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  1. #1
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

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    [size=14px]Meet Dwight Smith: Another Good Player[/size]

    "There's no such thing as having too many good players," Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress always says, and the team added one just before the commencement of training camp. Five-year veteran safety Dwight Smith has joined the Vikings as they begin to prepare of the 2006 campaign. Smith, who played in Tampa Bay while current Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin was the defensive backs coach there, is looking forward to playing under Tomlin and with his new teammates.

    "This is a great opportunity for a fresh start," Smith said after being signed by the Vikings. "I get to play with my old coach again. There are a bunch of great veterans already in the room. Hopefully, I can be an addition that can help somewhere, and I'm going to fit where needed."

    Smith has played in 78 games during his five-year career, compiling 295 tackles and 14 interceptions. He had spent time on both the Buccaneers and Saints rosters before joining Minnesota.

    The highlight of Smith's career came in Super Bowl XXVII when he returned two interceptions for touchdowns in Tampa Bay's victory over Oakland. He started 15 games last season, finishing with two interceptions, five passes broken up, 72 tackles and a sack.

    The Vikings were able to acquire Smith because of his release from the Saints during the off-season. New defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs is installing a new defensive scheme in New Orleans, which made Smith expendable. The Vikings new defensive coordinator was likely the main source of Smith's desire to land with the Vikings.

    "Coach (Mike) Tomlin," Smith said when asked what made Minnesota an attractive place to play. "When you look at the talent this team has and the direction they are headed, I just wanted to be a part of it. They blessed me and let me be a part of it. I won't let them down. I'll give them what they want from me."

    What the team wants is depth at all positions, including safety. The acquisition of Smith gives the team three proven veterans playing the safety position. Smith and free agent acquisition Tank Williams will likely compete for a spot at safety playing opposite Darren Sharper. Whoever starts set aside, the bottom line is that the Vikings have three high-caliber players in Sharper, Smith and Williams.

    "He's a compact guy and it looks like he can stop and change directions," Childress said of Smith after the team's initial training camp practice on Monday. "I don't have any doubt that he'll strike you."

    Smith is excited to join the Vikings and start another season. "I just want to show the coaches that I'm a good player."

    And you can never have too many of those.

    Earth, wind and fire

    While the heat was the story of yesterday, it was the wind that took the headlines at practice today. The gusty conditions may have slightly inhibited some aspects of practice, but perhaps its greatest influence related to the heat. With the heat index near 110 degrees again today, the wind took a little of the edge away from the heat. But there is a tradeoff - quarterbacks had to adjust their passes, receivers had to adjust their routes and punt returners looked as if they were chasing butterflies as footballs plummeted to the earth.

    Players and coaches may see some relief from the heat tomorrow, with a high of just 82 degrees and winds of five to ten miles per hour.

    Johnson sharp from the start

    Quarterback Brad Johnson looked sharp both during drills and live action on Monday. Much of the day saw the players work in their position groups, but a significant amount of time was also spent in seven-on-seven drills and full team action.

    Johnson completed eight of nine passes during the seven-on-seven drills, including a tipped pass on which Travis Taylor made a remarkable catch.

    Tip Drill

    Johnson's success wasn't a product of offensive domination, however. Several Vikings defenders got their hands on balls, including linebacker Marcus Lawrence, who intercepted a tipped pass and Tank Williams, who recovered a fumble. Dustin Fox, Devonte Edwards, Charles Gordon and Cedric Griffin all got their hands on the ball as well, tipping passes and batting down near completions.

    Griffin's good

    Rookie defensive back Cedric Griffin has been looking solid during his first four days of practice. Griffin reported with the other rookies and selected veterans on Thursday and took part in Monday's opening practice, making nice breaks on passes and disrupting receivers as they run their routes. While playing for the Texas Longhorns, Griffin was known for his hard-hitting mentality and physical play. He is looking forward to putting pads on, but the receivers aren't.

    Monday highlight

    There were plenty of good plays during Monday's practice, but the highlight of the day was also the day's longest play. Two rookies hooked up, with second-round draft pick Tarvaris Jackson hitting receiver Jason Carter in stride along the right sideline. The play was impressive because of the wind factor and because Jackson was able to stretch out his arm.

    Notes:

    On average, NFL teams have 86.9 players on their roster heading into training camp. The Vikings have 84.

    Defensive lineman Pat Williams sat out of practice on Monday due to weight and heat issues.

    Defensive lineman Manase Hopoi also sat out of practice on Monday. He had an M.R.I. because of swelling in his foot.

    Coach Childress seemed happy with how the first practice went, saying "Practice one, it was great to get out there. It's good to get out on a practice field. I think the heat index was 106, the temperature was 98. Those guys are doing an outstanding job of taking care of themselves. It's hard to take care of yourself in this weather, get everybody to give you a great effort, and have nobody fall off, so, I like the work we got this afternoon."

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  2. #2
    Benet's Avatar
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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    Looking good.. I especially like the comments about Brad Johnson, and then in the next paragraph stating that the defence started to get on top of things.

    Can't wait to see them in pads!

  3. #3
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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    while i was watching drills of the starting defense vs the starting offense.. i didnt know what to think, at points the defense would penetrate really well, and times the o-line shoved them back, other times it was a stalemate

    it was interesting watchign the (potentially) best D-line and (potentially) best o-line in the league go head on head =P


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  4. #4
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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    Yah both sides of the ball on the line are going to get great practice playing against eachother!

    Im so stoaked for this season




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  5. #5
    UndisputedVike's Avatar
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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    I like what I'm seeing!

  6. #6
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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    And he's about to rip ish up!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  7. #7
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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    what do u think will happen with the one saftey that doesnt get the job?
    The Trenches are where Games are Decided


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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    "cogitans" wrote:
    "Coach (Mike) Tomlin," Smith said when asked what made Minnesota an attractive place to play. "When you look at the talent this team has and the direction they are headed, I just wanted to be a part of it. They blessed me and let me be a part of it. I won't let them down. I'll give them what they want from me."
    Sounds to me that this guy likes what he sees, and also knows what he's talking about!! :lol: I hope he can be a great part of the defensive plans for the future!

  9. #9
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    "thetrenches68OL" wrote:
    what do u think will happen with the one saftey that doesnt get the job?
    He will probably be backup saftey/special teams.

  10. #10
    Vikes_King's Avatar
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    Re: Day 4 observations - Dwight Smith

    "thetrenches68OL" wrote:
    what do u think will happen with the one saftey that doesnt get the job?
    he'll be the leader of special teams and amazing at it =)

    edit: just noticed you said about the same thing as me Del =P you beat me to it


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    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

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