Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Observations: August 11th


‘Twas a beautiful day in Mankato, Minn. on the campus of Minnesota State University – Mankato on Tuesday. I was fortunate enough to observe the Minnesota Vikings training camp practice, and I’ll share a few notable observations I made throughout the practice.

Before I get started, I should mention that although I was not able to obtain a media pass, I was able to get VIP access through a buddy of mine who had an “in”. I did my best to observe the action, but my view looked a lot like this most of the time.


— Before practice, there was some speculation as to whether or not Anthony Barr would suit up and participate in drills after not playing in the Hall of Fame game. While Barr did completely suit up, pads and all, he hardly participated in any of the activities. Here’s a picture I took of him watching the linebacker drills off to the side, which is what he did most of the day.

— Most of you know by now, but Adrian Peterson appeared to suffer a minor leg injury during practice on Tuesday. I didn’t see the actual injury happen, but I did see him walk off the field with head trainer Eric Sugarman. He had no limp whatsoever as he walked off. Reports from a few reliable media outlets, including Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, indicate that Peterson’s diagnosis is a minor thigh bruise. Nothing serious.

— Teddy Bridgewater easily has the most arm strength of any of the Vikings quarterbacks. Okay, so that isn’t saying very much. But his passes have so much more zip on them than the other three guys.

— MyCole Pruitt continued from where he left off on Sunday night, making a couple tough catches on throws from Shaun Hill while also serving as a reliable run blocker for Matt Asiata and Joe Banyard.

— Matt Kalil was a pleasant surprise. During the 11-on-11 drills, Kalil held his ground well against Everson Griffen, which is a completely different narrative than last week. The footwork especially was much better on Tuesday. His solid outing in the Hall of Fame game undoubtedly gave him a bit of a confidence boost.

— Stefon Diggs, Marcus Sherels, and Adam Thielen took turns fielding punts for a period of time. While Sherels and Thielen appeared comfortable tracking the ball, Diggs seemed to struggle. Not only did he muff one, but he was constantly making last second adjustments just to get under the ball and secure it.

— John Sullivan was being a very vocal leader and teacher during practice, especially during the offensive line drills. Multiple times, I saw him pull aside some of the young guys and give them some instructions. He wasn’t afraid to yell, either.

— Charles Johnson had a couple of drops today on accurate passes from Bridgewater. Nothing to be too terribly concerned about (yet), but he wasn’t able to take advantage of the decent separation he was usually able to create.

Jul 27, 2015; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) runs drills at training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

— Trae Waynes is still learning. He continues to excel covering deep patterns (covered Stefon Diggs very well on one play before Diggs threw him down and was called for offensive pass interference). However, he continues to struggle with the shorter routes, including hitches, comebacks, box in/out, etc. Cordarrelle Patterson got great separation from Waynes on a box out route from the slot.

— During field goal protection/block drills, Blair Walsh made 9 of 10 field goal attempts, missing only from 42 yards. From what I could tell, the snaps were split between Cullen Loeffler and Kevin McDermott, although every snap was on target.

— Three times, the Vikings went through a “Mayday” situation, which is when the field goal unit needs to be rushed onto the field as the clock winds down with no timeouts left. Twice, Walsh was able to get a kick off, and he made one of those two attempts. The third time running the drill, Loeffler’s snap to Locke was very, very low. This may have been by design, as Locke hesitated briefly before picking up the ball and going back to pass as several players from the field goal unit ran routes to get open. I wish I could tell you if the bad snap was on purpose (because it would make this long snapper battle a lot more interesting), but I can’t confirm that.

— My last observation from practice: Jim Kleinsasser is much larger in person than he appears on television. He’s a cool enough guy to take a picture with me, though.

As always, stay tuned to The Viking Age throughout the last couple days of Minnesota Vikings training camp for updates on all of the happenings.

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