Day 2 at Vikings Training Camp was a tad chilly and windy. The conditions weren’t ideal, but it gave me a chance to see all three quarterbacks’ throws as they zinged through the air. It looks like it’ll brighten up this afternoon and the guys might actually get their sweat on. The players trickled on the field late this morning and didn’t appear awake as the horn sounded for the start of walkthrough. Overall, it was a bit lackluster from both the crowd and the players.
-Today was the first time I actually took notice of Anthony Barr. I set my sights on him throughout walkthrough to see how he fit into this new “Mike Zimmer defense.” Anthony took most of his snaps with the 2nd team group of linebackers. Mike Zimmer spent quite a bit of time with him this morning, talking and walking him through coverage on the tight ends. That may be some key insight into which side he plays on.
Mistral Raymond, who is failing rapidly down the depth charts, was standing near mid-field, facing the defense. Meanwhile, stud rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater lined up to take a snap with the 2nd team offense. Teddy overthrew his receiver and the ball sailed nearly 40 yards towards Raymond. The crowd began to yell towards the field, confusing the players. By the time they got Raymond’s attention, the ball hit him in the back of the head. At least we know Teddy has the arm strength, huh?
The second Fail of the Morning came from Rodney Smith. During the route running drills, where each receiver walks through how their route is run (without any defenders covering them), Rodney was zoning out. Ponder tossed the ball his direction (literally tossed) and before Rodney had a chance to turn around, the ball flew right past him. It was the only dropped pass I saw and made him look lazy in the routes.
“Little rush here please! Little rush,” Offensive Line Coach Jeff Davidson yelled at his players, trying to get their attention.
“Yeah! Loud noises. Loud noises!” The defensive line players screamed at the crowd as they transitioned between drills.
“You are lying! I promised? Really now? I promised?? Just for that… I’m going to go sign on this side,” Wide Receiver Greg Jennings joked with a fan demanding he sign an autograph.
“I’m sleeping much better now,” Ponder answered a fan’s question while stopping to sign a few autographs.
– Cordarelle Patterson was back on the field for this morning’s walkthrough. Coach Zimmer insisted it would be another day or two until he is back working with shells on. From my perspective (which isn’t saying much), his foot didn’t look to be much of a problem. He was jogging lightly on it and such.
– The loudest guy in training camp in years past has gone silent. Jamarca Sanford, who started at safety for the Vikings much of last year, has dropped to the 2nd team safety group. I almost question if he’ll make the team, other than his special team skills.
– Harrison Smith has completely shaven his head and is sporting the full pirate beard. When I first saw him, I didn’t even recognize it was him.
– Gerald Hodges got nickel work with the 1st team defense. That’s a huge bump up for a guy who didn’t play much at all last year. I’ll have more on this once I see the afternoon session.
-The security staff at the facility is extremely friendly and helpful. They will talk with all the families and promote you cheering for the players to come over. For anyone planning on going down to see practice in the next 2 weeks, stand along the fence closest to the entrance of the high riser seating. Walk as far as you can down the pathway and a few players should stop and sign along their way. Unfortunately, no one really stood out to me during walkthrough. As I said, it was a lackluster start to the day.
If anyone has any photo requests or specific players to watch for the afternoon sessions, hit me up on Twitter. I’m also running a contest all day long, which you can find @cbrusoewriter or @PJDiaries. See you all in a few hours!