When the Vikings gave Bernard Berrian a big contract in the offseason, they were expecting big things. Berrian hasn't disappointing, making a big impression on his defensive teammates. Plus, get numerous notes from Monday afternoon's practice.
is no stranger to Bernard Berrian
. In his four years with the Vikings, he often had to line up against Berrian while he was a member of the Chicago Bears. But those instances were few and far between.
Now that they're teammates, Winfield is lining up opposite Berrian every day and, while he had respect for Berrian before they were teammates, his admiration has only grown since they've become teammates.
"We always knew he was fast," Winfield said. "We saw it against us and saw it on film. But seeing it on an everyday basis, it is really amazing. He is a lot faster than I thought he was."
The respect is mutual. Berrian said the NFC North has always had some of the strongest corners in the league and he considers Winfield to be among them. But, when it comes to going mano-a-mano at the line of scrimmage, respect goes out the window.
"I've put a couple of moves on him," Berrian said of his matchups with Winfield. "Those veteran guys don't like that. If you show them up on the play, you better be ready. Antoine isn't big, but he is as tough as they come and isn't shy about pushing you around."
The addition of Berrian could be a two-fold benefit for the Vikings. He gives the team a dependable go-to target deep down the field to help the offense. But in the end, his biggest contribution may be helping the Vikings' young cornerbacks with what to watch for on Sundays by schooling them on weekdays.
"A lot of times, the best cornerbacks are on teams that have great wide receivers," Winfield said. "If you're facing guys that are as fast as (Berrian) every day in practice, there's nothing a guy will show you on Sunday that you haven't already seen."
MONDAY P.M. NOTES
After a relatively spirited morning practice, the afternoon session was done in shells and shorts and was much more relaxed.
Because of the heat, the crowds were considerably thinner at the afternoon practice than the morning session.
Although Ray Edwards sat out the afternoon session, he got some work on the blocking sled, which could be an indication he is closer to returning.
Wide receiver Bobby Wade tweaked his left knee late in practice and took himself out. He was clearly in pain and the typically gregarious Wade was extremely serious walking the sidelines. Following practice, we asked him about the knee and he said, "I don't think it's anything serious. I just aggravated it." But even then, he was stone faced and not his typical self. He will be watched tomorrow to see if he is uniform or if it was more than just a mild strain.
TE Garrett Mills, who injured his left ankle in the morning practice, was sidelined for the afternoon practice.
Fullback Thomas Tapeh was cramping up in the afternoon session and spent most of practice on an exercise bike under a canopy on the side of the practice field.
Pat Williams took part in position agility drills, but again sat out the contact portion of practice.
Kicker Steven Hauschka, who changed his number to 3 during training camp, was set to work with the kickoff team and the team put Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor back deep to return kicks. However, with a mild tail wind at his back, neither back got a chance to return the kicks, since all five of his kickoffs sailed out of the end zone.
Jackson continued to throw a lot of downfield passes to Visanthe Shiancoe during seven-on-seven drills, perhaps a sign that he and his tight end are more on the same page than they were last year.
Wide receiver Nate Jones had a bad drop on a relatively easy pass, prompting a stern few words from Brad Childress.
Berrian had a couple of highlight film catches in the afternoon session, beating Cedric Griffin both times. But Griffin got his revenge on the next red zone series, as Jackson tried an identical pass to Robert Ferguson and Griffin picked it off.
The Vikings must be something because area radio curmudgeon Dan Barriero conducted his afternoon show from the practice field – a rare Barriero sighting at training camp.
Antoine Winfield was playing some slot nickel corner during the afternoon session, typically lining up opposite Wade.
Both Ellis Wyms and Kenderick Allen got time with the first-team defense replacing Pat Williams.
Martin Nance is having an excellent camp, catching everything thrown to him and making the spectacular catch along the way.
Jackson had a couple of ugly misfires in the red zone drills, throwing a pair of interceptions and one-hopping a pass this reporter on the sideline on a misread break.
While the practice was low key, nobody told Madieu Williams, who had a penchant of slapping balls out of receivers' hands after the whistle blew.
Robert Ferguson showed off his throwing arm with a 45-yard pass into the wind. Unimpressed, Darren Sharper called a fair catch before corralling the ball.
CB Dee McCann nearly had his training camp moment in the seven-on-seven drills, jumping a crossing route to perfection, with just one hitch – it hit off his chest and he dropped it.
Gus Frerotte was more impressive in the red zone drills than T-Jack, completing passes to Jeff Dugan and Chester Taylor in tight quarters before zipping a TD pass to Jim Kleinsasser.
The third-team offense looked confused in the 11-on-11 drills and Childress had to call a timeout, imploring his players to stay focused because "you can't waste timeouts. You made need them at the end of a game."
Practice was shut down about 20 minutes early as the humidity was rising and ominous clouds began moving into the Mankato area.