It's nine days from now but I am very, very excited for the Jacksonville Jags to come to town for two days of joint practice. That's not only going to be different and fun it's going to be an awesome test for the Vikings offensive line. Too, after battling this Vikes defense all offseason it'll be refreshing to combat a defense that's very good but doesn't know what plays are coming.
It was another hot day at TCO Performance Center today and a good practice after a day off for the team. Here are some things I am feeling after taking it in:
According to one offensive player CB Xavier Rhodes never has looked better. It seems great has become greater. Was told he's getting in and out of his breaks better than ever, and when you think one of the high-end receivers is open for a cinch catch -- BAM -- there's X to make the play.
No Nick Easton the last two practices, and Mike Zimmer would not discuss an injury after practice. Clearly something has gone amiss with the scrappy guard, and the Vikings offensive line has taken another hit. C Pat Elflein still is not practicing and likewise for converted guard Mike Remmers, who had his leg tweaked a week ago. Not sure when either returns, but if Remmers doesn't practice soon he won't be playing Saturday night in Denver.
The first OL today went left to right Reiff, Tom Compton, Cornelius Edison, Danny Isidora and Rashod Hill.
Zimmer said Isidora improved today after a mediocre week last week. Haven't heard anything good or bad about rookie G Colby Gossett.
Rookie tight end Tyler Conklin impresses me. He's tough, sneaky fast and knows how to get open. Just when I bragged about him on the sidelines today he whiffed on Jayron Kearse on a screen that would have been blown up. Lol.
The Vikings went five-wide with Dalvin Cook set wide left. Cook faked inside, sold it brilliantly and wiggled open back left of the end zone for an easy TD AND DROPPED IT. He laughed it off, but this five-wide set that includes Cook, Diggs and Thielen is fresh.
The Vikings running game continues to look very, very good, especially the inside runs. Latavius Murray looks absolutely fantastic.
Carlson and Kai both had long misses today from the left hash, and I still have the rookie favored to win the battle assuming he doesn't bleep up in preseason games. Given how thin the Colorado air is it would be cool to see Carlson try one from 65 because his leg is unbelievably strong.