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  1. #1
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    Vikes dealing with different elements

    Published August 02, 2006 01:30 am

    The heat finally broke for the Minnesota Vikings at training camp Tuesday but in place of a scorching sun, new head coach Brad Childress had to deal with a steady rain during the morning workout.

    [size=18px]Vikings notebook: Vikes dealing with different elements[/size]
    Practice conditions go from hot to wet

    By Jim Rueda
    The Free Press

    MANKATO
    —

    The heat finally broke for the Minnesota Vikings at training camp Tuesday but in place of a scorching sun, new head coach Brad Childress had to deal with a steady rain during the morning workout.

    “It seems to be feast or famine for us,” Childress said. “It goes from 100 to 70 in one day.”

    Childress described practicing on damp field as a double-edged sword.

    “There’s two sides to a wet field,” he said. “Everybody makes it through, you don’t have any cleats that stick in the ground, everything slides and gives, it’s pretty forgiving. On the other hand, it’s not crisp because you can’t stop and start the way you want to. We can probably get more out of the heat than on a rainy day.”

    Despite the constant drizzle, Childress was glad to get the full team’s first practice in pads out of the way.

    “The first day of pads is always an exciting day for a football team.” he said. “I thought they responded well. Everybody made it through physically.

    “I was pleased with the tempo, with the hitting. The defense won some, the offense won some. I saw the No. 1 defense get some stops and get off the field so I was pleased with what I saw.”


    Birk is back

    Matt Birk, who missed all of last season with hip and hernia injuries, went through his first full-pads workout Tuesday morning, and he said everything was OK.

    “I wasn’t thinking about the injury,” Birk said. “I was just working on technique out there.”

    He said that despite having game experience only with left tackle Bryant McKinnie, he’s impressed with his offensive linemates.

    “The best part is not so much the talent, but the work ethic,” he said.

    Richardson to Canton?

    New fullback Tony Richardson has been excused in advance from the Minnesota Vikings workouts with Kansas City on Friday so he may attend the Hall of Fame induction of Warren Moon at Canton, Ohio.


    Richardson, who is a close friend of Moon’s, will serve as the Vikings’ representative at the HOF ceremony. The fullback is expected back to practice either Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.


    Age no factor for Johnson

    Childress said Monday he is not particularly concerned about going into the season with the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL in Brad Johnson.

    “I thought he made it through pretty well last year in the games he played,” Childress said. “He’s done an extraordinary job at 38 (of getting himself and keeping himself in peak condition). I wish I was in as good a shape when I was 38.

    “There’s a lot of guys younger than 38 that got knocked out of the box last year. You can put Donovan McNabb in that category. If you’ve ever stood back there and watched it thunder down around you, you understand that a quarterback can get knocked out, and it doesn’t make any difference between 38 or 22.”


    Kolodziej gets shot

    With starting noseguard Pat Williams on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, some of the younger players, including former Arizona lineman Ross Kolodziej, are getting a chance to show what they can do. Kolodziej worked out with the first team Monday morning but he’s not taking anything for granted.

    “I started 14 games last year so I’m comfortable there,” he said. “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. Pat will be back pretty quick so I want to make the most of this opportunity and get better.”

    Kolodziej has been in the league since he was a 2001 seventh-round draft choice by the New York Giants. He was cut by the Giants in 2002, then went to San Francisco. Though he didn’t play in a regular-season game in 2002 or 2003 he revived his career in Arizona the past two seasons, starting 18 of 29 games.

    Last season, he made 39 tackles and three sacks. When he became a free agent, Minnesota was a team that showed the most interest.

    By the way, this isn’t Kolodziej’s first time at Minnesota State. His brother Robb played offensive tackle with the Mavericks in 2001 and 2002 before transferring to Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

    Kolodziej said he made a trip to Mankato before going to training camp in 2001 to visit his brother at Gage Hall, where Ross is currently living.

    “It’s weird,” he said.


    Bumps and bruises

    The Vikings moved into Blakeslee Stadium for the final segment of Tuesday’s afternoon session and did some 11-on-11 drills without pads.

    Veteran tight end Jim Kleinsasser tweaked an ankle during the segment but had it taped up and returned to practice.

    Recently-signed wide receiver Dez White did not participate in the afternoon session and newly signed safety Dwight Smith limped off the field after a play and did not return. The status of the two veterans for today’s practices is unknown.


    Vikings notebook: Vikes dealing with different elements

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
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    Re: Vikes dealing with different elements

    Posted on Wed, Aug. 02, 2006

    [size=18px]Vikings pushed inside for morning practice[/size]

    JON KRAWCZYNSKI
    Associated Press


    MANKATO, Minn. - Soggy conditions pushed the Minnesota Vikings indoors to start the day on Wednesday, preventing the team from doing much in the way of contact or full-speed work.

    Hey, at least it wasn't hot.

    With heavy rain pelting the area overnight and showers continuing into the morning, coach Brad Childress was forced to juggle his schedule a little bit. He moved the team into an indoor track facility on Minnesota State University's campus and had the players practice in helmets, but no pads.

    The result was a shorter, half-speed session that allowed the players to work on fine-tuning the mental part of the game on the heels of a particularly physical day on Tuesday.

    "A day like today gives us the chance to walk through the plays that we did mess up (on Tuesday) and go out here this afternoon and try it again," cornerback Fred Smoot said.

    And just because the team didn't go full speed with pads on, defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said, doesn't mean it wasn't productive.

    "It can be very productive, but it's more 'above-the-neck' things," Tomlin said.

    Center Matt Birk, who is returning after missing all of last year with hip injuries, said he would have liked to be outside on Wednesday morning working on jelling with his offensive linemates and digesting the new West Coast offense.

    But the nine-year veteran also admitted that it wasn't so bad to miss what would have been a rigorous practice.

    "You never go through training camp and say, 'I wish we would have hit a little more,'" Birk said.

    ---

    OH, THEY HIT: Despite spending the morning practice in shorts, the Vikings may have gotten two practices worth of hits into the afternoon session alone.

    The practice featured a spirited goal-line drill between the offense and the defense. From the stands at Blakeslee Stadium, it appeared to have played to a draw.

    The No. 1 defense stuffed the offense on the first four plays of the drill, but also gave up a few easy touchdown passes - one from Brad Johnson to Jim Kleinsasser and one from Tarvaris Jackson to Richard Angulo.

    The defensive coaches were particularly intense all session, urging their charges to play hard and not yield an inch.

    Defensive back Will Hunter knocked receiver Troy Williamson's helmet off with a hit, drawing a serious talking-to from Childress.

    Safety Dwight Smith leveled running back Chester Taylor and defensive backs Cedric Griffin and Charles Gordon were two of the heaviest hitters on the day. Gordon also had a nice interception on a pass thrown down the middle by Jackson.

    "I think we're going to be a very physical team," Smoot said.

    ---

    QUOTE OF THE DAY: Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze matriculated at Southern Cal. But he has two brothers with college ties in Minnesota.

    One went to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, then to law school at the University of Minnesota. The other went to Carleton College in Northfield, one of the most prestigious private schools in the Midwest.

    "They were all scholars," Udeze said. "I was just a jock."

    ---

    QUICK HITS: Williamson drew cheers from the fans in attendance when he got behind Darren Sharper and hauled in a 65-yard pass from Johnson. ... DT Pat Williams missed his third straight day, and fifth practice, while he works to get his weight down and conditioning up. ... Tomlin flip-flopped safeties Dwight Smith and Tank Williams with the No. 1 defense. ... First-round pick Chad Greenway played with the No. 1s in the goal-line drill.

    Vikings pushed inside for morning practice

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
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    Re: Vikes dealing with different elements

    Defensive back Will Hunter knocked receiver Troy Williamson's helmet off with a hit, drawing a serious talking-to from Childress.

    Safety Dwight Smith leveled running back Chester Taylor and defensive backs Cedric Griffin and Charles Gordon were two of the heaviest hitters on the day. Gordon also had a nice interception on a pass thrown down the middle by Jackson.
    this is what i was talking about earlier.. there were some good hits laid out by the defensive backs this practice.. i think griffin made an echo 3 times


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