Camarillo hopes to catch on quickly

It's been a whirlwind week for one of the league's most reliable receivers. Greg Camarillo was traded from Miami to Minnesota and is now forced to find a new home in a relatively unfamiliar offense.

Greg Camarillo became somewhat of a folk hero in Miami in 2007 for giving the Dolphins their only win of the season when he broke free for a 64-yard touchdown in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens.

After three years of building a reputation as a sure-handed receiver, Camarillo is joining a team with a far different outlook than the 2007 Dolphins. During an interview after his first practice in Minnesota, Camarillo mentioned the Vikings several times as a "great team."

Camarillo was traded to Minnesota from Miami on Wednesday, a move that completely blind-sided him and sent him on a whirlwind adventure.

"Completely unexpected. I had no idea. The GM called me in and said, ‘Do you know what's going on?' I said, ‘I have no idea.' I find out I'm traded. New start, great team," he said.

"I was super surprised. I had no idea. I had been sitting out a little while with a groin injury. I'm back on the field feeling good, making plays and the next thing I know I'm in Minnesota. It's a crazy change, but a change I'm looking forward to."

One of the reasons Camarillo considers the Vikings a "great team" is because of Brett Favre at quarterback. The receiver has continuously upgraded who has been throwing to him. He went from Chad Pennington to Chad Henne and now Favre.

"I've been a fan of his since I was a little kid. He's probably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game," Camarillo said. "What more as a receiver could you ask for than to come play with that quarterback? You have to elevate your game to match his game and he'll bring you along with him. But a great opportunity for me."

While Camarillo hopes to play on Saturday night against the Seattle Seahawks, it will be an aggressive timeline for a player making the transition from a different offensive scheme.

"Different than what I did in Miami, but similar to offenses I've been in before. Football is football. They may call it something different, but at the end of the day it's running the same routes," he said.

"It's going to take a while to figure that out and see exactly where I fit in, but it's a powerful offense. I'm just trying to run my routes, catch the ball and find my spot."

He was quickly immersed into the offense on Thursday and he planned on spending the night curling up with a good playbook.

With a clear need at the position because of injuries to Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, the Vikings feel good about what they acquired when they traded cornerback Benny Sapp for Camarillo.

"I've said it about a thousand times: A receiver by definition should receive. He's got A-plus hands," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "If you put a ball around him, he's got great ‘pluck' characteristics. He can pluck the ball out of the air and catch it in his hands."

According to Football Outsiders, Camarillo led the league last year by being targeted the most as a receiver without any drops. He had 73 targets and didn't drop a pass. Only five players with a qualifying number of targets didn't have a drop, according to the statistical web site.

"I've just always felt if a quarterback puts it near me, I'm going to grab it. And that's the only way to build confidence with a quarterback is if he throws you the ball, you make the completion," Camarillo said. "If you drop one here, drop one there, the quarterback is not going to look for you all the time. But if you come down with the ball, he'll build confidence and you'll build that chemistry and then you can help the offense move.

"It's something to be proud of, but obviously it's just one stat. I've got a lot of things to work on, a lot of things to improve on and I plan on doing it here."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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