StarTribune.com

July 2008


Allen one of many to get a rest

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

RIVER FALLS, WIS. — Defensive end Jared Allen was one of several veterans that Vikings coach Brad Childress decided not to bring to tonight’s practice against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Childress didn’t see any benefit in having Allen face the team that traded him three months ago and gave him the day off. Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez, one of Allen’s good friends on the Chiefs, certainly understood the logic behind Childress’ decision.

“How many [reporters] are around me right now?” Gonzalez said. “There would have been 150 people around him trying to ask him questions.”

(more…)

Greetings from Wisconsin

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

RIVER FALLS, WIS. – No, Chip and I aren’t in Wisconsin to pick up Brett Favre. As far as we know he’s still in Mississippi. We are here to cover the Vikings-Chiefs practice tonight. I can confirm the Vikings are here because they were just getting something to eat before heading to the locker room.

Defensive end Jared Allen is not here and is getting the night off, as are other select veteran players from the Vikings. I also did not see offensive linemen Matt Birk or Steve Hutchinson. This not only will give these players a rest but enable Brad Childress and his coaching staff to get a long look at some of the Vikings’ younger players.

The practice is scheduled to run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and we’ll have plenty on the blog afterward.

 

On second thought

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Today’s main Vikings story — at least the one that didn’t focus on Brett Favre — was all about Jared Allen’s return to see his Kansas City Chiefs teammates during tonight’s joint practice in River Falls, Wis.

Seemed like a good story idea. Doesn’t seem so good now. There appears a very good chance that Allen will be among the veterans who won’t be making the trip from Mankato. In Brad Childress’ defense, he tried to warn reporters following the afternoon practice on Wednesday.

“I don’t know if they will see him,” Childress said when asked about Allen being able to visit with his ex-teammates. “I’m going to be selective in the guys that need to compete over there because I want to look at as many young guys as I can.”

Considering Allen’s high-energy personality and the fact that he might want to go all out against the team that traded him, the Vikings are probably making the wise move. Yes, it’s no fun for fans and media but I’m beginning to think professional sports team don’t make personnel decisions with us in mind.

The Vikings’ traveling roster for the practice isn’t known but don’t be surprised if a few veterans join Allen in staying back. Receiver Bobby Wade (knee) and defensive end Ray Edwards (lower back) are sure to be on the list.

Today’s practice will run from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight.

 

It’s come to this

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

On Wednesday morning, we speculated the Green Bay Packers might be at the point where they would consider allowing Brett Favre to end up with the Vikings. Well, that thought appears to have moved past the speculation stage.

A source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Packers “were considering seeking a deal with one of their division rivals, most probably the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears, if backed into a corner by the National Football League and public sentiment.”

The newspaper reports that the Packers still would like to trade Favre to the Buccaneers or Jets but he has shown no interest in those teams. It’s widely believed that Favre’s desire is to play for the Vikings and right now it appears he might be able to force his way to Minnesota. The Bears also could use Favre, but Minnesota is a far better fit.

Packers President Mark Murphy spent Wednesday in Hattiesburg, Miss., meeting with Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, for eight hours. WTMJ, a Milwaukee television station, reported that during the meeting, Murphy proposed paying Favre around $20 million over the next 10 years if he agreed to remain retired. It appears Favre wasn’t interested.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to reinstate Favre but that is going to happen and at this point it appears the quarterback has every intention of reporting to the Packers. The Vikings, meanwhile, are in a position to simply sit back and allow this all to play out.

It wouldn’t be shocking if the Packers received a day one draft pick from the Vikings for the 38-year-old Favre. Also, the tampering charges the Packers filed against the Vikings for contact with Favre likely would be dismissed by the league if the teams make a deal.

 

Next stop: River Falls

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

MANKATO — The Vikings just completed a light practice that featured a lot of installation. Vikings coach Brad Childress clearly was not happy with the execution as he addressed his team afterward but he did not go into specifics.

“It wasn’t supposed to be a stroll in the park,” he said.

  • Wide receiver Bobby Wade did not practice this afternoon after practicing this morning. Wade, who had offseason surgery on his left knee, had a rest day Tuesday.
  • Childress said the team will leave for River Falls about noon tomorrow for the joint practice with the Chiefs. He said the format will be similar to one of the team’s morning practices, including special teams, an inside run drill, team period and red zone.
  • Childress said he’s going to be “selective” in who plays and how much. “We do want to look at the young guys as much as we can,” he said. “This will be very good for them.”

 

 

Edwards practices, notes

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

MANKATO — The Vikings just completed their morning practice. Here are some notes:

  • DE Ray Edwards practiced and took part in individual drills. He did not do team work, but he said his back feels good. He is not going to take part in the practice against Kansas City tomorrow, but he may do more hitting on Friday or early next week, depending on how his back responds.
  • Linebacker Heath Farwell had a solid practice. He had two interceptions, although one came on a pass that was tipped by Chester Taylor and should have been caught. He also had two nice stops at the line of scrimmage, one against Adrian Peterson.
  • Cornerback Benny Sapp continues to make plays. He had a interesting time in a 1-on-1 drill with wide receivers. Sapp had two interceptions by jumping the route. But he then bit on a double move by Darius Reynaud, leading to a wide open touchdown. Nate Jones tried a double move on Sapp moments later but it didn’t work. Sapp blanketed Jones, but the rookie wide receive hauled in an over-the-shoulder 50-yard pass from Tarvaris Jackson while falling down for the play of the day.
  • Defensive tackle Ellie Wyms got a few reps at left end in a situational package.
  • As Judd reported today, right tackle Marcus Johnson got some reps with the first team in place of Ryan Cook. That could become an interesting competition.
  • Guard Artis Hicks got reps with the second-team at left tackle in a team drill late in practice. Chase Johnson has taken most of the reps through camp, but it sounds like Hicks would be the guy to step in if Bryant McKinnie faces suspension from the NFL.
  • Rookie linebacker J Leman intercepted a Brooks Bollinger pass into traffic late in practice.
  • Aundrae Allison is getting more reps as the staff tries to limit Bobby Wade’s workload. Allison has looked pretty good at times but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said he just needs to stay within the system.

 The team practices against at 2:45. We’ll check in later.    

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