VikingBuzz BLOG: 8/5

Your one-stop source for all the latest news, information, commentary and analysis on the Vikings.

>Peterson impresses as runner AND receiver
There couldn’t possibly be more anticipation about rookie running back Adrian Peterson and the expectations the Vikings have for him in the running game.  But his natural ability as a pass receiver might be the most pleasant surprise for some.  According to this USA Today report from the team’s scrimmage with the Chiefs at River Falls, Wis., on Saturday night, Peterson, who shook off a hip pointer injury that kept him out of Friday's scrimmage, made several nice runs against the Kansas City defense.  And along with displaying the speed and cutting ability that made him the seventh overall pick in this year's draft, Peterson excelled Saturday catching passes out of the backfield, snagging everything thrown his way and turning some short completions into big gains against the Chiefs' defense.  “He's been really good catching the ball, better actually than what I'd heard about him coming out of college,” said Vikings offensive lineman Marcus Johnson.  “He's doing all the things you need to do to become a special player.  You watch Adrian Peterson play, you see that speed, and you know he has a bright future.”

>Vikings have high expectations for Shiancoe
A lot of folks thought the Vikings overpaid when they coughed up a guaranteed $8.2 million on the second day of free agency to a little-known tight end with modest career stats and a name that is difficult for fans to even pronounce when they signed Visanthe Shiancoe.  But the Vikings view Shiancoe as having Chester Taylor-like potential at tight end and are willing to take their chances on the talented fifth-year tight end they signed from the New York Giants.  “In this offense, a tight end should be eager to make whatever adjustment you have to make.  You get the ball a lot.  The tight ends are very involved in this offense.  I think I can make some very, very big plays here.  That's the reason I came.  I can make a lot of plays,” Shiancoe said in this StarTribune story.  “I'm going to put up some pretty solid numbers.  That's what I will say.  Very solid numbers.  Very high numbers.”

>Smith can’t afford not to make it
Here’s an excellent in-depth article by Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press on defensive end Khreem Smith and his quest to make it with the Vikings.

>Vikings-Chiefs scrimmage notes, Part II
Lots of players didn’t suit up.  Edwards and Turley mix it up.  Peterson returns.  Quarterbacks look better.  Dugan makes helmet-popping hit.  Mozes appears to have a torn ACL and will likely miss the season.  Here are seven different perspectives from Saturday night's action against the Chiefs at River Falls, Wisconsin:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

>Childress video clip from training camp
Here’s a short video clip of the kinder, nicer Brad Childress from training camp courtesy of the Pioneer Press.

>South Dakota natives holding out both OLB spots
How many teams in the NFL do you suppose have South Dakota natives at BOTH their outside linebacker spots?  What is the Minnesota Vikings, Alex.  Correct, both Ben Leber and Chad Greenway are natives of South Dakota, as highlighted in this Argus Leader story.

>More Dakotans than Minnesotans on team
Along the same line, throw in tight end Jim Kleinsasser (Carrington, ND) and quarterback Brooks Bollinger (Grand Forks, ND) and you have more Dakota natives on the Vikings than actual Minnesotans.

>No competition needed for Longwell
Just about everybody in training camp has legitimate competition from someone, except veteran placekicker Ryan Longwell, who is running unopposed as they’d say in politics.  “It’s neither good or bad,” Longwell said in this Mankato Free Press report.  “I’ve always looked at it from Day One that I’m my own competition.  I know my standards and I know what it takes to succeed.  This is an individual position which is pretty unique in a team sport like football.  I know I need to push myself.  Whether there’s another guy here or not, it’s irrelevant to how I need to work out and get in shape and help the team out.”

>Blue can still hit
In case you forgot, Greg Blue can hit.  Brad Childress and Chiefs coach Herman Edwards agreed to limit the contact in the scrimmage, but that didn’t stop Blue from popping a Chiefs player by the sideline.  Blue is a lights-out hitter.

>Kerr stands out
One player who stood out in the Friday evening scrimmage with the Chiefs and again on Saturday night was rookie free agent linebacker John Kerr.  He made one big hit along the sideline, intercepted a tipped pass from Kansas City quarterback Jeff Terrell and then blew up a sweep on the ensuing play to make the tackle.  “He always flies around, sometimes with merit and sometimes we should be going a little bit slower,” Childress said.  “I’d rather have to slow him down.  He did a nice job getting his hands on that ball down the middle.”  Kerr remains a longshot to make the team but might have put in his claim at a practice squad spot, particularly if he excels on special teams during the preseason.

>Mike Tice still has fond memories of Minnesota
Mark Craig of the StarTribune has a nice story on former Vikings coach Mike Tice, who’s now an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Tice’s record, considering the resources he was afforded, probably stands up pretty well in retrospect.  It also appears that Tice learned some lessons from his first stint as a head coach in the league.  We hope he gets another chance someday.

>Longwell takes tip from Tiger
Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell is also known for his prowess on the golf course.  Longwell has taken some advice from golfing great Tiger Woods and hopes to improve his distance and stamina for the upcoming season as you’ll see in this AP story.

>Penn impressing with Bucs reports Tampa Bay Buccaneers OLT Donald Penn (bio) has seen a lot of work at left tackle and impressed head coach Jon Gruden.  Penn signed with the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent last season.  He made it to the final cut with the team last year and began the season on the Vikings practice squad until he was signed to Tampa Bay’s 53-man roster in October 2006.

>Fonoti released by Falcons
Veteran guard Toniu Fonoti (link) was released by the Atlanta Falcons, it was announced on Saturday.  Fonoti spent part of the 2005 season with the Vikings after being acquired in a trade with the San Diego Chargers.  He started one game but blew a groin muscle and finished the season on injured reserve.  Fonoti was not a player the new Brad Childress regime opted to retain when he took over.

>Scott being slowed by knee injury
Another player the Vikings modestly pursued during free agency this past offseason, former Chicago Bears DT Ian Scott (bio), has missed time in training camp with the Eagles due to a knee injury.

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