What's Up, Doss?

The Vikings didn't take a big risk when they signed Colts free-agent safety Mike Doss in the offseason. But, if the OTA sessions mean anything, their minimal risk could end up yielding a big reward.

When the Vikings signed veteran safety Mike Doss, many believed that it was more a move designed to give defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier a player in the secondary that is familiar with his defensive scheme that could help younger players make the transition to learning the ins and outs of the Cover-2 defense. Having spent time with Frazier with the Colts, the move made sense, but, coming off a torn ACL suffered last October, it wasn't 100 percent certain that Doss would even be ready for full-out practicing until training camp at best.

Doss didn't find the going easy before or after his injury. Having lost his starting job to hot prospect Bob Sanders in Indy and coming off major knee surgery, when he became a free agent in March, there was little to no interest shown by other teams. He stayed on the market for a month before finally getting signed by the Vikings to a modest one-year, $1 million deal that had little in the way of risk to the Vikings.

But Doss showed during the Vikings' four-day OTA sessions that he is ahead of schedule and willing to work as hard as will be required to not only make the team, but be a solid contributor. With the Vikings a little shorthanded at safety with Darren Sharper excused to do commentary for NFL Europa games, Doss made an impression during these four practice days that have considerably helped his cause and given the Vikings reason for optimism that they may have got a bargain when they signed him to a contract.

With much of the OTA week discussion about whether Antoine Winfield will be happy and showing up at training camp on time and ready to roll, Doss has been one of the pleasant veteran surprises in the offseason. While he still has a long way to go to regain the form he had before the torn ACL, all systems were go this last week at the OTA sessions, and he'll be a player to keep an eye on during both the mandatory minicamp next weekend and in training camp at the end of the July.

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