Childress said the team made progress in their conditioning and their installation of the offensive and defensive schemes. While he was happy with the physical conditioning, he said there is still a lot of work to be done installing the offense.
"There are plays in the playbook that are in, but a lot of the situational stuff is not in," Childress said of the offense. "I mentioned to the guys (Monday) morning, we still have two-minute drills, short-yardage, goal-line, and third-and-longs. They're getting a feel more or less for the system and the words that go along with the system, and the words that speak to them. It's wordy, but there's only certain words that speak to them, so they are learning which words speak to them."
One player under the media microscope all weekend was second-draft pick Tarvaris Jackson, a selection two weeks ago that surprised many but proved his physical skills to first-time observers throughout the weekend.
While media can gauge Jackson's physical skills from the sideline, Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell were the ones listening in intently as the rookie quarterback made his calls in the huddle on Monday.
"I thought probably the most impressive thing was just him delivering the essay in the huddle. I think like (Bevell) said to you, you have to know when to take a breath and where to take a breath so that everything flows when you are passing out that information. You are basically painting a picture with words," Childress said. "You can see the right look in his eye knowing exactly what he is creating. He can see the picture in his eye of what's going on."
Indeed, Jackson received strong reviews from his coaches, teammates and media – a solid all-around start in his first work with the Vikings.
While analyzing Jackson can be done on a superficial level, none of the Vikings were in pads, so judging the quality of line play is always difficult under those circumstances. But Childress was pleased with the work and conditioning of the players.
"Nobody in that last part of that conditioning test wanted to be the guy that let the guy standing next to him down, so you saw guys competing," he said. "If we have that kind of accountability during the year, we're going to be a good football team, and they want to be a good football team."
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie said the gassers run at the end of practice were a test for the players, but Pat Williams wasn't about to let his big man on the other side of the line slow down. The team ran 16 reps of about 50 yards and back, and players were required to finish those in 20 seconds. McKinnie said Williams was encouraging him all the way.
Some players have cut weight since the end of the season, but cornerback Fred Smoot said he has gained 10 to 15 pounds by design.
"If the conditioning drill is any indication, he's carrying it pretty doggone good because you always worry when somebody puts on weight that they can run, but he still looks like he can run," Childress said. "He's not struggling, it's not like he's dragging a wagon or anything like that."