Football under the stars

July 26th, 2008 – 9:39 PM by Judd Zulgad

The Vikings held their first of two Saturday night practices (7-9 p.m.) this evening, starting on the fields outside Blakeslee Stadium and then moving inside the stadium for the final hour. The non-stadium work featured individual drills and the group installation that will continue through the first week-plus of camp.

Here are some nuggets from what went on once the team moved into Blakeslee:

  • Running back Adrian Peterson continues to look as if he’s one, two of 15 steps ahead of most everyone. During one drill, Peterson took the ball at what would have been the opposing team’s 16-yard line, cut back inside, got past linebacker Chad Greenway and darted toward the end zone. Peterson drew plenty of cheers from the crowd late in the practice when he took a handoff from his own 20-yard line, cut right and dashed down the right side. Safe to say his knee is just fine.
  • Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson had mixed results in the practice. During team drills, his first pass went behind receiver Bernard Berrian and was almost intercepted by Marcus McCauley. Jackson then hit Bobby Wade with an 11-yard strike on the next play. Jackson later came back and connected with Sidney Rice for a 12-yard gain against the first-team defense. In seven-on-seven, Jackson completed a pass to Berrian, then overthrew Berrian and finally put a pass over the middle to Visanthe Shiancoe that would have gotten the tight end hammered by safety Madieu Williams in a normal situation. Jackson followed that with a sideline pass to Berrian that cornerback Charles Gordon could have jumped. Gordon later did intercept Jackson on an overthrown pass to Rice in team.
  • Backup quarterback Gus Frerotte, in the same 11-on-11 drills, threw an errant pass toward rookie receiver Jaymar Johnson and then was touch sacked by defensive end Jared Allen. Frerotte is still adjusting to the offense but seems to have a nice touch on the mid-range passes. Berrian, by the way, made a great catch of a Frerotte pass in 11-on-11. Gordon was all over Berrian on the play.
  • Allen had an excellent night and made life extremely difficult on Bryant McKinnie when he went against the Vikings’ starting left tackle. Allen had at least three potential sacks in 11-on-11 and what would have been a tackle for no gain on Peterson.
  • Rookie kicker Steven Hauschka made six of six field-goal attempts, starting from 25 yards away and moving as far away as 42 yards.
  • Kenderick Allen continued to get snaps with the first unit at nose tackle as Pat Willliams (elbow) did not take part in a team work. Allen got the snaps in Williams’ place today; Fred Evans worked with the first team on Friday.

Here are a few post-practice notes and quotes from coach Brad Childress:

  • “The first couple of days bumps and bruises but injury free, which you like to see. Guys are taking care of each other. We’re getting a lot done with very good tempo. Pleased with the first four practices herel. They have a meeting in the morning so we can catch up on that backlog of film.”
  • The Vikings will practice in full pads for the first time on Monday.
  • Childress said defensive end Ray Edwards remains, “day-to-day.” Edwards is on the physically-unable-to-perform list because of a lower-back injury. ”I would doubt first of all with one practice tomorrow and him not having shoulder pads on yet that we would be throwing him back in on Monday,” Childress said.
  • On the work by the offense Saturday: “Those were some tough situations today,” Childress said. “Got a little work on third-and-medium and then third down and long where it’s what we call an obvious down. Everybody in the house probably knows what’s coming. But that’s where you’ve got to be able to succeed. You have to make you’re share of them on offense and obviously you’ve got to get off the field on defense.”


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