That creates a scenario where two players who have never even played on the offensive line in an NFL regular-season game will be starting there. So when guard Anthony Herrera and utility offensive lineman Artis Hicks both started to work their way back into the rotation following offseason surgery for each of them, it didn't get much attention. Both were limited quite a bit during the team's three-day minicamp, but last Thursday they were working with the first-team offense.
"It's just a part of their protocol. They have done all of the rehab. They have started the heavy lifting regimen again. They are able to put their hands on bags and punch bags," head coach Brad Childress said. "They are kind of chomping at the bit. They would like to be out here included in some of these things, but they are doing a decent job coaching right now."
Herrera said he expected to be ready for training camp, and Hicks likely will too.
Up until last week, Ryan Cook and Brian Daniels had been working with the first-team offense at right guard in place of Herrera. Cook had also been getting a little time at right tackle, where he started most of last season.
"The good thing with minicamps is you're getting to see a lot of guys in a lot of different situations. You are getting to see them at different spots," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Ryan Cook, he has played tackle, he has played guard. … As an offensive line you have to be able to be flexible. You have to have guys that can play tackle and then the guys that can play inside, whether it's guard or center. So we are getting to move them around. We are getting to see a lot of Phil. We are getting to see a lot of other guys that are in there getting a lot of good reps."
THE CURRENT NO. 4
Childress said second-year player John David Booty has reshaped his body during the offseason, becoming a leaner player. More importantly, he's starting to get a better grasp of the offense and is making a good progression in his second season.
"It is typical because it is not all new. I think it slows down for them to where they can look at some of the fine points of what's happening on the other side of the football and making a pre-snap decision and being quicker as they drop in making that decision they have in those three seconds that they are dropping back," Childress said.
Booty is currently the third-string quarterback on a position that is four deep.
RECLAIMING A CAREER?
Aaron Wilson of ProFootballTalk.com reported that two former Vikings – wide receiver Travis Taylor and tight end Jermaine Wiggins – were among a contingent of former NFL players to try out for the new United Football League. Former Vikings coach Dennis Green, who is coaching the San Francisco franchise in the UFL, ran the workouts.