Sunday, August 5, 2012

Training Camp Chronicles: Days 5 & 6

Greg Childs highlighted the evening, but not in a good way.
Greg Childs is out with the season with patellar tendon tears in both knees.
He was injured on one of the last plays of the scrimmage on
Saturday at Blakeslee Field
in Mankato, MN.

Today on Vikings Corner will look at days five and six of this week of Vikings training camp. The Vikings had a morning walkthrough and an afternoon practice on Friday and a morning walkthrough with a night scrimmage on Saturday.


Percy Harvin and Jerome Simpson continued to show their consistency that they have displayed at each practice they have participated in. Any of the quarterbacks can rely on these two receivers down the stretch. Ponder and Webb looked across the middle several times for Harvin and Simpson and they both made some very nice catches. Simpson made a diving catch and thankfully escaped injury with a loud thud to the ground. Harvin continued to be Ponder's main target as he was Ponder's main receiver on short passing routes during the 11 on 11 drills and the 2-minute drill. During the two minute drill, Christian Ponder was 7-of-10 passing (including a clock-stopping spike) with the starters, but none of the completions gained more than 6 yards and the offense exited at the 50 yard line. Joe Webb completed passes to Devin Aromashodu and Stephen Burton, but the offense was stalled at the 17 yard line. Ponder was 11 of 16 passing during the 11 on 11 drills, but lost several balls high. I hope this doesn't continue to be a trend as the season begins because this will result in many turnovers.

Josh Robinson returned to action and for the third consectutive day caught punts. The coaching staff hopes to have him back to nearly full strength by Saturday's scrimmage. Eric Frampton got the wind knocked out of him as he was defending Stephen Burton on a pass. Frampton was thought to be hurt worse based on how hard he hit. He laid on the ground for a second, caught his breath and returned to practice. Kevin Murphy was overheated and left practice in an ambulance. Coach Frazier said he was just overheated and would be fine. He had been administered an ingestible thermistor, the pill the Vikings have been using all week to monitor players' temperatures. With this pill, the Vikings are able to see when and which players are getting overheated and when players need medical attention. Blair Walsh continued to knock down field goals, as he drilled a 43 yard field goal in situational 11 on 11 drills.

Coach Frazier also announced Friday there will be no live tackling until the first preseason game, Friday at San Fransisco. He also stated that there would be no live tackling during the Saturday Night Scrimmage. I like this thought because in the past tackling has started early and players have gotten hurt. In addition, players shouldn't be taking hits until they really have to in game situations. We must remember the length of the season and the toll it takes on a player's body.


The Vikings held their annual night scrimmage for fans at Blakeslee Field in Mankato, MN on Saturday. Overall the defense looked great during the whole night practice. Brian Robison, Jared Allen, and Fred Evans all committed touch sacks during the evening. Many of the sacks took place when the second team offense line was on the field. This is a legitimate concern to me because this shows the Vikings have very poor offensive line depth. I understand we are missing Geoff Schwartz and Patrick Brown, but we need other backups to rely on this season.

I felt like the offense executed nicely in the redzone. Christian Ponder completed a slant pass to Percy Harvin for a redzone touchdown. Joe Webb also threw a nice touch pass to Allen Reisner in the corner of the endzone for another redzone touchdown. The offense did miss out on several opportunities though. On the first play of the 11 on 11 drills, Ponder took a shot deep and badly overthrew Jerome Simpson. Simpson had a step on Chris Cook and would have had an easy touchdown if the ball was thrown with better accuracy. Ponder recovered and completed 8 of 12 passes during team drills.

The longest play produced last night, was a 50 yard completion from McLeod Bethel Thompson to Devin Aromashodu. Aromashodu ran a fade down the sideline and beat cornerback Reggie Jones by a margin. Bethel-Thompson threw an excellent ball that was thrown where only Aromashodu could make the play. Aromashodu hauled in the pass and quickly ran out of of rounds at the 15 yard line.
McLeod Bethel Thompson was extremely impressive during the whole portion of the scrimmage. I was very impressed with his knowledge of the offense. He seemed to have the knowledge to throw the ball in the best spot for the receiver. He has so much precision on his passes and can fire the ball in a small space. I hope the Vikings attempt to place him on the roster, instead of the practice squad. If he were placed on the practice squad, a team would swipe him up, much like former Viking quarterback Tyler Thigpen was in 2007. He has the talent to be groomed into an excellent quarterback in this league.

Defensivley, Josh Robinson looked very impressive at cornerback. In the most action he has participated in at camp, he swatted away a pass from Greg Childs that was very impressive. He made a quick decision and closed on the football as fast as I have seen from a Vikings cornerback in years. After practiced he talked about how he wasn't quite 100% recovered from his hamstring injury yet. I can't imagine the impact Robinson will make when he is 100% healthy. He won't only make an impact on defense, but will be an excellent punt returner with his speed he has displayed in the past.

During kicking drills Marcus Sherels really stood out to me. He has the ability to hit the hole very fast like we have seen in the past. Sherels has always been reliable during the season as a return specialist. He will have competition though, as the Vikings drafted speedy Arkansas wide receiver Jarius Wright. I feel like the Vikings should give the job to Sherel's because he has experience over Wright.

Rookie kicker Blair Walsh continued to flash his big leg, hitting 7 of 8 field-goal attempts from between 36 and 50 yards, with his only miss wide right from 45 yards on the left hash. The 50-yarder nearly cleared the hill beyond the end zone and would have been good from at least 60 yards. Which is very impressive for a rookie kicker. He will only get better as his career continues in this league. I feel like kicker isn't as big of an issue as we first thought.

Greg Childs was injured on one of the last plays of the practice. Child was wide open and dived for a pass and was untouched by a defender. He got tangled up, twisted his legs, and fell to the ground in screaming pain. He grabbed both legs with each in an equal amount of pain. Many feared he had torn both patellar tendons including the tendon he tore two seasons ago in Arkansas. The Vikings released a statement early Sunday morning confirming Childs tore both patellar tendons and that he'll have surgery soon. Many are questioning Rick Spielman's decision to draft Childs in the fourth round when there could have been better talent available. You cannot question this decision because you draft for talent and potential. We knew he had injuries problems, but did not know he would be injured so quickly.

Overall, the scrimmage went fairly well, but it was very tough to tell how the Vikings will look when they take the field Friday in San Fransisco. We will see a team hungry to tackle for the first time of the season. It should be a great sight to see roster battles begin on Friday night. We will keep you posted with information up until the game begins on Friday in San Fransisco. Tomorrow we will take a look at potential replacements for Greg Childs at wide receiver.

Thanks for reading!

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