VU Daily Blog: 5/19/10

It was media access day at the Vikings' organized team activities. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progressed through the VU Daily Blog.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 6:49:00 AM

Some newcomers settling in at Vikings OTAs

The Vikings had about 60 players at Winter Park for the second day of organized team activities, with the majority of the starters being excused in addition to a few rookies that aren't allowed to attend because of NFL rules that state they cannot participate in the voluntary workouts when their college is still in session.

The rookies missing were second-round draft choice Toby Gerhart (Stanford) and undrafted rookies Terrell Skinner (safety, Maryland) and Ray Small (receiver, Ohio State).

The only starters among the veterans to attend Wednesday's session were safety Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson. Even second-year starters like center John Sullivan and right tackle Phil Loadholt were allowed to miss, but Childress said a number of players were inside working on strength and conditioning. That makes sense since at least one absent starter's car was in the parking lot and at least Chad Greenway was practice at Tuesday's OTA session.

Among the newcomers that did attend was cornerback Lito Sheppard, whom Childress and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier have familiarity with from their days together with the Philadelphia Eagles. However, Sheppard is getting "a Master's degree" in the Cover-2 defense the Vikings run, Childress said.

Sheppard was joined in the cornerback fold by second-round draft pick Chris Cook, who was working at left and right cornerback as well as in the nickel.

Rookie Chris DeGeare was much more settled in, working strictly at guard to start his professional career.

Sixth-round draft choice Joe Webb is also settling in at one position for now, but it's not the one the Vikings were expecting after drafting him. At the time, they anticipated working him mostly at wide receiver, but he impressed enough in the final practice of rookie minicamp at quarterback that they have been playing him there to start their OTA sessions.

Webb's work there gives the Vikings four quarterbacks in camp with Brett Favre apparently still undecided on whether or not to have ankle surgery. Childress said he has gotten no clarification from Favre on that issue.

The camp also gave the backups to Pat and Kevin Williams an opportunity to get more work. Although veteran Jimmy Kennedy was not at Wednesday's practice, Fred Evans and Letroy Guion benefitted from more work there.

The Vikings aren't expecting to add a free agent the position, with Childress saying that free agency is over (that could be with the exception of guard Chester Pitts, who is working his way back from knee surgery).

The Vikings will continue through the week with OTA practices and continue with four more next week.


Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 8:30:00 PM

Childress confirms interest in Pitts

Free-agent offensive lineman Chester Pitts has told two different media outlets that the Vikings have expressed an interest in him. On Wednesday, Vikings coach Brad Childress confirmed that interest.

"We are always inquiring," Childress said when asked about Pitts. "I think that we have talked to his agent. I don't think that anyone in the organization has talked to Chester Pitts, maybe the exception of Sage Rosenfels because they are former teammates.

Pitts told Sirius NFL Radio over the weekend that he will be holding a workout for interested NFL teams – he named five of them, the Vikings included – on July 15 to show them that his surgically repaired knee is ready for football action. Pitts suffered a knee injury in the second game of the Houston Texans' season last year and it required microfracture surgery.

"I wasn't aware that there is a workout day," Childress said. "I was thinking about being on a beach somewhere."


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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:19:00 AM

Open access to OTAs

The Vikings enter the second of 14 scheduled OTAs Tuesday morning, and there will be plenty to take in. Most of the younger players – with the exception of second-round pick Toby Gerhart – are expected to be on the field and today the media is allowed access to the practice.

"Select veterans" aren't expected to be in attendance, so it will be interesting to see who that includes and excludes.

We'll be back in the early afternoon with notes on the blog, along with more in-depth stories from interviews and observations in the following hours and days.


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