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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    [size=18px]Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice[/size]
    [size=18px]Coach Brad Childress runs a physical training camp, and many of his players say it's the most demanding one they've endured.[/size]
    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune

    MANKATO - Ice bags are everywhere. They're on Matt Birk's shoulders, balanced on Chad Greenway's head and wrapped around Jermaine Wiggins' knee. The injury list is growing, soreness is escalating and a few eyes are beginning to roll.

    The first week of coach Brad Childress' inaugural Vikings training camp has registered as the most physically demanding in recent team history, featuring more live hitting and consecutive days of full pads than some prominent players have ever experienced. They recognize Childress' desire to evaluate them in game-like conditions but are eager for a pullback that might not come until the end of this week.

    "This is the most physical camp I've ever been associated with," cornerback Antoine Winfield said. "I've never been associated with tackling people to the ground in camp. It's a long season. You have four preseason games and 16 regular-season games. We're definitely going to get enough hitting. But I understand where they're coming from. They want to see what we can do when everything is full-go."

    "I can understand it from that aspect, but this is my eighth year in the league. I know how to tackle," Winfield continued. "So [in camp drills] I just try to get myself in position. I'm only 185 pounds. I can only take a certain amount of hits. I'm trying to last the whole season."

    Winfield, fellow cornerback Fred Smoot, quarterback Brad Johnson and fullback Tony Richardson -- a group that has combined to play 41 NFL seasons -- all acknowledged the highly physical nature of Childress' training camp.

    "The first week was a rough week," Johnson said. "There were more padded practices. It does wear on you. The coach wants to find out what kind of players he has, who's in it for the long haul. ... Obviously he'll back down in different situations, different tempos during the course of practices. But this past week has been pretty rough. But I think that's good for us."

    Said Richardson: "We've done a lot of tackling-to-the-ground types of drills, but that's how you play the game."

    Contact is necessary, Childress says

    The Vikings have practiced in full pads once a day since Aug. 1; Childress has paired each with a second daily practice in shells or shorts. They are not scheduled for a lighter day until Sunday, the day before their preseason opener against Oakland, and do not have a day off until August 15. If Childress sticks to his schedule, players will take part in 12 consecutive days of full-pads practices.

    Those practices have fallen at the high end of the league's contact spectrum, carrying an intense, military-style tempo in which players almost constantly are on the run. NFL teams conduct full-pads practices at varying levels of physicality, ranging from minimal contact to "thud" (hitting an opponent squarely but keeping him off the ground) to full "live" tackling.

    Childress has implemented at least one "live" period in each full-pads practice, including a brutal 35-minute stretch Saturday that produced several injuries. By Sunday morning, the tally of sidelined players had reached five -- including running back Chester Taylor, defensive tackle Kevin Williams and Greenway.

    Childress said the level of contact has been necessary but vowed to monitor players to avoid wearing them down.

    "We usually are going to have some segment that is live every day," Childress said. "There is no way around that. With training camp, somewhere, you're going to have to have some contact. You're going to have to let those guys be in their pads. They have to go through soreness of muscles not only from running and conditioning, but just having those pads settle up on them.

    "It has to be a balance. You have to be in tune when enough is enough -- when you need to start to recharge them. I'm sensitive to that."

    As of Sunday, the "recharging" had yet to begin. Smoot compared the past week to the approach of current San Diego coach and noted drill instructor Marty Schottenheimer, who coached Washington in Smoot's rookie season. Smoot said current Redskins coach Joe Gibbs limited tackling drills to one or two practices per summer, and that predecessor Steve Spurrier never allowed his team to tackle during practices.

    Like Schottenheimer, Childress has scheduled little down time for players during the day. Winfield estimates he has an hour in between practices to rest, and meetings typically last until 90 minutes before his 11 p.m. curfew.

    "It's basically work, work, work," Winfield said. "I'm a little sore right now, and usually I'm not that sore during training camp. But I'm fighting through it."

    Winfield paused and counted to himself for a moment.

    "I think we break [camp] in another 12 days."
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

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  2. #2
    vikeswin2005's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    good read, I am glad to hear thta they are working hard but I hope they know when enough is enough we do not need ANY more injuries especially b4 the season starts

  3. #3
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    Sounds like General Childress is tough and looks for dicipline. Hopefully it helps out in the long run and nobody get too worn down.

  4. #4
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    im just hoping he doesnt burn them out or cause too many injuries..

    other than that i think he could possibly being something really good here in kato


    http://vikesking.blogspot.com/

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    - Dan Calabrese

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    Give up on the pads.

    Childress has lost his mind.

    I think he is looking for the guys that will do what is asked of them without complaining. They don't even know the system fully and this is what is being stressed. He could be wanting them to get hands on learning the system and putting it to use, who knows?

    Well, cross your fingers that our guys don't run out of gas like in 98 when the injury bug took it's toll.

  6. #6
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    Pushing players hard in training camp is a good thing. Pushing them to their breaking point is not a good thing. It's only training camp. How many races will you win if you blow the engine doing test laps?
    I realize he's trying to find ojt the heart and soul of these players and that's not all bad. Maybe it's just complaining to complain. For many of these Viking players, at least the ones doing the most complaining have always practiced under Tice's camp where things were pretty lax.
    What do you guys think? Is Childress a clone of Les Steckel who during the 1984 training camp pushed his players so hard that many injuries occured and the season was a total bust? Or is this just another article about a hard first week of training camp that is printed every year and every year guys get hurt in camp but a new coach makes it more intriguing to the public?
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

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  7. #7
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    Sounds a little more physical than I'd care to see. I'm sure he has good reason, but maybe now is a good time to cool things off a little bit. Lets learn the system, not new tackleing techniques.

  8. #8
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    link:
    http://www.startribune.com/510/story/598836.html

    Childress has implemented at least one "live" period in each full-pads practice, including a brutal 35-minute stretch Saturday that produced several injuries. By Sunday morning, the tally of sidelined players had reached five -- including running back Chester Taylor, defensive tackle Kevin Williams and Greenway.

    Childress said the level of contact has been necessary but vowed to monitor players to avoid wearing them down.
    It all depends, there has to be a certain level of reality when you're judging players, especially the rooks. I see no point in injuring vets with full contact when they should be concentrating on being fluid in the implementation of the new offense/defense.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    I like what Childress is doing.Whose gonna last, who wants it more.I have 100% trust in Childress that he wont push it too much.At the same time I'm sure he wants to establish an attitude here.Work em hard Childress....it will pay off.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
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  10. #10
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings go through drills -- and plenty of ice

    "COJOMAY" wrote:
    Pushing players hard in training camp is a good thing. Pushing them to their breaking point is not a good thing. It's only training camp. How many races will you win if you blow the engine doing test laps?
    I realize he's trying to find ojt the heart and soul of these players and that's not all bad. Maybe it's just complaining to complain. For many of these Viking players, at least the ones doing the most complaining have always practiced under Tice's camp where things were pretty lax.
    What do you guys think? Is Childress a clone of Les Steckel who during the 1984 training camp pushed his players so hard that many injuries occured and the season was a total bust? Or is this just another article about a hard first week of training camp that is printed every year and every year guys get hurt in camp but a new coach makes it more intriguing to the public?

    The Les Steckel situation was totally different and not comparable to the current situation. Les came out and tried to run training camp like a military institution and the players revolted, it was not injuries that caused the team to fail he just lost control over the players and that is why the season was a bust.

    Until these recent comments came out every quote from players was complimentary to the way Brad has run the team in the off season and in training camp, so I do not worry about the players revolting against Brad or the coaches.

    The injury to Tank was not the result of hitting he wasn't near any players and it was a freak accident! I think the sports writers are making more of this then is necessary, they just want stuff to write about and with Chilly (Childress) not giving them reports every 2 seconds like Tice did they are making mountains out of mole hills!
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

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