VikingBuzz BLOG: 8/7

Ray Edwards ready to shine? Anthony Herrera pushing Artis Hicks at right guard? Dwight Smith turning over a new leaf? Updated depth chart and more in today's buzz.

>Edwards ready to emerge?
Second-year man Ray Edwards has shown outstanding pass-rush ability and has had a strong training camp.  As long as he keeps his emotions in check with his intensity, as this StarTribune story suggests, he will be just fine.

>Herrera pushing Hicks at right guard
The battle for the starting right guard spot between Anthony Herrera and Artis Hicks would seem to have shifted back toward Herrera, but there’s a lot of training camp and preseason left still.  Here’s the StarTribune story.

>Smith turns over new leaf?
Veteran safety Dwight Smith has made some lifestyle changes after last season’s embarrassing incident.  “I love playing in this defense,” Smith said in this Pioneer Press story.  “If I could be here for the rest of my time, I wouldn't be mad about that because I love the way (Childress) runs his household.”

>Updated depth chart
Here’s an updated depth chart heading into the Vikings first preseason game this Friday against the St. Louis Rams.  Here’s a link.

>Williams “brothers” an effective combo
Pat Williams and Kevin Williams aren’t brothers, but they make a highly effective team in the middle of the Vikings defense as this Mankato Free Press story says.

>Sharper, Smith bring versatility
Not only are they experienced, but veteran safeties Darren Sharper and Dwight Smith also give defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier flexibility.  “They give you a lot of flexibility and more and more teams would like to have safeties who give them that type of flexibility,” Frazier said in this Mankato Free Press story.  “When you’re seeing more and more three and four wide-out sets, it’s a luxury to have a couple of guys who can play in the box but also can be out in space.”

>Training camp notes and observations
Here are more Monday’s observations from training camp in Mankato:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

>Scott still in hunt for starting spot
Darrion Scott is still very much in the hunt for the starting left end position on defense according to this AP story.  Either way, both him and Kenechi Udeze figure to get plenty of playing time.

>Bollinger strives for consistency
Tarvaris Jackson has gotten much more attention, but quarterback Brooks Bollinger is simply aiming for consistency.  “I think at the end of the day you just have to worry about doing things the right way and never succumbing to sinking down to that level or worrying too much about it,” Bollinger said in this AP report.  “No matter what happens, as long as you're consistent and you're a good teammate and you never get caught up in playing that game, I think you're always going to come out on top.  People are always going to respect you for taking the high road.”

>Thomas is Jack of all trades at linebacker
Dontarrious Thomas is essentially the top backup at all three linebacker spots according to this report.

>McKinnie training camp journal
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie has filed this training camp journal for

>Mozes out for season with torn ACL
Rookie center Dan Mozes had his rookie year end in his first scrimmage on Friday.  Mozes tore his ACL and will undergo season ending surgery in about three weeks.  Mozes was placed on injured/waivers and will likely spent the year on injured reserve with the Vikings assuming he clears waivers.

>One-on-one with Tony Richardson
Phil Mackey of KFAN sat down with Vikings fullback Tony Richardson for some Q&A.

>Vikings hoping for pass rush improvement from within
The Vikings have lots of potential pass rushers who can step up this season.  They only need two.  “I think a lot of the guys felt like we let the defense down last season as far as not getting those sacks, and I think that's what motivated everybody this offseason,” defensive line coach Karl Dunbar said in this story.

>Ex-Viking Echemandu could earn roster spot
Word out of Oakland training camp is that former Vikings running back Adimchinobe Echemandu is looking good to make the Raiders’ roster, especially with Dominic Rhodes serving a four-game suspension to start the season.  Echemandu spent time on the Vikings practice squad and was active for a couple games in 2005.  He also went to training camp with the Vikings last summer.

>Visiting Rams with Viking ties
The Vikings will see some familiar faces on Friday evening when the Rams visit, including head coach Scott Linehan, assistant coaches Brian Baker and Todd Downing, and players Corey Chavous, Gus Frerotte, Adam Goldberg, Raonall Smith and Todd Steussie.

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