Day 1 of Vikings Training Camp for #92Noon and KFAN in Mankato!
The show was fun, the drive-by interviews were excellent as always, PA was overstimulated and Wobby was never more than 3 feet away...business as usual.
Around 11:10am, Teddy Bridgewater made his way to the podium to make a statement and answer questions following the news yesterday that he would be placed on the PUP list to start training camp ---
Faith and Family are what drive this kid. He mentioned his mother's battle with breast cancer as a motivator in his recovery from the devastating knee injury last year, stating that "we're fighters." Indeed, they are. Teddy wouldn't commit to a timetable, hit us with the cliched but understandable "taking it a day at a time" mantra. He says he absolutely knows he'll play again, and that although progress hasn't always been speedy, that he hasn't suffered any setbacks during this rehab time either. So that's all good and I'm rooting for him. One thing that was interesting to me during the presser, though, was his response when asked if he wanted to stay in Minnesota long-term. He said, "I just want to continue playing football." That's it. Simple enough answer, but it felt to me like a subtle acknowledgement that whether it's Sam Bradford, the contract kerfuffle or a combo of both...things may get a bit tricky down the road. In the end, I believe one of them is signed to a new deal and the other moves on. I just don't know which one. For today, though, we don't have to worry about it, so screw all that! It's all smiles and Teddy's just trying to get healthy.
After the presser, I went to Jake's Pizza and stuffed my face. Good story, Eric.
I was so excited for a full padded practice today, with the rookies in full swing and the veterans arriving yesterday, but NO. No pads today. My mistake. We'll have to wait another day to fawn over Ben Gedeon trying to take Chad Greenway's old spot. Or for Dalvin Cook to bounce off a couple blockers and get loose.
Some notebook-dump nuggets to share:
REILLY REIFF --
About 15 minutes into position drills, the O-Linemen are slamming into the blocking sleds, and our brand new, shiny FA signing came up a bit lame. He walked gingerly off to the side with a trainer, and was carted back to the locker room. It wasn't a tragic, stop practice say your prayers type of thing, but certainly surprising on the first day of camp. While there aren't any positives to an injury of any sort, it's interesting that Rashod Hill(plucked off Jaguars practice squad in 2016) was handling Left Tackle duties in Reiff's place.
*RB Jerick McKinnon left practice early a short while later as well. He walked out alone, looking supremely annoyed. Didn't appear serious, but Mike Zimmer told Dan Barreiro that is was hamstring related.
Undrafted FA signing, rookie out of LSU. 6'5" 250LB Defensive End. Sound familiar? Well, a couple years ago, we drafted a guy named Danielle Hunter in the 3rd round from LSU. 6'5" 250LBs. Tashawn is a physical specimen, and everything I've heard about him thus far has been incredible positive. DLine coach Andre Patterson is fantastic at identifying talent and has indentified something in this kid worth giving a shot. Someone to pay attention to moving forward
Throwing darts and breaking hearts today! (no pads, no pressure, a ton of time, etc etc) -- Not the most stressful environment a quarterback has ever operated in. But flawless work today from a guy that had a full offseason with our favorite team to improve on 2016. The arm strength, the accuracy, the range and the touch were all on display this afternoon. Oh, and his jersey looks 3 sizes too big. I guess he likes to keep it loose.
PAT ELFLEIN & THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Pat was our third round pick out of Ohio State and the guy we're hoping is our starting Center for many years to come. Today, he was operating with the 2nd unit (Jeremiah Sirles LT, Austin Shepherd LG, Elflein C, TJ Clemmings RG, Willie Beavers RT)....The first unit included Rashod Hill at LT(after Reiff left), Alex Boone LG, Nick Easton C, Joe Berger RG and Mike Remmers RT. No surprise here. Elflein will have to work his way into a starting role. The hope is that he gets there.
I'm not going to pretend that there was a damn thing learned today on any level with the receiving group. The two most impressive catches today were made by Jarius Wright and Cayleb Jones(WHO? Undrafted out of Arizona, Eagles practice squad, Vikings added him to their PS in 12/2016). OK...Nothing to glean from the group today, nothing stood out as good or bad. Adam Thielen looked like he came up a bit lame, but was then catching passes on the JUGGS machine after practice. Michael Floyd got more action from the media scrum after practice than he did during the 2 hours of field work. Laquon Treadwell was the last guy off the field as was the case a year ago too. Laquon isn't afraid of the work, and the vibes seem to be very positive in year 2 for him. Excited for him to get pads on and show what he's got.
He had a fantastic interview with Barreiro this afternoon. Podcast it at KFAN.com, or use the free iHeartRadio app on your smartphone!