VikingBuzz BLOG: Weekend Edition July 7-8

Your daily stop for keeping up on all the news, information, commentary and analysis related to the Vikings online.

>Gaither to work out for scouts Monday
Viking scouts will undoubtedly be among those watching Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither as he auditions for pro scouts on Monday.  “There is nothing to hide and nothing to hold back on," Gaither’s agent, Kevin Pompey, told’s Len Pasquarelli.  “We want to make sure teams feel comfortable with Jared, and so he'll do everything they ask him.  The situation isn't perfect, but it is what it is, so you've got to make the best of it.  But people are coming because they feel there is a reason to come.”  Depending on how he does, Gaither is expected to go in the first three rounds of Thursday’s supplemental draft.  How much interest the Vikings have remains to be seen, but he would be a good developmental prospect for them, especially if he could be had for a third-round pick, where the team will have an extra selection in 2008.

>Henderson holds third annual basketball camp
Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson will hold his Youth Basketball Tournament and Workshop next Friday and Saturday at Aberdeen High School in Maryland.  Henderson, who is also active the Minneapolis community during the season, enjoys basketball, and this marks the third consecutive year that he’s gone back to his former high school for this event.  The clinic will focus on preparing young people for the future through positive role models.  Participants will receive jerseys and be eligible for prizes.

>Mozes starting over from scratch with the Vikings
Like a lot of highly regarded, successful and proven college players, the transition to the pro game puts them all back to square one.  Rookie free agent Dan Mozes from West Virginia acknowledges the learning pace has been challenging.  A two-time All-America center and 2006 Rimington Award winner as the nation's best player at that position, Mozes has worked at both center and guard since joining the Vikings.  “I was running with the (second unit) at guard and centering the (third team),” Mozes told his local paper, the Observer-Reporter.  “I'm just fighting to show I can do both.  The more I can do, the better.  They only keep seven or eight offensive linemen on the active roster, so I have to show I can handle playing guard as well.”

>Remember this?  Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard run
This YouTube clip of Tony Dorsett’s 99 ½-yard touchdown run against the Vikings in the regular-season finale of the 1982 season should bring back some less-than-fond memories for Viking fans.  Keep in mind, however, the Vikings won the game 31-27.  Still, not the best of tackling by No. 52, No. 27, No. 29, No. 45 or No. 37.  Can you name them?

>Williams makes 2003 All-Draft team
Folks mocked them for not getting their pick in on time, but the Vikings have had the last laugh.  DT Kevin Williams has become one of the best in the league, and he makes this 2003 All-Draft team.

>McKinnie among 2002 All-Draft team
He might not have been their first choice at the time, but he certainly turned out better than the player they wanted (DT Ryan Sims).  OT Bryant McKinnie has panned out nicely since being the seventh overall pick by the Vikings in 2002, making this All-Draft team.  The Vikings’ fourth-round pick, CB Brian Williams, also made the team along with former Viking LB Napoleon Harris.

>O’Connor could push for roster spot
According to Sid’s sources, recently signed offensive lineman Adam O’Connor could be a contender for a roster spot.  O’Connor put together a solid, consistent season at the most difficult position on the offensive line – left tackle – for the Hamburg Sea Devils in NFL Europa this summer.  After releasing veteran Mike Rosenthal during the offseason, the Vikings do not have anyone with experience to provide depth at left tackle, so O'Connor will get a long look.  He can also play guard, so his versatility is a plus.  Here's a recent story in the VU archives on O'Connor, in case you missed it.

>Top rookie to be featured on NFL Network
This coming Tuesday’s NFL Network television schedule at 7:00 p.m. will include a one-hour segment on the top rookies, with an introduction to the top rookies from the class of 2007 from Los Angeles, California.  Vikings’ top pick Adrian Peterson will likely be in the mix.

>Jackson could be one of many full-time starters this season
Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson isn’t the only unproven quarterback with expectations to lead his team in 2007.  In fact, he’s only one of about ten or so who have less than a full season of experience that have the opportunity to start all 16 games for their respective team this upcoming season.  Besides Jackson, Jason Campbell (Redskins), Brodie Croyle (Chiefs), Jay Cutler (Broncos), Matt Leinart (Cardinals), Matt Schaub (Texans), Tony Romo (Cowboys), Vince Young (Titans), Brady Quinn (Browns) and JaMarcus Russell (Raiders) could all be full-time starters this year. senior analyst Pat Kirwan takes a look at the pressures that these guys will be facing, looks at some statistics, and projects how some will do.

>Peterson featured in new TV spot
Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson is featured in a new television commercial for EA Sports NCAA Football ’08.  The spot reportedly features Peterson doing his own play-by-play of the Fiesta Bowl matchup between his Sooners and Boise State.

>McKinnie has an avid supporter
Vikings OT Bryant McKinnie has a strong supporter with an optimistic outlook for the team in Pacifist Viking, whose glass is half full.

>Peterson the early favorite for rookie of the year?
According to this post on, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is the early fave to take home rookie of the year honors, ahead of Detroit’s Calvin Johnson.

>Scouting report flashback:  Ciatrick Fason
Vikings running back Ciatrick Fason was a fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2005, here’s a flashback to what they said about him coming out of college back then.

>Williams among several players who are positive example
Guys like Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson and now Claude Wroten have been grabbing all the NFL headlines for their off-the-field behavior of late.  But most players are actually pretty solid citizens who give back to the community in one way or another.  Vikings DT Pat Williams, for example, held his third annual youth football camp at Sterlington High School back in his hometown of Monroe, La., last Saturday for players in elementary to high school.  “You got to surround yourself around good people because those guys are getting in the same trouble with the same guys,” Williams told reporter Tabby Soignier.  “They call them guys friends, but they aren't friends.  Your friends aren't going to get you in trouble like that.”

>Door wide open at wide receiver for Vikings fantasy football expert Michael Fabiano says the door is wide open for Bobby Wade, Billy McMullen, Troy Williamson, Sidney Rice and Aundrae Allison at wide receiver with the departure of Travis Taylor and Marcus Robinson.  It will be interesting to see who emerges as the go-to guy for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson this season.  At tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe replaces Jermaine Wiggins, but Fabiano says he is “more of a blocker.”  What?

>Worst season ever for Vikings?
According to the armchairgm, “this could be the worst season ever for the Vikings,” who they rank No. 31 in their offseason power rankings.  I see this guy taped to one of the goalposts at Winter Park.

>Expectations low for Jackson
Continuing from the “glass half empty” crowd, this report says “Tarvaris Jackson might be the worst fantasy starting quarterback in the NFL.”  More lockerroom pinup material for Winter Park, right guys?

>Jackson undraftable in most fantasy formats?
Too many question marks for this fantasy football expert to get too excited about Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

>O'Sullivan released by Bears
Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan, who finished the 2005 season with the Vikings and went to camp with them last fall, has been released by the Chicago Bears, despite his performance in the NFL Europe earlier this summer as he led the Frankfurt Galaxy (7-3) to a spot in the World Bowl.  He led the league with a 104.8 passer rating and threw for 2,201 yards and 16 touchdowns.  According to his agent, however, the Bears did right by him because he wasn't going to get a legitimate chance at a roster spot with the team behind Rex Grossman, Brian Griese, Kyle Orton and Chris Leak.

>Ex-Viking fullback finds home in the weight room
The Vikings originally drafted fullback Cedric Smith in the fifth round in 1985.  He was best-known for being Emmitt Smith’s blocking back at Florida.  He almost made it with the Vikings and spent some time as a player with the Saints, Redskins and Cardinals.  Cedric and his family were wonderful people during their time in Minnesota.  Smith, a high-character person, is now the strength and conditioning coach with the Kansas City Chiefs.

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