Twelve's a Crowd?

The Minnesota Vikings have 12 receivers in training camp, a number that is fine by head coach Brad Childress. But the reality of the situation is that at least half of them will be sent packing before the regular season.

The Vikings signed veteran free agent Dez White last week, giving them 12 wide receivers on the roster.

Although coach Brad Childress talked about creating competition at the position, there is no doubt the Vikings want to get a look at any receiver who can potentially fit into their West Coast offense.

White has spent the majority of his NFL career playing in that system. Billy McMullen, obtained from Philadelphia in a trade, also is familiar with the offense, having spent last season with Childress as his offensive coordinator.

The Vikings' top receiver is Koren Robinson, who made the NFC Pro Bowl roster as a kick returner last season, but caught only 22 passes. Travis Taylor, Troy Williamson and Marcus Robinson are behind Koren Robinson on the depth chart and should be considered locks (Taylor and Williamson) to safe bets (Marcus Robinson) to make the team.

That means eight receivers will battle for one or two final roster spots. That group includes McMullen, White, Jason Carter, Aaron Hosack, Chris Jones, Josh Davis, Kevin Kasper and Ryan Hoag.

Kasper could be intriguing because of his ability to return kicks. Despite his success in that role last season, Robinson almost certainly won't be asked to carry the load of a No. 1 receiver and be a return man.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who indicated the Vikings will go with five receivers, echoed Childress' comments about the number of receivers fueling competition.

"We have some guys that will be able to give some other guys at the top levels competition," Bevell said. "Kasper will give competition and the list goes on and on. It will give them opportunities to make the other guys better."

CAMP CALENDAR: The Vikings will practice against the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 4 in Mankato, Minn. They will break camp on Aug. 18, returning to their Winter Park facility in Eden Prairie.

NOTES

  • Former NFL players Kanavis McGhee, Corey Raymond and Henry Lusk are the Vikings' minority coaches during training camp.

  • The Vikings had 10 selected veterans and their entire rookie class on hand for three days of practices before the rest of the team arrived Sunday. The list of veterans included receivers Troy Williamson, Chris Jones and Dez White; quarterbacks Mike McMahon and J.T. O'Sullivan; defensive ends Khreem Smith and Eric Taylor; cornerback Dustin Fox; safety Willie Offord; and punter Chris Kluwe.

  • Punter Chris Kluwe is in line to take over as the holder on field-goal attempts. Kluwe was last used in that role during his senior season at UCLA. Rookie punter John Torp and backup quarterback Mike McMahon also could get some work holding during camp.

  • Tight ends Jermaine Wiggins and Jim Kleinsasser will be asked to step out of their comfort zones a bit more this season, according to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. "There will be opportunities to get them both on the field at the same time," Bevell said. "Jim's kind of been pigeon-holed as our blocker and Wiggins has been pigeon-holed as our pass receiver. I think we're going to make them both more well-rounded players. We'll let Jim go out and catch a pass every now and then. We'll have Wiggins standing out there and blocking on the end. That will keep us more balanced offensively."

  • Bevell did not close the door on second-round quarterback Tarvaris Jackson becoming the No. 2 quarterback at some point this season.

    "We have to see how far he can progress through this training camp and through the preseason games," Bevell said. "We have to see where he can get to. I've been pleasantly surprised with how fast he picked up the offense. No one is going to outwork him. He's done a great job of having his nose in the book and studying hard. He has a great retention. Now we just have to get that muscle memory going, throwing the routes, reads, progressions."

    INJURY REPORT: Safety Willie Offord, who missed most of last season after injuring his knee, was able to discard a brace after only one day of practice last week. Offord said the knee feels fine. The session was one of five the Vikings had for rookies and selected veterans. Punter Chris Kluwe (knee) also is able to punt again without any restrictions.


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