Vikings To End Workouts Today

The Vikings have spent much of the past two months in their offseason workout program. But with today's practice, the offseason program for the team will be over until the players meet in Mankato for the opening of training camp.

There was a time not too long ago that NFL teams would have a handful of minicamp practice days from the end of one regular season to the start of training camp in July.

Those days are over. With three minicamps and 14 days devoted to "organized team activities" the Vikings conclude their exhaustive offseason program today with the final practice -- bringing to an end the team's official workout programs until the start of training camp next month.

While some veteran players consider these workouts to be overkill -- in Green Bay 14 veterans opted to blow off the Packers' OTA program -- the Vikings have taken advantage of the additional offseason work out of necessity. With the implementation of the West Coast Offense and the Tampa 2 defense, the Vikings are in position to use these workouts to pick up the scheme changes as well as earn their roles in the new-look philosophies.

"I'm not sure we need all these practices," quarterback Brad Johnson said Tuesday. "But with the new offense and defense we're putting in, we're getting as much work as we can on the new system."

While some players will continue to work out at Winter Park, there will be no requirement to be with the team from now until the opening of training camp at the end of July.

* Troy Williamson was back on the field for the first time since having a procedure done on his hip in April and looked to be at or close to 100 percent.
* The Vikings spent almost three quarters of a million dollars in the lobbying effort this year for a new stadium, according to state documents that monitor legislative spending. Almost all of that money was spent in TV, radio and print advertising trying to sell the public on the merits of the Northern Lights stadium complex.
* Koren Robinson, Pat Williams and Napoleon Harris were all excused from Tuesday's practice -- Robinson and Williams for family-related reasons and Harris for planning his wedding later this month.
* The Vikings had two practices Tuesday after taking Monday off. Instead of a scheduled practice, Brad Childress took the entire team on a bowling outing.

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