QB Sage Rosenfels is working the system on the field and off the field, getting to know his offensive teammates off the field in an attempt to gain better chemistry on the field. Plus, get practice notes from Thursday's practice.
might want to consider clipping the two-for-one coupons at local restaurants. The Vikings quarterback has been busy filling the stomachs of his offensive teammates while he acclimates to his new team.
"I like how he has gotten around the guys. I know he has been to dinner with probably 10, 15, 20 of the guys. So he is trying to make himself accessible," said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. "He is trying to get to know the guys. He is trying to be a leader. He is trying to find his niche on the team. That is some of the stuff that I like."
There is a method to Rosenfels' succulent spending spree: Keep the players around him happy and get to know them and he might have a better chance of succeeding earlier with the Vikings.
"I think there's a lot of things that go into playing the quarterback (position)," Rosenfels said. "Leadership is multi-faceted, and before you can tell a guy what to do or have him believe in what you're maybe trying to teach to him, you've got to have a good relationship with the guy. And the quickest way to have a good relationship with a guy is to fill their stomach with a steak. Especially these guys. So I try to do things, and it's all part of the position of playing quarterback."
It could prove to be a good start as he continues to familiarize himself with the people, as well as the Xs and Os of the Vikings offense in his first year in Minnesota. The offense is similar to the one he ran with the Houston Texans, according to Bevell. But getting used to the players, coaches and their philosophies could take time beyond the hours spent on the practice field.
Rosenfels said last weekend during training camp that there is more to those full-team, offseason practices than just memorizing plays.
"Just getting a feel for everybody. Being in the huddle, listen to the quarterbacks call the plays. There are new guys every year. There is a lot of turnover every year in the NFL and every day at practice is very important, and this weekend we're getting a lot accomplished," he said.
"… Not just in timing, but how certain guys come out of routes. There are some guys that are faster than others on, say, go routes or comebacks, how I set my feet or slow my feet, depending on the routes. Every throw I make, something registers in my mind for next time I'm out there."
Rosenfels said it's a never-ending learning process for him and he'll continue to learn throughout the season.
"I know there's a lot of pressure on this team to be successful this year, and that's fine. I need to make the most of my opportunity," he said.
Veterans Ryan Longwell, Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor and Antoine Winfield did not attend the voluntary organized team activity on Thursday. Peterson and Taylor haven't been attending this week's session, according to Childress. Winfield's absence appears to be in response to him being in the last year of his contract. "It would be wrong for me to color it any specific direction, contractually or otherwise," Childress said when asked about it being a contract situation.
Rookie CB Asher Allen wasn't at practice either, but Childress declined to comment on that.
Anthony Herrera took more reps at right guard today than he did in minicamp as he returns from offseason shoulder surgery, and Artis Hicks got some work with the first team at right tackle as he recovers from a triceps injury. "They are kind of chomping at the bit. They'd like to be included in some of these things," Childress said.
Childress singled out a few positions where the competition and the work has been good – the defensive backfield, quarterback and wide receivers, in particular.
The Vikings and Chiefs don't plan on scrimmaging this year during training camp, and Childress said there aren't any plans to practice against another team. The change in the Chiefs' coaching staff seems to have been the main reason for not doing it this year.
The Vikings will only practice for two weeks in Mankato during training camp because of the later start to the NFL schedule and an earlier start at Minnesota State-Mankato for their new-student orientations. Training camp practices will run from July 31 to Aug. 12 this year.
Childress said "all the training wheels are off" with TE Visanthe Shiancoe, who continues to "grow by leaps and bounds" since joining the Vikings in 2007.
Childress praised the work of WR Jaymar Johnson and CB Charles Gordon have put in. Johnson bulked up about 18 pounds this year while maintaining 3 percent body fat, and Gordon has been working hard to come back from his gruesome season-ending ankle injury last year.
Childress also spoke highly of Brian Robison, who cut fat but not overall weight. Robison has looked sharp in offseason practices and sounds determined to have a big season. He had a couple of touch sacks during Thursday's practice – one on Jackson and one on John David Booty.
Kicker Taylor Mehlaff didn't miss a field goal in his short session Thursday.
Tarvaris Jackson got most of the first-team reps at quarterback, but both he and Sage Rosenfels completed a few nice long throws during one-on-one work.
Rosenfels connected on a 55-yard touchdown pass to Johnson on a perfect throw that just made it past CB Benny Sapp. The quarterback connected on another 55-yarder to Darius Reynaud just past the outstretched arms of Karl Paymah.
Jackson was the beneficiary of a great diving catch by rookie Percy Harvin down the right sideline, and Harvin showed earlier that he can adjust well to the ball in the air.
WR Vinny Perretta is 5-foot-9, but he showed some leaping ability when he went high for a catch over the middle in seven-on-seven drills.
During full-team work, linebacker E.J. Henderson made a diving interception on a Jackson pass intended for Bobby Wade over the middle.
LB Ben Leber followed that with a diving pass defensed on a Jackson pass intended for Shiancoe.
Jackson connected with WR Bernard Berrian on a 20-yard pass in the middle of the field when Berrian dove and made the catch at the 1-yard line.
LB David Herron had a nice diving pass defensed on a John Booty pass intended for Garrett Mills.