Vikings Accomplish Minicamp Goals

Brad Childress got what he wanted out of minicamp, and the players got a feel for the changes.

With a new coaching staff and many new players, the Vikings were hoping to accomplish a few things over the three days and five practices that comprised their first minicamp under head coach Brad Childress.

They got the foundation of their new offensive and defensive systems installed, they were able to gauge and improve their conditioning and they escaped the festivities without any major injuries.

"I can't imagine that we could accomplish much more in those five practices," Childress said Sunday after that conclusion of the final practice. "We just kind of stuck our toe in the water in terms of system, but I think we've got some people acclimated into our tempo and what our expectations are on the field, off the field, in the meeting room, and I think those are important things to set."

Safety Darren Sharper agreed with the sentiment that things under Childress are more business-like, but he said players haven't been able to fully determined Childress' personality.

"I know that he has one," Sharper said, but he also intimated that players won't be sitting down to lunch very often with Childress.

Childress didn't reveal much about his personality to the media either. When asked Friday if he was happy with acquiring quarterback Mike McMahon, Childress replied, "I don't know if I deal in happy that much."

While Childress gave few specifics on his level of satisfaction with individual players, he did say that judging conditioning and tempo in this weekend of minicamp practices was important. In that regard, he ran well-organized and tight practice sessions and continued to preach tempo several times during each session.

Friday, players looked tight performing in front of Childress and staff during the first session, with receivers dropping passes and linebackers failing to make interceptions. But that seemed to improve as the sessions increased.

"I think you would have liked to have caught every ball. You would have liked to be assignment-perfect and technique-perfect, but I think we accomplished pretty much everything we could accomplish here," Childress said.

The Vikings saw the return of center Matt Birk and defensive end Kenechi Udeze, two players that were on the shelf most of last season with hip and knee injuries, respectively. There were no major injuries suffered this weekend.

"The worst injury that we had is we've got guys with blisters on their feet because they haven't been in their cleats," Childress said.

However, players like punter Chris Kluwe, running back Mewelde Moore and safety Willie Offord were held out while still recovering from varying surgeries.

The other players practiced in shorts and helmets – no pads – making it difficult for a new coaching staff to gauge the full complement of football skills from some players.

"There is always the guy that maybe you're talking about or thinking about with one opinion, and then all of a sudden he puts pads on and knocks somebody on his rear end," Childress said. "It kind of gets your attention and you say, ‘That guy doesn't look like much but he'll hit you like an arrow.' There are always those kinds of things, and that's why I think you have to be careful. Just like evaluating at the combine, those skills, you have to be careful evaluating things here when they are running around and shorts and shirts."


  • Brad Johnson was excused from Sunday's practice for a family engagement.

  • With Johnson gone, Mike McMahon took the majority of the snaps with the first-team offense.

  • After attending the first four sessions Friday and Saturday, owner Zygi Wilf did not attend Sunday's workout, which last just over an hour.

  • Besides three players in NFL Europe (offensive tackle Sean Bubin, wide receiver Aaron Hosack, and cornerback Ronyell Whitaker), Brad Johnson was the only player to miss a minicamp session.

  • Looking for direction in determining where the Vikings might go in the NFL draft? Their current roster features 12 players from the Southeastern Conference, the most of any conference. Auburn (3), Florida (3) and Ohio State (3) have the most players on the Vikings roster.

  • There were 11 players practicing in a Vikings uniform for the first time: FB Joey Goodspeed (St. Louis), G Steve Hutchinson (Seattle), LB Ben Leber (San Diego), K Ryan Longwell (Green Bay), QB Mike McMahon (Philadelphia), WR Jimmy Redmond (Jacksonville), FB Tony Richardson (Kansas City), DE DeQuincy Scott (San Diego), RB Chester Taylor (Baltimore), G Jason Whittle (NY Giants) and S Tank Williams (Tennessee).

  • The Vikings have seven players on the roster with a total of 16 Pro Bowl berths: C Matt Birk (4), G Steve Hutchinson (3), FS Darren Sharper (3), QB Brad Johnson (2), FB Tony Richardson (2), DT Kevin Williams (1), KR/WR Koren Robinson (1).

  • The Vikings now have players who have been to a Super Bowl – Brad Johnson, Ryan Longwell, Napoleon Harris, Mike Rosenthal, Darren Sharper and Jermaine Wiggins (twice).

  • The roster sports 10 players who were first-round draft picks – Bryant McKinnie (2002), Troy Williamson ('05), Koren Robinson ('01), Kevin Williams ('03), Travis Taylor ('00), Steve Hutchinson ('01), Erasmus James ('05), Kenechi Udeze ('04), Antoine Winfield ('99), Napoleon Harris ('02).

  • will continue with extensive interviews from minicamp throughout this week.

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