NORDO'S NOTES - 7/28/17
Happy Friday! I love Mankato, and my 3 day vacation away from the metro is in full swing. Training Camp is in full swing, too...minus the pads and physical contact I'm waiting for. That all kicks off tomorrow afternoon.
It was a Football Feast with PA & Charch today. Charch brought his adorable puppy Scraps down here, and PA was distracted by him for nearly the entire 9AM hour. Attention span, tho. The weather was perfect again, which is fitting for final year of Camp down here. No more construction clip on 169, perfect weather, the perch is twice its normal size for some odd reason. Everything working beautifully so far and we're never going to do this again.
DE Everson Griffen just got a fat 4-yr contract extension that makes him ours until 2022. 30-somthing million guaranteed, and he's earned it. Sack numbers were down in 2016, as he had just 8 after a couple straight double digit seasons, but his disruption level was up as he has established himself as someone the opponent absolutely had to scheme for every Sunday. Danielle Hunter was the benefactor. Hopefully both will continue to feast in 2017.
Everson joined #92Noon with PA & Charch today(podcast it!) with a few bits to take away from the chat. He thinks that the Vikings offense can improve, omitting all other factors, simply by having to grind against the stout Purple defense every day. "Sharpen iron with iron" was a common theme in that regard. It's a nice, logical thought, although it'll likely take more than daily competitive grit to take mediocre and make it miraculous(that's what Dalvin Cook is for, right?!). He feels like the mental part of the game is the biggest thing he can work on at this point of his career. For him, I think it could be as simple as diagnosing situations in games and acting accordingly. We know his motor runs hot at all times, but becoming more savvy (versus running around like his head is on fire) could be his A-topic. His nickname for Adrian Peterson is "Big Brown." I can't even type it without laughing. He returns September 11th in the season opener. Everson is saying the right things in terms of balancing respect for a future-HOF player and also wanting to shut down a former teammate that he wasn't allowed to touch in practice. The vibe I get from Griffen and others has been quite clear, however. They want to dominate #28 on opening night at US Bank Stadium and they're looking forward to the challenge. One thing I really love about Everson? He doesn't seem to be a guy whose perspective changes by getting paid. It's his third contract in 8 years with the Vikings, I believe. And while it's important for him to cash checks and reap the benefits of his success, he simply just likes getting on the field and chasing down quarterbacks. He also said he enjoys playing against Packers LT David Bakhtiari because he's tough and he's the guy that blocks for Aaron. Yeah, I think he takes extra pleasure in running after that guy.
WalkThru/Practice Nuggets from Friday:
WALKTHRU---New LT Riley Reiff had a "twinge" yesterday that sent him off on a cart less than 20 minutes into practice. What the hell is a twinge? Still no update, other than that he wasn't at the walk-thru. Both RB Jerick McKinnon and WR Adam Thielen were nicked up yesterday and both were in attendance. The drive-by interviews during #92Noon were actually the highlight of the morning, with PA & Wobby tracking down Sid Hartman to kick off the segment. Podcast it, please. And feel free to tweet me if you have podcast issues. I love that.
**Still no Riley Reiff at practice. Still Rashod Hill in his place.
I just want to see him hit somebody! 6'2", 244lbs. Seems like a very smart, confident player and I need to see him with pads on. They didn't eliminate the 3rd linebacker spot just because Chad Greenway retired, so somebody has to fill the void. Edmond Robinson? Could be good for singing stupid songs on #92Noon. Emmanuel Lamur? Other than his physical size, he hasn't stood out since he got here. Kentrell Brothers? Non-descript. So the door is wiiiiide open for Gedeon to come in and take the job. Vikings used a standard 4-3 base with 3 LBs about 40% of the time on defense in 2016.
Rookie WRs Rodney Adams & Stacy Coley were both getting chances in the kick return game, along with Marcus Sherels and Isaac Fruechte. RB Jerick McKinnon was on the big chill today after tweaking his hamstring yesterday. Both Adams & Coley muffed one, but not a lot else was even remotely compelling about the session for ST. WR Laquon Treadwell put in some reps as a blocker on returns as well.DALVIN COOKWith Latvius Murray on the PUP and Jerick McKinnon sitting out today, Dalvin continued to solidify his chances of being the feature workhorse to start 2017.
He demands absolutely perfect technique from his defenders. During a drill, he was all over the aforementioned Everson Griffen after a seemingly nice play, destroying the technique he used in blowing by the O-Lineman. You see stuff like that and then have trouble fathoming how the perfectionist can give up play calling duties!
The Caledonia kid is a stud athlete. Catches the ball pretty well, can do whatever you need him to do on special teams. Problem is, he's finding himself in another camp with a lot of other talented WRs. He's 26 and I hope he gets a shot, but I don't see how that could happen this season with the Purple. Maybe he gets plucked off the practice squad?
CROWD LOVING IT
Ladies & Gentlemen, a Michael Floyd sighting! The people enduring the scorching sun on the bleachers got paid off with Floyd making a badass sideline catch. The crowd cheered louder than I've heard since coming down here. I wonder if Floyd will appeal the 4-game suspension bit for his horrendous DUI last year. Knock it down to 2 or 3 games? I haven't heard anything about it since the league handed down the punishment.
It's Friday, which means tomorrow is Saturday. Which means tomorrow the pads go on and bleep gets serious. Saturdays with Sauce will be LIVE noon-2pm on the perch here and I'm going to hang out with them and chat. It'll be fun. Join us!