Whitaker gets wish & Sick whit it
Posted on Thu, Aug. 24, 2006
[size=16pt]Whitaker gets wish[/size]
Cornerback hopes special teams will give him edge to make team
BY SEAN JENSEN
Ronyell Whitaker said he didn't feel like he was doing enough for the Vikings.
Although he has been a consistent performer at cornerback throughout training camp, Whitaker wanted to do more.
So he made a simple request of special-teams coach Paul Ferraro.
"I asked coach, 'Can you take a look at me?' " Whitaker said.
Whitaker got his wish in practice Monday, and he might have another area in which to impress the Vikings coaches â€” kickoff returns.
"I love special teams, period. I'm from Virginia Tech," Whitaker said. "It's a great way to change the game."
Whitaker changed the game on defense Saturday in Pittsburgh, getting around a running back and sacking Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch. Whitaker also forced a fumble, which defensive end Darrion Scott recovered.
An All-NFL Europe performer, Whitaker has been competing with Dovonte Edwards and rookie Cedric Griffin for spots behind starters Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot. Griffin, a second-round pick, appears a lock to make the roster. Edwards has improved from last year, when he made the team as an undrafted rookie.
While he appears on the safe side of the bubble, Whitaker wanted to do something else to give himself the benefit of the doubt against Dustin Fox and Tony Beckham.
"I feel confident," Whitaker said. "But there's a lot of guys competing, and it's going to be tough. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."
Although some players will get cut, Edwards said the quality of the Vikings' cornerbacks is evident.
"We have a tremendous group. It's going to be rough to see some guys go," Edwards said. "You can't keep everybody. But the guys that may be let go will definitely be on another roster."
Although he has not returned kickoffs in the NFL, Whitaker said he did in college and extensively in high school.
Greenway update: Dr. James Andrews is scheduled to perform anterior cruciate ligament surgery on the left knee of first-round draft pick Chad Greenway today in Birmingham, Ala.
Vikings coach Brad Childress confirmed that Greenway's ACL needs to be repaired and that Greenway would remain in Birmingham for a time to avoid risk of infection.
Greenway, who is on injured reserve, will then return to Winter Park to do his rehabilitation. Safety Tank Williams, who had his broken kneecap repaired by Andrews, returned to Winter Park to continue his rehab.
In other injury news:
â€¢ Linebacker Marcus Lawrence (knee) returned to practice after being sidelined since the season opener against the Oakland Raiders on Aug. 14.
â€¢ Tight end Richard Owens (back) also returned to practice.
â€¢ Running back Mewelde Moore (knee) jogged around the practice field.
â€¢ Cornerback Charles Gordon (knee) appears close to returning.
â€¢ Receiver Kevin Kasper (ankle) had his cast removed and is wearing a walking boot.
Childress said none of the three players would play Friday night against Baltimore.
QB update: Childress said starting quarterback Brad Johnson would play longer than he has, which means he could play the entire first half. But Childress would not comment Tuesday on who will play after Johnson.
He indicated earlier in the week that veteran Mike McMahon could play with the starting offense, although he is third-string behind rookie Tarvaris Jackson.
Childress also said the starting defense would play more than it has in the other two games, perhaps into the third quarter.
Briefly: Childress said he is not counting on one player to fill the void left by receiver Koren Robinson.
"We like to spread the thing around," Childress said.
â€¢ The Ravens returned 350 tickets for Friday's game at the Metrodome. They can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Re: Whitaker gets wish & Sick whit it
Re: Whitaker gets wish & Sick whit it
good article, like i've been saying all summer i hope he makes the final cut so we can really see if he has what it takes to play at this level