm here for, and that's what I plan on doing, working for everything I get."

Coach Mike Tice said he plans to bring the rookie along slowly, allowing him to catch up physically and mentally before moving up from No. 5 on the depth chart.

"We wanted to make sure he got his legs under him," Tice said. "He¹s behind. Do the research, guys that come into camp late tend to get injured."

Plays of the day

The defensive intensity seemed higher Tuesday morning, with safety Darren Sharper making a big hit on receiver Marcus Robinson on a long pass across the middle. A couple of plays later, safety Willie Offord popped the pads of receiver Ben Nelson on a shorter route.

In a goal-line session, the No. 1 offense was 2 of 2 on scoring runs from the 3-yard line. But when the second units got in, linebacker E.J. Henderson shot up the middle to put a loud tackle on Mewelde Moore.

"(Henderson) really came back as good as we had hoped, which is
outstanding," Tice said. "He's played really, really well on special teams, just outstanding."

Receiver Nate Burleson offers a highlight catch nearly every practice.

On Tuesday, he leaped high for a Daunte Culpepper pass and was falling on his back. However, he landed on cornerback Ken Irvin, regained his balance and ran the final 40 yards for a touchdown.

"(Burleson has) elite balance and elite leaping ability," Tice said. "We think he can be, I didn't say he was, we think he can be an elite receiver."

Kelly Campbell continues to be impressive on kick returns, showing a burst of speed that none of the others are showing. Williamson is expected to get a chance at kick returner, too.

Injury report

Cornerback Brian Williams didn¹t participate in team drills while he rested a tight hamstring. Cornerback Fred Smoot returned to the Twin Cities to get a checkup on his strained neck, and Tice said he¹s improving.

"He¹s frustrated," Tice said. "But what's one week, 10 days out of a season when we're going to play into February?"

Linebacker Grant Wiley (shoulder) and receiver Skyler Fulton (oblique) both missed Tuesday's morning practice.

Coming, and going

The Vikings signed former University of Minnesota cornerback Ukee Dozier to add some depth, while Williams and Smoot recover from injury.

Tight end Matt Ross was waived.

Tice said the team might be looking at a couple of other roster moves later this week.



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