VikingBuzz BLOG: 7/28

All eyes were on Troy Williamson and Tarvaris Jackson (pictured) in Day One from training camp.

>All eyes on Williamson in Day One
All eyes were on wide receiver Troy Williamson as two-a-days began for the Vikings.  Although he dropped the first pass thrown to him today (true story), he came back to make several nice grabs throughout the day and is confident that this will be his breakout season.  StarTribune story.

>T-Jack gets all the first-team reps on Day One
In this video report with beat writers Judd Zulgad and Kevin Seifert, its was certainly noteworthy that quarterback Tarvaris Jackson got virtually all of the first-team reps at quarterback on Friday, once again indicating the desire for the second-year talent to step up and be the guy this season.

>All focus forward for Greenway
The knee injury that robbed him of his entire rookie season is in the past as linebacker Chad Greenway looks forward to a breakout season.  “I expect him to thrive,” MLB E.J. Henderson told Pioneer Press reporter Don Seeholzer in this report.  “I expect him to be a playmaker of this defense.  He’s a physical guy.  He’s fast, very athletic.  I really expect him to do well.”

>Back to the gray facemasks
You might notice in any of the new photos (StarTribune photo of Williamson) you see from training camp this season that the Vikings have reverted back to the gray facemasks after the deep purple looks in recent years.

>Training camp tidbits
Here’s a roundup of reports from Vikings training camp on Friday in Mankato.

Vikings.com | StarTribune story | KFAN thread | StarTribune Blog | StarTribune Blog | Mankato Free Press  

>Second-rounder Rice in the fold
After missing the first day of two-a-days, rookie wide receiver Sidney Rice is signed and ready to roll.  After holing up in a Twin Cities hotel for four days, he agreed to a four-year contract on Friday.

Pioneer Press story | StarTribune story | Pioneer Press blog | Vikings.com | Pioneer Press blog | StarTribune blog | USAToday.com | The Sports Network  

>Williams breaks off contract talks
Veteran nose tackle Pat Williams and his agent, Angelo Wright, are saying they will play out the season and test the free agent market in 2008.  The market has gone way up at his position and the Vikings probably missed their window of opportunity to make a sensible deal with Williams.  They like him, but with persistent knee problems and his age (35), they are reluctant to commit huge, long-term dollars to him.  They could still strike a deal, but his agent doesn’t sound optimistic.

Pioneer Press story | StarTribune story | Pioneer Press blog | StarTribune blog  

>McCauley making strong early impression
Rookie cornerback Marcus McCauley has made some eye-catching plays in the early practices of mini-camp, making his bid for the nickel-corner job.

Pioneer Press blog  

>Childress brings air of professionalism with to camp
The new culture that head coach Brad Childress has tried to bring to the Vikings is reflected even in the team’s second trip ascending into the city of Mankato for training camp as Jon Krawcyzinski reports in this AP story.

>Udeze knows pressure is on
Fourth-year defensive end Kenechi Udeze knows the pressure is on for him to step up this season, and he assures readers that he will, as he tells Patrick Reusse of the StarTribune:  “I can tell you this for certain:  The way this thing has started is not the way it's going to end.”

>Jackson ready for scrutiny, challenge
Newcomer Bobby Wade will vouch for his arm strength.  “It really doesn't matter what everybody says,” quarterback Tarvaris Jackson says in this Sporting News article.  “I just want to get out here and just prove to myself and my teammates and my coaches that I can win football games.  That's it.”

>New rules for video/photography coverage
Ryan Kibbe of KSTP.com reports on the new media restrictions for covering the team this season.  The key directive:  “All training camp practices will be open to the media, but filming/still photography will be permitted only during the individual portions of practice and not the team portions.”

>Peterson signs endorsement deal with Cytosport
This bevnet.com story reports on the endorsement deal rookie Adrian Peterson signed with Cytosport, maker of “muscle milk.”

>Foreman to receive Ring of Honor fame
Former five-time All-Pro running back Chuck Foreman (photo) will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor during halftime of the Green Bay on Sept. 30.  For any old-time fans, Chuck was the best.  Foreman, who was originally selected by the Vikings in the 1st round (12th overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft, ranks as the team's 2nd-leading career rusher with 5,879 yards.  He is also tied for the team record with 52 rushing TDs and ranks 7th all-time in team scoring.  Foreman played for the Vikings from 1973-1979.  He was named the NFC Rookie of the Year in 1973 and earned consensus All-Pro honors in 1975.  Foreman collected 17 career 100-yard rushing games and the Vikings were 16-1 in those games.  He also had 3 straight 1,000-yard seasons (1975-77).  Foreman was the 1st Vikings RB to break the 1,000-yard mark in a season with 1,070 in 1975.  His 75 career TDs (52 rushing, 23 receiving) ranks 4th in team history.  Foreman set the Vikings record with 22 TDs in a season during the 1975 campaign when he rushed for 13 and caught 9 TDs.  During Foreman's career the Vikings went 69-31-2 in regular season play and appeared in Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl XI in his 7 seasons with the club.  Foreman becomes the 16th member of the Vikings Ring of Honor and the 2nd RB, joining former teammate Bill Brown.  In his day, Chuck Foreman was perhaps the most complete, all-around running back in football with rare moves and an ability to make defenders miss with his patented “spin” move that has yet to be duplicated.

>Taylor an “inside grinder,” Peterson brings the speed
This Sporting News report says, “The styles of Chester Taylor, an inside grinder, and speedy rookie Adrian Peterson complement each other.”

>WhatIfSports predicts 7-9 for Vikings
WhatIfSports.com has used its award-winning simulation software to predict the 2007 NFC North season in this report on VikingUpdate.com.

>Ex-Viking Bennett getting chance in KC with Johnson holdout
Former Vikings running back Michael Bennett, the team’s first-round pick in 2001, is getting a chance to be “the guy” in Kansas City with Larry Johnson holding out in a contract dispute.  Kansas City Star story.

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