The Vikings offense was erratic in Saturday's morning session with a succession of dud plays at one point, but the receivers also made a few impressive receptions and a trick play stood out as well. Get our numerous Saturday morning observations inside.
The first full-team session for the Vikings' Saturday morning practice with the offense against the defense couldn't have started in more frustrating fashion. Friday morning, the session started with a couple of false starts and a fumble, but Saturday morning it was dropped passes.
After a short completion to Troy Williamson
, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson
and receiver Bobby Wade
were just a bit off in their timing, allowing cornerback Antoine Winfield
to knock the pass down. On the next play, receiver Martin Nance
dropped a pass, and on last play of the series for the first-team offense tight end Visanthe Shiancoe
dropped a very catchable pass.
The second-team offense fared much better. Receiver Chandler Williams
caught the first pass from Brooks Bollinger
, and Nance was used again, catching a 30-yard pass down the left sideline.
Later in the practice session, the first-team offense returned and made a better accounting for itself. Chester Taylor
started with a short reception, Williamson picked up positive yardage on a reverse, Jackson scrambled for yardage after he couldn't find an open receiver, and Adrian Peterson
finished with a short reception.
Highlights from the rest of the offensive work:
While the Vikings have worked on reverses numerous times during the first three practices of minicamp, they capped that Saturday morning with a halfback pass from Taylor to Jackson across the field.
Taylor and Peterson were both in the backfield for the first play of seven-on-seven work, which ended with a long completion from Jackson to second-round pick Sidney Rice.
Fifth-round pick Aundrae Allison dropped one easy catch earlier in practice, but he later was complimented for a making a good route adjustment on a completion and on another play made a difficult catch of the ball below his knees while running across the middle of the field.
Receiver Randy Hymes made a nice sliding catch on a pass from Bollinger in the middle of the field.
Williamson was lucky the team wasn't in full pads on one play. He made a good catch about 15 yards deep in the middle of the field and safety Dwight Smith had all he could do to jump out of Williamson's way. In a game situation, Smith likely would have had a famous "Madden Decleator" in that instance.
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe dropped a number of balls earlier in practice, but he might have had the catch of the session when he extended fully to pluck a Bollinger pass out of the air.
Linebacker Heath Farwell had an interception when a pass was batted in the air by a defensive lineman.
Todd Lowber continued to show good ball skills when he reached back for a pass from Drew Henson thrown behind him.
Other notes from the morning session:
Darrion Scott was working with the first team at left defensive end.
Defensive end Erasmus James was jogging the length of the field several times as part of his rehabilitation from knee surgery. He isn't expected to start practicing until training camp, and he could be limited then as well.
Safety Tank Williams and wide receiver Maurice Mann attended the morning session but did not practice. Williams is coming off knee surgery last year and Mann's injury hasn't been specified yet.
Taylor continues to take the first rep during offensive sessions, but Peterson isn't far behind.
The team nearly escaped a double-injury situation when different groups were running pass-pattern drills on opposites ends of the west practice field. At one point, receiver Cortez Hankton was running north along the west sideline and looking up for a pass while running back Ciatrick Fason was running south along that sideline and looking back for a pass as well. The two players narrowly missed each other and the whole incident drew words of caution and then groans from the players who saw it coming.
Dovonte Edwards continues to work in the first-team nickel defense, and Chad Greenway and E.J. Henderson continue to serve as the nickel linebackers.
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Chad Greenway is "doing fine" after three practices in two days on his surgically repaired knee.
Alex Reyes is working on kickoffs as well as doing some punting. Chris Kluwe continues to kick the vast majority of in-practice punts.