VU Daily Blog: Minicamp weekend edition

Minicamp started Friday afternoon and we have updates and notes after each session. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progresses through the VU Daily Blog.

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Posted on Twitter at: 2:11:00 PM
Gerhart playing catch-up: Because of an NFL rule limiting his availability to mandatory practices, rookie Toby Ger...

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 1:34:00 PM

Notes from the minicamp finale

The Vikings got in their final minicamp practice outdoors on Sunday. While the quarterback situation dominated the observations, there were a few other notes:

* Interestingly, Joe Webb, the quarterback who is making a quick impression but was drafted as a wide receiver, was used as a gunner on punt coverage.

* Returning punts were CB Lito Sheppard, WR Percy Harvin, WR Ray Small and CB Marcus Sherels.

* RB Toby Gerhart did leave town after Saturday's afternoon practice to attend his graduation ceremony at Stanford, but he is expected to take a red-eye flight Sunday night back to the Twin Cities to get in a final week of rookie instruction at Winter Park.

* CB Chris Cook, who has been limited most of minicamp, did some individual work on Sunday. Vikings coach Brad Childress said Cook and LB Chad Greenway, who hasn't practiced this weekend, are "fine."

* Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams were back together as the first-team safeties on Sunday after Jamarca Sanford rotated into the starting ranks earlier in the weekend. On the first play of 7-on-7 work, running back Albert Young took a pass in the flats and put a move on Williams that left him sliding to the ground.

* CB Benny Sapp took the initial first-team nickel reps Sunday with Antoine Winfield and Lito Sheppard at the corners.

* CB Marcus Sherels continued to impress at minicamp, but Childress said Sherels' good work has extended back farther than that. On Sunday, the undrafted rookie out of the University of Minnesota was involved in a forced fumble and recovery following a completed pass to fullback Ryan D'Imperio and Sherels starting taking it the other way.

"He shows up every day. You see him make plays on the ball," Childress said. "He's healthy. He obviously has physical skills that translate into being able to play at the corner position as well as the nickel position. He has return ability and the thing that is impressive about him is that he keeps showing up making plays around the football. Whether it's tipped balls, whether it's picking up fumbles, whether it's picking up interceptions, he keeps showing up and that's a good thing."

* OL Ryan Cook got limited work with the first team as a center. Cook has been the main fill-in at left guard for Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) during minicamp.


Posted on Twitter at: 1:06:00 PM
QB questions dominate minicamp's ending: There was no Brett Favre at minicamp, but for once Favre wasn't even the ...

Posted on Twitter at: 1:01:00 PM
Webb looks accurate. RT @bradfarley: @VikingUpdate seems TJ is still having some accuracy issues. Is Webb any more accurate with his throws?

Posted on Twitter at: 1:00:00 PM
Nothing definite, but certainly expected. Childress texting w/him. RT @KJB6609: @VikingUpdate Will the Favre be there? This is the question.

Posted on Twitter at: 12:59:00 PM
A deeper look at the Rosenfels issue w/ Childress reaction to him, Jackson and Webb. Plus other camp updates. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 11:59:00 AM
Adrian Peterson didn't make it back for Sunday's minicamp practice and the team hasn't decided if they will fine him for missing. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 11:58:00 AM
It was interesting that QB Sage Rosenfels didn't take one snap in 7-on-7 or full-team work Sunday. Jackson, then Webb and Archer. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 11:56:00 AM
Childress said the first practice of training camp is scheduled to be on Friday, July 30. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 11:55:00 AM
Childress said guard Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) should be ready to go for training camp. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 11:54:00 AM
On the last day of minicamp, Brad Childress had no update on Brett Favre, other than to say he's been texting with him. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 10:29:00 AM
Notebook: Receivers had breakout seasons: Sidney Rice made the Pro Bowl in his third season and Percy Harvin did i...

Posted on Twitter at: 7:22:00 AM
Sunday slant: Peterson misses opportunity: Adrian Peterson was supposed to be at minicamp, but he chose to attend ...

Posted on Twitter at: 11:09:00 PM
Vikings won't change Peterson's style: The Vikings are working on measures to reduce the number of fumbles Adrian ...

Posted on Twitter at: 6:57:00 PM
Webb reacts to increased reps: Joe Webb was bumped up to the second team for at least Saturday and he showed well....

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 5:43:00 PM

Saturday afternoon minicamp notes

QB Joe Webb's increased reps continued though the morning practice and extended into the afternoon practice with the second-team offense.

Tarvaris Jackson ran the first-team offense, but Webb got just as much work with the second team. Sage Rosenfels and R.J. Archer were limited with their work with the third and fourth teams.

The rookie did look pretty good, connecting on 3 of 4 passes in his first session with the full team. During the second session, he completed 3 of 5 passes and was "sacked" once (pads aren't allowed so they are touch sacks).

"He's a big athlete. He is a tall guy. He has a strong arm. He can run around," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of Webb. "He can move around, but that is not the first thing that he is thinking. He's dropping back. He's able to go through progressions. He's able to go through his reads."

Other notes from the afternoon practice:

* Tyrell Johnson had the play of the day when Percy Harvin deflected a Tarvaris Jackson pass in the air. The ball then bounced off Benny Sapp and Harvin touched it again before Johnson came running for the interception.

* Brett Favre (surgery/retirement possibility), Adrian Peterson (gone for Adrian Peterson Day), Ray Edwards (hasn't signed his tender) and WR Aaron Rhea (unknown) were absent for both practices Saturday.

* While Johnson wasn't part of the first-team defense in the morning practice, Jamarca Sanford replaced Madieu Williams in the afternoon practice, placing Sanford and Johnson as the starting safeties.

* RB Darius Reynaud had one of the best catches of the day, reaching behind him to make a one-handed catch of a Webb pass.

* DT Pat Williams was wearing his elbow brace on Saturday afternoon.

* CB Marcus Sherels continued to have a strong Saturday in the afternoon practice. He broke up at least one pass intended for Logan Payne, but Sherels was also tight in coverage on a 40-yard completion from Jackson to Payne that was simply a good catch.

* The defensive backs were busy knocking down the ball, but they missed out on a couple more interception opportunities. CB Benny Sapp jumped a pass from R.J. Archer intended for WR Ray Small, but Sapp couldn't come away with the interception. Shortly afterwards, Williams stepped in front of a Jackson pass intended for Visanthe Shiancoe but dropped the would-be interception.

* LB Erin Henderson knocked away a Jackson pass intended for Greg Lewis.

* Chris DeGeare received some rotational work at left guard with Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) sitting out of team drills.

* RB Albert Young received many of the first-team reps.

* Harvin, Small and Jaymar Johnson worked on returning kicks.


Posted on Twitter at: 3:22:00 PM
Jared Allen holds court: Jared Allen is back at Winter Park this weekend and giving his normally interesting and s...

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 1:55:00 PM

Saturday morning minicamp notes

Marcus Sherels might have been the surprise player of the Vikings' Saturday morning minicamp practice.

The former University of Minnesota cornerback intercepted a Joe Webb pass intended for Jaymar Johnson just one play after breaking up a Tarvaris Jackson pass intended for Percy Harvin down the right sideline.

Sherels' highlights came in the final full-team session, when defensive end Brian Robison also appeared to have a few touch sacks.

Sherels was also part of rotation of players returning kicks, a group that included Johnson, Harvin and Ray Small.

Small had a tough morning of practice, dropping a couple of passes during team drills and struggling with an individual drill run by position coach George Stewart. Stewart had to restart the drill several times for Small.

Other Saturday morning highlights and lowlights:

* Rhys Lloyd was 4-for-6 on field goals, missing wide left from 45 and 50 yards, and making them from 30, 35, 40 and 49.

* It seemed like a bit of reversal of roles, but Ryan Longwell was working on kickoffs and Lloyd was handling the field goals. Special teams coordinator Brian Murphy said both kickers are expected to be equally capable of handling kickoffs and field goals.

* CB Lito Sheppard saw some work at the nickel cornerback position.

* Safety Madieu Williams jumped a pass from Jackson intended for Visanthe Shiancoe, but Williams dropped the ball.

* Asher Allen, who is getting some opportunities with the first-team defense, broke up a Joe Webb pass intended for Greg Lewis.

* WR Logan Payne had the catch of the day, making a diving sideline catch 40 yards downfield on a pass from R.J. Archer.

* Webb showed off his arm on a perfectly placed pass to Jaymar Johnson that travelled 65 yards in the air. Johnson had separation but dropped the pass.

* Sheppard broke up a pass from Jackson intended for Bernard Berrian.

The Vikings are scheduled for another practice at 3:30 this afternoon.


Posted on Twitter at: 1:49:00 PM
Vikings adjusting with injuries, rotation: The Vikings are working through a number of injuries and adjusting with...

Posted on Twitter at: 1:04:00 PM
Darrell Bevell on Percy Harvin adding muscle: "He looks pretty rocked up." #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 1:02:00 PM
Darrell Bevell said Toby Gerhart is doing a nice job picking up the offense and they wanted to see him catch some passes. He did. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 1:01:00 PM
Jamarca Sanford got a lot of work with Madieu Williams in the first-team defense. Plan is to continue rotating safeties for now. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 1:00:00 PM
Leslie Frazier was vague on the absences/injuries to LB Chad Greenway and CB Chris Cook. Neither practiced today. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 12:58:00 PM
Leslie Fraizer on Antoine Winfield returning to health after a fractured foot: "I'm expecting another Pro Bowl season." #Vikings

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:30:00 AM

Minicamp Day 2 on the docket

The second day of minicamp is about an hour away from starting, but weather will once again be a concern. The Vikings moved up their practice Friday afternoon by a half hour in an attempt to avoid the anticipated rain. As it turned out, they got the whole practice in and the rain held off.

Saturday will bring similar concerns, but this time the Vikings have two practices on the docket. The first is at 10:30 a.m. and the second is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. forecasts a 95 percent chance of rain at 11 a.m. There is expected to be a short break in the precipitation in the early afternoon – which is right between the scheduled practice times – before more showers in the late afternoon.

The Vikings were fortunate to be able to practice outside on Friday, but Saturday looks every bit as dicey.

We'll update the blog after both practices and have more feature stories on the front page throughout the day. The coordinators are scheduled to have their press conferences after the first practice.


Posted on Twitter at: 8:40:00 AM
Notebook: Favre still a talker: Adrian Peterson wasn't the only starter missing minicamp. Everyone expected Brett ...

Posted on Twitter at: 10:08:00 PM
Harvin bulks up, underdog mentality remains: Percy Harvin came back to Minnesota noticeably heavier this year, but...

Posted on Twitter at: 8:32:00 PM
Robison was working with #Vikings first team. RT @Brian_Robison: RT @bbarnes333: @Brian_Robison First team reps??--- can't divulge that

Posted on Twitter at: 8:31:00 PM
Childress on Harvin's weight increase: "With big comes strong." Much more from Harvin for subscribers here: #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 8:17:00 PM
Peterson's absence irks Childress: Vikings coach Brad Childress didn't seem too pleased that his star running back...

Posted on Twitter at: 7:32:00 PM
More Allen on Favre: "I really don't know how we're going to do this whole weekend without him being here. I'm sure we'll survive." #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 7:32:00 PM
Jared Allen joking about Favre not at #Vikings practice: "It was hard to get through practice today ..." (cont)

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 7:10:00 PM

Injured Vikings participate to varying degrees

The arrival of minicamp put a better perspective on the progress some players are making in their return from injuries and surgeries.

The biggest surprise may have been that E.J. Henderson participated in some of the less taxing portions of team drills in Friday's initial minicamp practice. Henderson fractured his femur in a gruesome December injury and has been making steady progress toward his goal of being ready by training camp.

"He did a nice job out here today. I know he was excited to get out here, move around with the guys, get through some individual drills," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "I wish I could tell you that it surprised me with how he's attacked this thing."

"… The body is amazing, but he hasn't had a whole heck of a lot of setbacks. Maybe we will see some down the line here, but I haven't seen any of them."

Cedric Griffin, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the NFC Championship Game nearly five months ago, is also hoping to be ready for the regular-season opener. That's an aggressive timeline, and he was more limited than Henderson.

Griffin stretched with the team but didn't participate in team drills. That was the protocol for some other veterans who had offseason surgeries as well, including Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) and Chad Greenway (unknown).

"I can't figure out why he wasn't out here," Childress, who sometimes hesitates to talk about injuries during the offseason, said of Greenway. "I was kind of focused on E.J. Henderson. I will go in and find out."

Childress said Hutchinson's shoulder is "good," but Ryan Cook took most of the first-team snaps at left guard.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield also returned to action for the first time since the Vikings lost in the NFC Championship Game. Winfield missed six games during the regular season and was limited the rest of the season, but didn't show any ill effects of his fractured foot.

Cornerback Chris Cook was limited during practice as well, but Childress didn't get into specifics with his ailment.

"Everybody has their little nicks and knacks. I don't have to give you an injury report, so I won't," Childress said. "A guy can get his foot stepped on with a spike. We do have spikes on. It's not a no-spike ordinance or anything like that."

Childress cautioned that minicamp practices are no-contact sessions, per NFL rules, but he joked that "pretty soon we'll be hitting each other with our purse."


Posted on Twitter at: 6:23:00 PM
More on what Brad Childress had to say about Adrian Peterson missing mandatory minicamp: #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 6:20:00 PM
Payne keeps plugging along: Former Gophers receiver Logan Payne is still trying to find his way in the NFL, but he...

Posted on Twitter at: 6:20:00 PM
Minicamp starts answering several questions: Minicamp weekend brings the vast majority of the Vikings players toge...

Posted on Twitter at: 6:20:00 PM
Brinkley targeted for the middle?: With E.J. Henderson not ready to participate fully in practices, Jasper Brinkle...

Posted on Twitter at: 5:31:00 PM
Childress did not appear as concerned with Ray Edwards' absence, calling it a business decision, and calling Edwards a hard worker. #vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 5:29:00 PM
Childress said he found out this week that Peterson wasn't going to be here and he doesn't expect him Sunday either. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 5:28:00 PM
#Vikings coach Brad Childress did not say if Adrian Peterson's absence for AD Day in Palestine would be excused, but he wasn't happy.

Posted on Twitter at: 5:28:00 PM
Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, Ray Edwards and WR Aaron Rhea were missing at the #Vikings opening day of minicamp.

Posted on Twitter at: 4:20:00 PM
NFL Transaction Wire Blog (6/7-6/13): The rookie signings are starting to trickle in, but they won't pick up in ea...

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