The Vikings continue to work on their blitz offense and defense, but Bryant McKinnie is always facing the pressure from defensive end Jared Allen. See what McKinnie had to say about how that battle is helping him and get numerous notes from Wednesday morning's session.
The Vikings worked on their blitz offense and defense Wednesday morning, but Bryant McKinnie
is forever facing the heat of a quick defender with Jared Allen
staring at him from across the line of scrimmage.
McKinnie, the Vikings' left offensive tackle, has been going through the grind of training camp without much respite from facing Allen, but he believes he's starting to get a feel for Allen's quickness and his moves.
"After you go against anybody in pass protection after awhile, you become accustomed to what they like to do and what they favor, so you've just got to come up with something to stop some of the moves they like to do. I'm starting to do that a little bit," McKinnie said.
During a one-on-one session earlier this week, while most of the action was taking place on another field, McKinnie and Allen were facing off in a drill designed to put the linemen out in space and battle for position. McKinnie lost the first battle, as Allen swooped around him and got to the makeshift quarterback. On the very next snap, McKinnie was able to stonewall Allen.
"He has a whole lot of moves, so every time he does something, I've got to think of something to stop it, so that's good for me. When I play somebody else, they might have the same moves and I'll already have a game plan how to stop it." McKinnie said.
At least Allen is kind to his teammates when he beats them. On one play Wednesday morning, he beat McKinnie to the edge and chased down Tarvaris Jackson
for a touch sack. Allen gave them both a great big grin and playful shove to keep the atmosphere light during the grind of camp.
WEDNESDAY MORNING NOTES
McKinnie said he hasn't received any update on his legal situation or a potential suspension from the league. "You might know before I do," he said.
The plan is still to try to get McKinnie into a pre-trial diversion program and avoid facing the four charges, including one felony battery charge, stemming from a Feb. 24 fight outside a Miami nightclub. His hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.
"We still have time. We haven't even started preseason yet. (The diversion program) is still a goal, but we haven't even started going through that process yet," he said.
With temperatures in the mid-60s and a dewpoint just below 60 at the start of practice, Wednesday morning was an ideal setup for camp football.
DE Brian Robison was not at practice, presumably to prepare for surgery on a varicose vein in his leg. Head coach Brad Childress acknowledged that Robison will have a procedure and expects him to return to camp on Monday (although it's unknown when he would resume practices).
CB Marcus McCauley (knee) and TE Garrett Mills (ankle) worked on the side.
The team worked on last-minute and situational drills, including desperation Hail Mary passes and trick plays.
Quarterback John David Booty worked with the third team again and had to get used to how quickly the blitz comes. On back-to-back plays, DT Leger Douzable and LB J. Leman appeared to get to Booty before he released the ball in full-team drills.
Gus Frerotte connected with Visanthe Shiancoe for a 40-yard reception down the middle of the field with safety Michael Boulware trailing on the play.
In the initial last-minute drill, Frerotte forced a pass to WR Jaymar Johnson. It should have resulted in an interception, but CB Marcus Walker let the ball go through his arms. Later in practice, Johnson made a nice leaping catch on a pass from Booty.
CB Charles Gordon ended one series for Booty when he undercut an Aundrae Allison route and disrupted the play. Gordon appears to be the leader for the third cornerback spot in the nickel defense with McCauley sidelined.
Booty recovered from that series to drive the third-team offense into scoring position with a solid showing in the last-minute drill, but Steven Hauschka hooked a low liner left of the uprights from 43 yards out.
Jackson's last-minute drill ended poorly as a fumbled snap in the shotgun left him scrambling to recover it on the ground. However, Childress called Darren Sharper for delay of game for holding Jackson on the ground after the play was whistled dead. Childress tried to give the offense another shot when he called illegal contact on the defense on a fourth-down throw that went out of bounds, but Allen put an end to it (again) with his touch sack of Jackson.
Jackson started off his next series with a 45-yard bomb to Aundrae Allison down the middle of the field with safety Tyrell Johnson in coverage.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe and LB Heath Farwell had helmet-to-helmet contact and words after Farwell tossed Shiancoe to the ground toward the end of a play.
Sydney Rice was walking with two canes but looked good for being over 80 years old. The Minneapolis woman with a slightly different first name and the same last name as Vikings receiver Sidney Rice attended training camp on Wednesday morning and met the receiver. Her husband sent a letter to the Vikings explaining how her acquaintances would jokingly congratulate her after the receiver had a good game, so the Vikings invited her to camp to meet him after practice.
The Vikings will hold a one-hour practice this afternoon, starting at 2:45 p.m. and then have a one-hour mock game that will be closed to the public on Thursday in preparation for their preseason opener Friday against the Seattle Seahawks.