Interesting KFAN artical...
Dev Camp: Throwing down indoors
Last Update: 6/8/2005 4:09:31 PM
Due to weather concerns, the Minnesota Vikings spent WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s developmental camp on the indoor practice field at Winter Park. The action got so heated during team drills that Head Coach Mike Tice forced the entire team to remove their helmets in an effort to calm things down. Three plays prior to TiceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s action, WR Nate Burleson had gone up high for a slightly overthrown pass and come down on his head. The entire facility went quiet for a moment as Burleson gathered himself up off the turf and began his way back to the huddle. From the sidelines reporters could hear Daunte Culpepper calling out, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just relax, Nate,Ã¢â‚¬? to his most important receiver. After two more extremely physical plays, Tice was forced to take action. In the coachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own words, things were getting Ã¢â‚¬Å“out of control.Ã¢â‚¬?
This was a day for the offense as the long ball flew through the air on many occasions, finding its target more often than not. Burleson beat double coverage down the middle of the field on one play for 50 yards, while fellow receiver Travis Taylor continued his emergence with a long catch of his own. Taylor, #89 for those of you keeping score, ran what appeared to be a long post down the middle of the field and used his height advantage to beat coverage from both CB Antoine Winfield and S Darren Sharper. Vikings fans know from watching their squad last season that it is no small feet to beat Winfield, especially when the CB has help over the top from a safety. Coach Tice has mentioned a few times that he likes the free agent WR very much and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m starting to think Vikings fans will develop an affinity for him as well. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget that Taylor was a top ten pick when drafted out of Florida by the Baltimore Ravens.
While weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re on the subject of the receiving corps, I must mention the work of new WR coach Wes Chandler. I spent a lot of time today watching the coach work his players during position drills and came away impressed. Chandler was a great receiver in his own right, playing with the great Dan Fouts led Charger teams in San Diego, and it is apparent that he has begun instilling in his crew the work effort of that great lightning bolt squad. The wide-outs heard an ear full about every mistake, no matter how small. Any dropped reception led to a repeat of the drill until the individual made the catch. Also on display was the leadership role that 9th year man Marcus Robinson seems to have assumed. I noticed after practice on Monday that Robinson was spending time tutoring rookie free agent WR Christopher Jones. At one point during todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s drills #87 was instructing the entire corps on technique. There is a lot of speed and youth at WR on this football team, but it will be helpful to have a veteran player like Robinson in the huddle throughout the season.
Troy Williamson was excused from practice due to an undisclosed and, presumably, minor illness today. Moe Williams was still away, excused for personal business, as was K Paul Edinger as he awaited the birth of a child.
CB Brian Williams and S Corey Chavous continued their holdouts. I asked Defensive Coordinator Ted Cottrell how difficult it would be upon ChavousÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ return for the veteran Strong Safety to remove Willie Offord from the starting line-up. Cottrell said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Willie's doing well. He's (Chavous) going to have to work. WillieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had an outstanding developmental camp. (He has) a lot of confidence.Ã¢â‚¬? The coach was quick to add that he is unconcerned about ChavousÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ work ethic and the shape the veteran will be in upon his return. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He's one of our leaders. He's a true professional. He works hard.Ã¢â‚¬?
On a final note, you may want to remember the name Eric Coleman. Coleman is a rookie free agent DE that caught my eye during mini-camp because of his size. Since then I have watched him climb the depth charts and Coleman is now playing with the second team base defense. Cottrell told me today that his first reaction upon meeting Coleman had been similar to mine. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I tell you what,Ã¢â‚¬? the defensive coordinator said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“when I first saw this guy at the first mini-camp I said, who is this guy?Ã¢â‚¬? The young man out of Clemson went undrafted because of a positive test for a banned substance. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He's got himself straighten out right now,Ã¢â‚¬? Cottrell continued. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It cost him a little bit of money, but hopefully he keeps continuing to do what he's doing and (heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll) make it up. He's a good talent. You can see he has a world of ability.Ã¢â‚¬?
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I am really exited about Travis Taylor, It sounds like he is doing great.... Also like the talk about the undrafted rookie free agent DE Coleman. Looks like the Vikes picked up a couple of outspoken, potential great players. :grin: