Quarterback Brooks Bollinger is excited to return to New York and play against some of his former teammates. Plus, get dozens of updates and observations from Monday's morning practice.
spent three seasons with the New York Jets
, starting nine games. He may make another start Friday at the Meadowlands, this time with the Minnesota Vikings
"I'm excited for it," Bollinger said. "It'll be fun to see those guys. I've got a lot of good friends there."
Coach Brad Childress hinted that Bollinger might start the second preseason game Friday at New York, but he backed off that some this week, saying that if Bollinger doesn't start, he'll play significant time with the starters in the first half. Tarvaris Jackson
continued to get most of the work with the first-team offense in Monday morning's full-team, full-pads practice.
Bollinger said he hasn't been told what his role will be, but he enjoys the atmosphere at the stadium.
"I'll go in when they tell me to go in," Bollinger said.
Changing of the guard
Incumbent starter Artis Hicks
and veteran backup Anthony Herrera
continue to rotate with the first team at right guard. When training camp started with left tackle Bryant McKinnie
on the physically-unable-to-perform list, Hicks was moved to left tackle with Herrera at right guard.
In Friday's preseason game, Herrera started at left guard in place of Steve Hutchinson
, who was excused to take care of a family matter.
"You just do what you've got to do to make the 53," said Herrera, a fourth-year player. "To me, it's all about getting better at my technique. I don't think about anything else. I want to get better every day and work on my craft."
On a day with few big plays, the highlight was a long pass from quarterback Drew Henson
to rookie receiver Chandler Williams
, who had to cut back and outjump the defensive back to catch the underthrown ball.
Tight end Jim Kleinsasser
continues to be a popular target in the middle of the field.
Undrafted rookie tackle Adam O'Connor left the practice field on a cart after injuring his left knee. However, Childress said the injury wasn't as serious as first thought.
Defensive end Khreem Smith rejoined practice after missing a few days with a sprained ankle. Linebacker Jason Glenn walked gingerly around the practice field with his left knee wrapped, and linebacker John Kerr remained out with a back problem.
Linebacker Rufus Alexander, the Vikings' sixth-round draft choice, and Dan Mozes, an undrafted rookie offensive linemen placed on injured reserve, will have their respective knee surgeries Thursday. Both tore their anterior cruciate ligaments, Mozes during a workout with the Kansas City Chiefs and Alexander in Friday night's preseason opener. Alexander is headed to injured reserve after he clears waivers.
Childress said that the Vikings will likely look to bring in a linebacker to take the practice reps that Alexander had been getting. According to Scout.com's Adam Caplan, the Vikings will work out LB George Hall on Tuesday. Hall signed as a rookie free agent after the 2007 NFL Draft and practiced with them through minicamp and organized team activities before being released in June.
The Vikings had a number of snap issues with the first-team offense Monday morning, one of them being a low snap while Tarvaris Jackson was in the shotgun. He picked up the ball and alertly ran with it. On another play, Jackson and Chester Taylor didn't look like they were on the same wavelength, and LB Ben Leber picked up the resulting fumble.
WR Troy Williamson told Viking Update that one catch he has noticed as being more difficult for him was a deep pass coming over his shoulder. That's exactly the pass that he caught during practice.
The Vikings spent much of the time during their full-team practice working on third downs. They will increase their work in the red zone this week, too, Childress said. The Vikings offense didn't score a touchdown in the preseason opener.
On defense, the Vikings will work more on their zone blitzes, Childress said.
Linebacker Chad Greenway had a well-timed blitz that probably would have resulted in a sack of Tarvaris Jackson had the team been going full contact. Instead, Jackson released the ball just after Greenway touched him and connected with WR Sidney Rice deep down the right sideline. Rice also caught Jackson's first pass during the full-team portion on a nice out route thrown into a slight breeze.
DE Erasmus James did some light practice work with a brace on his surgically repaired knee, but it was obvious he is still developing a trust with his knee. During a one-on-one drill, he might have beaten an offensive lineman, but he pulled up and made sure he didn't put too much pressure on the knee. "You had the edge. Believe in it," barked defensive line coach Karl Dunbar.
Kicker Ryan Longwell was perfect on six kicks between 24 and 42 yards.
Ray Edwards and Kenechi Udeze were the defensive ends working with the first team. The Vikings have been rotating ends all training camp long.
RB Adrian Peterson showed off his burst when a lane opened down the left sideline on one play. During a different portion of practice, he got the opportunity to show it while running through traffic after backup right tackle Marcus Johnson made a nice seal block.
WR Cortez Hankton had an impressive catch deep down the right sideline after QB Brooks Bollinger recovered from a high snap.
Mewelde Moore, Aundrae Allison and Bobby Wade worked on fielding punts during the special teams portion of practice.
The Vikings return to practice Monday afternoon for a special teams workout. They break the Mankato portion of training camp Thursday before heading to New York to face the Jets Friday evening. Practices next week will take place at Winter Park and will be closed to the public at that point.