Alterations to Camp Schedule Minimal

With fewer players allowed to go to training camp with the Vikings this summer, the schedule could be altered, but head coach Brad Childress will take more of a wait-and-see approach. See what changes were made and what Childress had to say about his expectations at the end of minicamp.

Vikings coach Brad Childress is mindful of the reduced number of players that will be heading to training camp with the team at the end of July, but so far that hasn't significantly altered the schedule compared to last year.

With NFL Europa (formerly NFL Europe) folding after last spring's session, NFL teams are no longer allowed roster exemptions for players that participated in the overseas spring league. That means a reduction of about five to six players per team (including an exemption for an international player, which the Vikings had last year in Seppo Evwaraye but don't have on the roster this year).

So the Vikings will head to Mankato for their first practice on July 25 – the full schedule was released on Tuesday – with only 80 players.

"As long as I've been coaching, it's the more the merrier, so those numbers make a difference, particularly at a position where guys run all the time," Childress said when asked about the roster limit at the end of the team's official minicamp earlier this month. "Really, you can talk about it across the board – offensive and defensive linemen because of the impact. Those guys have a tendency to get knocked around and get banged and bruised. It affects you in terms of having one or two more people there at different positions."

With Childress entering his third season as head coach, the returning veteran players also have two years of experience in Childress' West Coast Offense and the Tampa-2 defense he prefers to employ (although it will be only the second year in that system with defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier's version).

"I just think you have to be mindful of the number of people that you have there and the number of legs you have there," Childress said. "Injuries are part of this business, particularly when you put those pads on. You want to try to eliminate those things to the extent that you can. I think you have to be careful about how you're loading them up.

"We've grown and kind of evolved in the system here. It's not that the young guys and new guys don't need every rep they can – they need to get every rep they can. You just have to monitor where a guy's legs are, what kind of shape they show up in, all that kind of thing. That's usually a fluid deal, but we've talked about it."

While the number of practices actually increased from 28 scheduled last year to 29 scheduled this year, there are a couple of differences. First, the Vikings will only have one practice against the Kansas City Chiefs this year – on Thursday evening, July 31 in River Falls, Wis. – instead of a home-and-home series of practices at each team's training camp home, like they did last year. Also, in 2007 the Vikings generally had morning practices that lasted two hours and 15 minutes, but Childress has shaved that time down to two hours this year.

But even last year's camp was generally viewed as easier on the players than during Childress' first year running the ship.

"For (the media) to characterize: more friendly last year, the first (was) a Bataan Death March. This year, I'm not sure what it will be described as, if you'll think it's a Club Med or what," Childress said. "That's all a feel thing. Just see how your team is growing and what they need. The goal is to get enough work – not too little, not too much – to evaluate guys and then make sure you've got everything you need when you start (the season)."

In fact, Childress also did a little gauging of his team and decided to cut last year's final afternoon practice off the schedule in favor of a bowling trip with the players. He did the same thing this week when he reportedly used the final organized team activity as a paintball outing for the team instead of a practice.

At the end of the team's minicamp on June 8, Childress seemed relatively satisfied with the progress the team had made and was hoping it provided at least a cursory preparation for training camp.

"You never want to miss an opportunity to teach. But for the five weeks that they are going to go away … it's a great time to take inventory of where you're at. It wasn't necessarily warm throughout (minicamp), but (the Saturday two-a-day) was warm. You can probably count on it being warm down in Mankato. It just represents an opportunity for them to know what they need to get done by the time we go on the 25th."


Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n","mobileBody":"Vikings coach Brad Childress is mindful of the reduced number of players that will be heading to training camp with the team at the end of July, but so far that hasn't significantly altered the schedule compared to last year.

With NFL Europa (formerly NFL Europe) folding after last spring's session, NFL teams are no longer allowed roster exemptions for players that participated in the overseas spring league. That means a reduction of about five to six players per team (including an exemption for an international player, which the Vikings had last year in Seppo Evwaraye but don't have on the roster this year).

So the Vikings will head to Mankato for their first practice on July 25 – the full schedule was released on Tuesday – with only 80 players.

\"As long as I've been coaching, it's the more the merrier, so those numbers make a difference, particularly at a position where guys run all the time,\" Childress said when asked about the roster limit at the end of the team's official minicamp earlier this month. \"Really, you can talk about it across the board – offensive and defensive linemen because of the impact. Those guys have a tendency to get knocked around and get banged and bruised. It affects you in terms of having one or two more people there at different positions.\"

With Childress entering his third season as head coach, the returning veteran players also have two years of experience in Childress' West Coast Offense and the Tampa-2 defense he prefers to employ (although it will be only the second year in that system with defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier's version).

\"I just think you have to be mindful of the number of people that you have there and the number of legs you have there,\" Childress said. \"Injuries are part of this business, particularly when you put those pads on. You want to try to eliminate those things to the extent that you can. I think you have to be careful about how you're loading them up.

\"We've grown and kind of evolved in the system here. It's not that the young guys and new guys don't need every rep they can – they need to get every rep they can. You just have to monitor where a guy's legs are, what kind of shape they show up in, all that kind of thing. That's usually a fluid deal, but we've talked about it.\"

While the number of practices actually increased from 28 scheduled last year to 29 scheduled this year, there are a couple of differences. First, the Vikings will only have one practice against the Kansas City Chiefs this year – on Thursday evening, July 31 in River Falls, Wis. – instead of a home-and-home series of practices at each team's training camp home, like they did last year. Also, in 2007 the Vikings generally had morning practices that lasted two hours and 15 minutes, but Childress has shaved that time down to two hours this year.

But even last year's camp was generally viewed as easier on the players than during Childress' first year running the ship.

\"For (the media) to characterize: more friendly last year, the first (was) a Bataan Death March. This year, I'm not sure what it will be described as, if you'll think it's a Club Med or what,\" Childress said. \"That's all a feel thing. Just see how your team is growing and what they need. The goal is to get enough work – not too little, not too much – to evaluate guys and then make sure you've got everything you need when you start (the season).\"

In fact, Childress also did a little gauging of his team and decided to cut last year's final afternoon practice off the schedule in favor of a bowling trip with the players. He did the same thing this week when he reportedly used the final organized team activity as a paintball outing for the team instead of a practice.

At the end of the team's minicamp on June 8, Childress seemed relatively satisfied with the progress the team had made and was hoping it provided at least a cursory preparation for training camp.

\"You never want to miss an opportunity to teach. But for the five weeks that they are going to go away … it's a great time to take inventory of where you're at. It wasn't necessarily warm throughout (minicamp), but (the Saturday two-a-day) was warm. You can probably count on it being warm down in Mankato. It just represents an opportunity for them to know what they need to get done by the time we go on the 25th.\"

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