StarTribune.com

July 2007


Culpepper joins Raiders

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Randy Moss might no longer be with the Raiders but another big-name ex-Viking has taken his act to the Bay area. Daunte Culpepper has signed a one-year contract with Oakland. This could get interesting if and when quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the top overall pick in the NFL draft, finally signs with the Raiders. And, yes, the Vikings do play host to the Raiders on Nov. 18.

Taylor will talk tomorrow

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

The Vikings had a special teams practice this afternoon, so running back Chester Taylor did not have to be on the field. Taylor, who sustained what Brad Childress called a bruised forearm in the morning practice, emerged from the locker room this afternoon still wearing a white elastic sleeve on his arm that had padding underneath. Taylor informed reporters he would talk to them Wednesday.

That was about the most excitement from the afternoon. A few other things from a practice that was held in shorts for those who were required to attend.

– Rookie punter Alex Reyes got some work kicking off and proved to be rather inconsistent. Reyes had one ball fly toward the sideline, another that appeared to knuckle but also put at least four balls into the end zone.

– Aundrae Allison, Bobby Wade, Troy Williamson and Chandler Williams took turns returning kicks. Allison, Wade, Williams and Mewelde Moore were used on punt returns.

Update on Taylor/McKinnie/Practice 8

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Chester Taylor left Blakeslee Stadium on a cart this morning because of a right forearm contusion. Taylor, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, was hit after catching a pass and, after a short period of time, appeared to be in a lot of pain.

Vikings coach Brad Childress downplayed the injury after practice, describing it as a “contusion.”

UPDATE FROM JUDD’S ASSISTANT/Seifert: Taylor declined to comment as he departed the locker room this afternoon. He was healthy enough to ride a bicycle. He had a white elastic sleeve covering the area from his right hand to his elbow, with padding underneath. There did not appear to be a hard cast anywhere.

In other news:

*LT Bryant McKinnie is expected to be activated from the Non-Football Injury list tomorrow. He will have missed nine practices because of a strained hamstring.

*S Darren Sharper (shoulder) returned to practice but sat out the contact portions.

*The Vikings spent about 45 minutes in Blakeslee in a live-hitting scrimmage in which players were allowed to tackle each other to the ground. Suffice it to say, the defense is ahead of the offense.

*QB Tarvaris Jackson threw two interceptions, to S Dwight Smith on a high pass, and also to CB Marcus McCauley. A fast-rising rookie, McCauley returned his interception about 55 yards for a touchdown.

*CB Charles Gordon, fighting to make the team as a dime back, intercepted QB Tyler Thigpen and returned it about 65 yards for a touchdown.

*In a carryover from Monday afternoon, the offense was sloppy early in practice. Jackson continued to have a problem taking snaps. It’s not clear if he’s distracted by the situation or if he is having an exchange problem with C Matt Birk.

*With Taylor out, RB Adrian Peterson mostly worked with the first team while RB Mewelde Moore was the tailback with the second team.

It’s a hot one

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Brad Childress ended the afternoon practice about 20 minutes early Monday in part because of the heat. Will he do the same this morning? The team will be on the field for a scheduled two-hour practice beginning at 9 a.m. and it’s already a hot one. The afternoon will be easier today because it’s a one hour, 15 minute special teams practice.

This will be Day 2 for running back Adrian Peterson. We’re told there will be hitting this morning so it will be interesting to see what happens in regards to perhaps the most famous collarbone in the state.

Childress on KFAN

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Brad Childress did a post-practice interview with KFAN today. If you want to listen, just click here. A couple things to note, Childress said right now Ray Edwards would be the starting right end in place of the injured Erasmus James. Also, Childress said tight end Visanthe Shiancoe missed practice Sunday because of a quadriceps contusion. It was originally believed he had an ankle injury. Anyway, Shiancoe was back on the field today for practice and appeared to be fine.

On the go

Monday, July 30th, 2007

It was a busy Monday morning for Adrian Peterson. The Vikings’ first-round pick went through his first practice, then spent about 15 minutes signing autographs for fans in the Vikings’ autograph tent and finally conducted a news conference.

Peterson, who missed the first five practices while his contract was being worked out, made it clear he has high expectations for his rookie season.”I’m the type of person who sets his bar high,” Peterson said. “I’m not right now just going to throw out any numbers, but [I can sit here and tell you I would] like to get rookie of the year and MVP. That’s just how I set my bar. Some people might tell you it’s crazy but I give myself a challenge every year.”

As he talked to the media, Peterson was wearing an undershirt that had a small protective device that covered the left collarbone he broke last season while playing at Oklahoma. Peterson said the collarbone injury is “behind” him. “I’ve been keeping positive in my head, as far as mentally, that everything with my body is healed and everything is healthy,” he said.

Peterson also said there would be “no restrictions” on contact. He was, however, kept away from any heavy contact in Monday’s practice. During the last period, which featured plenty of hitting, Peterson stood well behind the line of scrimmage talking to running backs coach Eric Bieniemy.

Peterson participated in all the other portions of practice, getting work with the first and second units. He appeared to have no problems in a pass catching drill, only failing to hold onto the ball once. That was more the result of a poorly thrown pass by quarterback Tyler Thigpen.

Other notes from today’s first workout:

– Linebacker Ben Leber (strained calf), defensive end Brian Robison (hamstring) and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (ankle) all returned after missing time.

– Left tackle Bryant McKinnie (hamstring) remains on the non-football injury list. Artis Hicks continues to work at the left tacke spot. Safety Darren Sharper (shoulder) also remains sidelined and it looks as if he might not be back until the end of the week.

– Linebacker Jason Glenn intercepted a Thigpen pass in seven-on-seven drills. Glenn, returning from a season-ending knee injury, has looked very sharp early in camp.

– Shiancoe took a big hit from safety Mike Doss as he went over the middle for a ball during the seven-on-seven period.

– Rookie cornerback Marcus McCauley, a standout so far in camp, nearly intercepted a Brooks Bollinger pass that was thrown about 22 yards down the sideline for Aundrae Allison. Allison, though, was able to break up the play. McCauley had two interceptions on Saturday and another in Sunday’s lone practice.

– Shiancoe struggled at times to catch the ball in OTAs and minicamp but he made a few nice grabs today and appears to be getting more comfortable in the offense.

– Tarvaris Jackson and Troy Williamson connected on a play during team drills that drew cheers from the stands. Williamson went over the middle and made a nice diving grab, beating cornerback Cedric Griffin on the play.

– The fans weren’t pleased with everything. At one point Bollinger threw a ball that forced the receiver to stop and turn to make the catch. “How about you lead the receivers,” a fan yelled loud enough to be heard by everyone.

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