Vikings rookies spent a day this week touring the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, as part of a league initiative to help its young players gain an appreciation for the history of the game.
“It was a good experience,” for them, said Vikings coach Brad Childress, who was part of a panel Friday at the Associated Press Sports Editors convention in Minneapolis. “I heard one comment about, ‘Adrian already has got some stuff in the Hall of Fame.’ Just learning some of the historical background and perspective that goes along with the league.”
Childress was referencing the fact that the Hall of Fame is displaying some of the memorabilia from the game last November against San Diego in which Adrian Peterson set a single-game NFL record by rushing for 296 yards.
While Childress likes the fact the younger players got to view some history from the NFL’s past, he also sees the importance in making sure they are aware of the Vikings tradition. ”Like I told [former Vikings coach] Jerry Burns last year when he came up and spoke to us before the Green Bay game, ‘Jerry we have guys from the southwest, the southeast, from the northwest and the West Coast, from the Midwest and perspective on rivalries and things like that [are important]. And perspective on Vikings,” Childress said. “I still there’s some educating to get up to speed on that. While they all know there is a team called the Vikings they don’t know the storied past.”
The Vikings rookies finished up their activities this week at Winter Park and will get a break before players report to training camp on July 23. The team’s draft class actually will head to the San Diego area for the NFL’s rookie symposium before getting some time off. The symposium will run Sunday through Wednesday.
- The Vikings released wide receiver Justin Surrency and running back Arkee Whitlock last week and Childress said the roster situation remains fluid. “We still have got a couple of things that we need to take care of,” he said. Asked if that has to do with getting to the 80-man roster limit heading into training camp, Childress said, “Really, we were at 85 during all of the OTAs. As you sign [draft picks] you need to just always take or subtract one so you can get to 80.”
- The Vikings have yet to sign any of their five draft picks. Talks likely will heat up after July 4. Considering there is no first-round selection it shouldn’t be too tough to get things done.
- Left tackle Bryant McKinnie’s status with the NFL remains in limbo. He could face disciplinary action from the league, including a suspension, because of his latest off-the-field incident but the Vikings have yet to hear anything on that front. Childress, though, said not knowing what the NFL will do about the McKinnie situation really doesn’t make a coach’s life more difficult. “It’s really not because you refuse to let it be a factor,” Childress said. “It’s no different from when a Donovan McNabb gets hurt and you pretty matter-of-factly tell your team, ‘Hey, Koy Detmer is going to come in and he’s going to do a hell of a job.’ … That’s what [backups] are looking for. That opportunity. That’s why you have a 53-man team. I would just fully expect whoever it is that [plays] that position to do a great job there.”
- Childress is celebrating his 52nd birthday today. By the way, Childress is scheduled to join Dan Barreiro on his show at 4:05 p.m. today on KFAN (1130 AM).
- Check out this Associated Press story on Adrian Peterson. Peterson says his closest friend on the Vikings is cornerback Marcus Walker, his roommate at Oklahoma. Walker signed as a free agent this offseason.
- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has some strong opinions on how much rookies are being paid these days.