Childress pleased with progress made following last
[size=18px]Vikings: Childress pleased with progress made following last of OTAs[/size]
Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
The Vikings went through their 14th and final day of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Thursday before heading to the team's annual golf tournament at Rush Creek in Maple Grove.
Players will be back at Winter Park for a three-day minicamp early next week. Then they get a break before the opening of training camp in late July. The OTAs and minicamp are optional in name only, especially for a team installing new offensive (West Coast) and defensive (Cover-2) schemes.
Brad Childress, who took over as the Vikings coach in January, said much was accomplished.
"I'm very pleased with not only the participation but the competition," he said. "It's real easy to kind of slop through this thing and kind of set your eyes on the horizon until training camp. But these guys are getting with it, and I think it will pay some dividends for them."
Defensive end signs
The Vikings added a 91st player to their roster Thursday, signing free agent defensive end Khreem Smith.
Smith led Chicago of the Arena Football League with eight sacks and 10 tackles for a loss; the Rush won the AFL title on Sunday by beating Orlando.
Smith, who played at Oklahoma State, will be reunited with former Cowboys assistant and Vikings defensive line coach Karl Dunbar.
The Vikings have been using running back Mewelde Moore, cornerback Dovonte Edwards and recently signed receiver Kevin Kasper on kickoff returns during their OTAs.
Childress, though, hasn't closed the door on receiver Koren Robinson remaining in that role. Robinson made the NFC Pro Bowl roster last season after averaging 26 yards on kick returns. The potential dilemma is that Robinson also is expected to be the Vikings' top receiver after signing a three-year deal that includes $5.5 million in guaranteed money.
"I am not necessarily looking for another option" on returns, Childress said. "I mean, [Robinson] was an All-Pro kick returner. The unknown factor is when you factor in more snaps on offense, you just have to see if it takes away from his effectiveness. Does it take away from his receiving effectiveness? Does it take away from his kickoff return effectiveness?
"I can remember when we had Brian Mitchell with the Eagles. He was good for maybe 10 plays, 15 plays during the game. He wanted to play, but you saw a big hold-down of his return ability. So you weigh what is more important, the starting wide receiver or return abilities?"
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Childress spent time at the Vikings' golf outing Thursday but did not play. He did, however, hit one nice drive from the first tee after borrowing a club from a member of the team's ownership group. Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was not at Rush Creek, but his brother, Mark Wilf, who is team president, participated. The event benefits the Vikings' Children's Fund.
The Wilf Ownership Group donated $25,000 to the children's fund and the event raised approximately $100,000, which is its highest total ever.
Re: Childress pleased with progress made following last
Looks like Childress is debating whether keeping K-Rob on kickoff returns will hamper his effectiveness on offense; which is a difficult question to answer.
Hopefully someone comes through in mini-camp that can return kick-offs and punts with as much ability as K-Rob did.