StarTribune.com

April 2008


Scott arrested

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Defensive lineman Darrion Scott, who spent the past four seasons with the Vikings and is currently a free agent, was arrested today in Eden Prairie for “probable cause felony assault,” according to press release issued by the Eden Prairie police department. He was arrested around 3:30 p.m. and a search warrant was being executed at his home. A spokeswoman for the Eden Prairie police department said no further information would be released today.

This isn’t Scott’s first trouble with the law. He was cited last December for misdemeanor marijuana possession and also ticketed for failure to signal after being pulled over by officers in Charleston, W.Va. He was cited and released at the scene.

Scott, a third-round pick by the Vikings in 2004 from Ohio State, led the team with 5.5 sacks in 2006 after starting 13 games. But last season a foot injury landed him on injured reserve in October. The Vikings appeared to have only mild interest in signing Scott to a new contract and he has been on the market since free agency began in late February. His only known visit was with the New England Patriots.

Any thought the Vikings had of bringing back Scott almost certainly disappeared when they worked a trade-and-sign with the Kansas City Chiefs for Pro Bowl end Jared Allen last week.

 

A numbers game and more tryouts

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

The Vikings officially have 85 players on their roster. This includes the five players they selected in last weekend’s draft and the 16 undrafted free agents with whom they agreed to terms. All of these players have been assigned jersey numbers,  although things are certainly subject to change.

Drafted players

25 — Tyrell Johnson, safety, second round

4 — John David Booty, quarterback, fifth round

98 — Letroy Guion, defensive tackle, fifth round

65 — John Sullivan, center, sixth round

11 — Jaymar Johnson, wide receiver, sixth round

Undrafted players

39 — Husain Abdullah, safety, Washington State

61 — Martail Burnett, defensive end, Utah

66 — Leger Douzable, defensive tackle, Central Florida

35 — Marcus Griffin, safety, Texas

3 — Steven Hauschka, kicker, N.C. State

50 — Erin Henderson, linebacker, Maryland

13 — Nate Jones, wide receiver, Texas

36 — Travis Key, cornerback, Michigan State

49 – J Leman, linebacker, Illinois

68 — Tim Mattran, center, Stanford

60 — Drew Radovich, tackle, USC

82 — Darius Reynaud, wide receiver, West Virginia

33 — Brandon Sumrall, cornerback, Southern Mississippi

30 — Marcus Walker, cornerback, Oklahoma

6 — Kyle Wright, quarterback, Miami (Fla.)

34 — Albert Young, running back, Iowa

Free agents (plus Jared Allen)

69 — Jared Allen, defensive end

87 — Bernard Berrian, wide receiver

27 — Michael Boulware, safety

12 — Gus Frerotte, quarterback

43 — Maurice Hicks, running back

55 — Derrick Pope, linebacker

22 — Benny Sapp, cornerback

44 — Thomas Tapeh, fullback

20 — Madieu Williams, safety

97 — Ellis Wyms, defensive tackle

Tryouts: This just passed along by Seifert. Outside Linebacker Brannon Carter from the University of Northern Iowa will be at Winter Park for this weekend’s rookie camp. Carter is among a group of players who will be in attendance on a tryout basis and have not been signed to contracts. Carter was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Gateway Conference (DI-AA) in 2007.

The Wisconsin-Whitewater student paper reports that linebacker AJ Raebel also will get a tryout this weekend. Raebel had 5.5 sacks and a team-leading 111 tackles for the NCAA Division III champs in 2007.

This report from a Nebraska television station says the Vikings also will bring in Tyler McNitt from the University of Nebraska. McNitt is projected to play tight end, H-back or fullback.

 

 

More tryouts

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The list of players who will receive tryouts with the Vikings at this weekend’s rookie camp continues to grow. At least we continue to find out who they are.

Add these names to the list: Anthony Schreiber, a wide receiver and return man from Bemidji State; Josiah Fenceroy, a fullback and tight end from Sioux Falls; Tom Busch, a fullback from Iowa; and Brandon Joyce, an offensive lineman from Illinois State. Busch was a two-time All-Star player at Park of Cottage Grove. He graduated in 2003.

The story on Joyce said he signed a contract with the Vikings but he was not among the 16 players the team agreed to terms with on Sunday after the draft.

 

 

Job search continues

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The Green Bay Packers brought free-agent quarterback Daunte Culpepper in for a visit last week and it appeared the team might sign the former Viking to serve as Aaron Rodgers’ backup. Of course, that was before the Packers drafted Louisville’s Brian Brohm (second round) and LSU’s Matt Flynn (seventh) in this weekend’s NFL draft.Packers general manager Ted Thompson said “I think we’ll still be open to looking at other people,” before adding, “but we’ll just kind of see how it goes.”

Asked if he would still like to sign Culpepper, Thompson said: “I wouldn’t address a specific instance, in general, you know, if something happened, if we could sign another guy we would but at least now we feel like we’ve got two young guys that can come in and compete to make the roster.”

And that means that Culpepper’s chances of landing in Wisconsin seem very slim at this point.

The one thing that drafting two quarterbacks should do for the Packers — and Vikings fans should be pleased about this — is end this idea that Brett Favre might be called out of retirement to return if Rogers gets hurt. Thompson admitted he does “not anticipate” this type of return for Favre.

“I don’t think you can ever say never,” Thompson said. “Again, I don’t think its — I mentioned this on ESPN — there’s always what ifs. Anything can happen, sure. We have to deal with the present. We have to deal with getting our team ready to play and fortifying that quarterback position.”

Finally, Thompson was asked about making a rare trade with the Vikings that enabled Minnesota to move up in the fifth round and grab Southern Cal quarterback John David Booty.

“We thought it was an appropriate trade for the Packers,” Thompson said. “We don’t do a lot of deals with anybody in our division, certainly not player for player and things like that. But in the draft, it’s all numbers, draft slots. If they do a good job with the pick they receive from us and we do a good job with the picks we receive from them, it’s not that big a deal.”

 

Rookie free-agent list

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Here is a list of undrafted rookie free agents with whom the Vikings agreed to terms after Sunday’s draft. Included on this list is Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson, the brother of Vikings middle linebacker E.J. Henderson.

Husain Abdullah S Washington State

Martail Burnett DE Utah

Leger Douzable DT Central Florida

Marcus Griffin S Texas

Steven Hauschka K NC State

Erin Henderson LB Maryland

Nate Jones WR Texas

Travis Key CB Michigan State

Jeremy “J” Leman LB Illinois

Tim Mattran C Stanford

Drew Radovich T USC

Darius Reynaud WR West Virginia

Brandon Sumrall CB S Mississippi

Marcus Walker CB Oklahoma

Kyle Wright QB Miami (Fla.)

Albert Young RB Iowa

 

Draft recap, Childress quotes

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Vikings coach Brad Childress and vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman addressed the media this afternoon after the Vikings completed drafting players. A quick review.

First round: No. 17 pick traded to Kansas City in Jared Allen deal

Second round: Tyrell Johnson, safety, Arkansas State, 12th choice in round and 43rd overall

Third round: No pick

Fourth round: No pick

Fifth round: John David Booty, quarterback, Southern Cal, second choice in round and 137th overall

Fifth round: Letroy Guion, defensive tackle, Florida State, 19th choice in round and 152nd overall

Sixth round: John Sullivan, center, Notre Dame, 21st choice in round and 187th overall

Sixth round: Jaymar Johnson, wide receiver, Jackson State, 27th choice in round and 193rd overall

Here’s what Childress had to say about the day-two picks and Booty in particular.

“Obviously [Booty has] played in quite a few big games over the course of his career. The thing that we liked looking at him was you could see many of the throws that we have within this offense you could see him operate and do. That was intriguing to us. And then also all his movement skills. He comes from a coaching family. Has had brothers that have played. All those things factor in. And then obviously his production, we felt like his value, where we got him there was too good to pass up.

“We got a big defensive tackle, under tackle or nose guard [in Guion]. He’s a big banger from a little small country town in Florida. Got a chance to spend some time with him, [defensive line coach Karl Dunbar] did and Brendan Daly [defensive line assistant] did down at the combine.

“And then the Sullivan kid, we talked to [Notre Dame coach] Charlie Weis today. I like some of the things that he brings to the table. He’s a tough guy, a very smart guy. He’s from Greenwich, Conn., originally. I like what he brings. And then Jaymar Johnson is a native of Gary, Ind., so he grew up by the lake. He’s not going to be afraid of the cold. He’s not from the south. He’s married. Gives you some punt return ability. He played in the Texas vs. Nation and got a chance to see him do some things there.

“Obviously, Jackson State has had a couple of good players who have come out of there. We just like what he brings in terms of return ability, speed burst and catch. That kind of finishes our draft.”

Q. Where is John David Booty at in terms of stepping into the NFL??

A. Certainly more prepared from the stage that he’s performed on. You always kind of hold judgment until you see him operate within our system around our guys. … He’s played around some speed, he’s played in some big games. But you want those skills and ability and his football acumen kind of translate to what we’re doing here.

Q. How is Booty’s movement?

A. He’s very good both to his left and to his right with movement throws. With breaking the pocket and throwing those bootlegs and nakeds. That’s probably one of the better things he did in his college career.

Q. His college coach, Pete Carroll, talked about Booty’s accuracy?

A. That’s always  the thing. In this league 6 inches makes a difference, whether you are leading a guy or whether he has to reach back. Typically there is a defensive back standing back there. So accuracy is at a premium. A guy can throw it through the wall, he may have a big [arm], but can he put it where it needs to be put at the time that it needs to be put there. That’s what he does bring. He’s a very accurate passer.

Q. Do you expect him to compete with Brooks Bollinger for that No. 3 job?

A. I’d just say as he comes in here we’ll just see how he factors in. Obviously, Brooks has the experience in this system. We wouldn’t have taken a guy if we didn’t feel like he had skills and ability. We’ll watch and see how that plays itself out.”

Q. Would carrying four quarterbacks in 2008 be out of the question?

A. It wouldn’t be out of the question. Some people go with two, there have been a few that have gone with four. But you’d have to have a reason to do that. Obviously, you are going to be stealing from another position.

Q. How do you feel about your quarterback position?

A. I felt the same way about it as before. We’re adding a guy at the bottom to kind of groom and I feel the same way I did before. I feel like Tarvaris obviously is our starter, I feel good about adding Gus [Frerotte] in here with the ability to be able to come in and win football games. He’s still got ‘it.’ He has a great amount of experience. And then you have Brooks there as the No. 3 with some experience. Adding Booty kind of pushes it along.”

Q. Given some of the back-and-forth with center Matt Birk, does drafting Sullivan address that position at all? (Birk, who is entering the final year of his contract and hasn’t been approach about an extension, is not attending the Vikings’ voluntary workouts.)

A. It’s the only offensive lineman that we have right in there at that level, at that point and time. So really it doesn’t have anything to do with Matt Birk at all.

Q. Would you have liked to have gotten an offensive tackle? (The Vikings were expected to target that position.)

A. It was certainly plentiful in terms of offensive tackles. That was a good spot within the draft. But I would have liked to have gotten a lot of other things, too. You can only get so many with the picks that you have.

Q. How do you feel about the offensive tackle position, especially when you consider left tackle Bryant McKinnie’s offseason legal troubles?

A. I’m OK with it. We have Chase Johnson, [who] I believe will be a year better. You have Artis Hicks, who has that swing capability there, and Marcus Johnson. So none of that has changed. Nobody has left us in that regard there and I’d have to say that those five guys played all right last year.” 

While the Vikings might be done drafting, their day is far from finished. Spielman said next up is the bidding process for players who were not drafted and now are free to negotiate with any team.

 

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