In the spotlight
Here are five players who will be in the spotlight Friday night against the Rams in the team’s first chance to see what they can do in their first full-fledged “look” in what the coach’s hope will be a prominent role for the team in 2007:
QB Tarvaris Jackson – For the incredible arm strength Jackson possesses, the coaches have been absolutely wearing him out with short-to-intermediate and underneath throws throughout training camp so far. It’s very clear they are trying to be very, very careful with Jackson and want to do everything they possibly can to help give him confidence to build on modest doses of success early on. This will be Jackson’s first chance against all-out live competition to see how far along he is at this point. Can he at least show enough consistency and poise to build upon?
RB Adrian Peterson – It remains to be seen how much (if any) action Peterson will get in this first preseason game. Head coach Brad Childress wants to be very careful with his prized rookie running back as he is still coming back from a hip pointer injury sustained last week. Clearly there hasn’t been a more anticipated rookie to the team since Randy Moss in 1998, and most feel Peterson has every bit the potential for impact (without the off-field baggage). Is he the real deal? All eyes will be on Peterson whenever he is on the field.
WLB Chad Greenway – Nobody is chomping at the bit more than Greenway to have his first chance with the first-team defense. He’s looked terrific in practice every day, now he’ll get his chance with live bullets. “I have seen him out here on defense,” head coach Brad Childress said. “I have got a pretty good idea what it will look like. We might have to give him a sedative or something like that. But game situation, game speed, you can't put a premium on that, and I know he is as excited to play as we are to see him play.”
DE Ray Edwards – He has been a man possessed at times in training camp so far. Will it translate onto the field against first-string competition like St. Louis’ Orlando Pace? “Ray has been having a very good camp. I like a lot of the things he is doing,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “He just came back [from the offseason] with a very good attitude and he had some good work in OTAs as well and has carried that over throughout training camp. He is really playing like a guy on a mission. Hopefully he can keep it going and just keep progressing. He is doing is very well.”
WR Bobby Wade – One of the team’s top free agent acquisitions during the offseason, the Vikings are hoping for consistency and production from Wade as a starting receiver and to work the middle zones as a slot guy in three-wide sets. He has also looked steady so far in training camp. Will it continue on the playing field under the lights?
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