May 29th, 2009 – 8:07 PM by Chip Scoggins
Judd and I wanted to share our notes and quotes from the first practice of the three-day mandatory minicamp. We’ll have more online and in the paper tomorrow, but here are some additional items.
- We both put this on Twitter but rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin is very fast and explosive. Harvin made several nice plays down the field and showed off his speed. We’re prohibited from divulging too much information from practice such as specific formations and plays but I think it’s fair to note that the coaches continue to move Harvin all over the field, including in the backfield.
- Here is what linebacker Ben Leber said about Harvin: “We were talking about AP’s first year and everybody was throwing the word around ‘explosive.’ I think it’s same thing you can say about Percy. He’s explosive. You definitely want to get the ball in his hands.”
- Defensive end Jared Allen said the first day is used to shake off rust. “If you looked at me right now on film you would think I was a garbage rookie. Each year is the same. It starts on Day 1. I’ll go in and get yelled at for doing something wrong and then we’ll come out tomorrow and make it look all good.”
- Asked about his health after playing through knee and shoulder injuries last season, Allen said he feels good and included a caveat: “I didn’t forget about all those people who hurt me either so it’s on.”
- Rookie Phil Loadholt worked with the first team at right tackle while Ryan Cook was at right guard in place of Anthony Herrera, whose still working his way back from offseason surgery.
- Brad Childress said Herrera and tackle Artis Hicks will continue to be somewhat limited until training camp while they regain their strength.
- It’s going to be an interesting competition to see who gets that final spot at receiver. The Vikings kept five last season. It should be a spirited competition between Aundrae Allison, Glenn Holt, Darius Reynaud and Jaymar Johnson.
- The Vikings have good depth at defensive line with backups Fred Evans, Brian Robison, Jayme Mitchell, Letroy Guion, Jimmy Kennedy and if Kenechi Udeze can complete his remarkable comeback.
Here are Judd’s notes:
- E.J. Henderson was back working with the first team at middle linebacker after playing in only four games last season because of two dislocated toes on his left foot. Henderson has declared himself to be 100 percent and looked to be moving very well while working between Chad Greenway and Ben Leber.
- Nose tackle Pat Williams, who underwent minor surgery on his knee after the season, was wearing a brace-like wrap on his left knee. Linebacker Heath Farwell and defensive end Jayme Mitchell, who both suffered season-ending injuries during the 2008 preseason, also are wearing braces.
- Childress and newcomer Sage Rosenfels spent several minutes talking on the field following practice. Rosenfels continues to learn the Vikings offense. In one-on-one drills, Rosenfels threw a nice pass that Bobby Wade caught about 40 yards down field after beating cornerback Marcus McCauley.
- John David Booty is the forgotten man when it comes to Vikings quarterbacks but he looked good on Friday. Booty has definitely either lost weight or shifted it around to the point where he looks to be in much better shape. Booty connected with rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin in one drill on what appeared to be about a 40-yard pass down the right sideline. Harvin beat cornerback Derrick Roberson on the play.
- The first-team offensive line to start drills included Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, Steve Hutchinson at left guard, John Sullivan at center, Ryan Cook at right guard and Phil Loadholt at right tackle. Loadholt, who is listed at 6-8, 343 pounds and is definitely bigger than McKinnie (6-8, 335 pounds), was used on just about every possible unit (first, second and third team) at right tackle.
- At one point, Brian Daniels got reps with the first team at right guard and Cook was back at right tackle.
- Sullivan is your center, folks. He’s going to get every chance to win this job. Rookie free agents Jon Cooper (Oklahoma) and Juan Garcia (Washington) are battling behind Sullivan.
- One of the more interesting plays of the day came in team drills when Brian Robison tipped Tarvaris Jackson’s pass at the line of scrimmage. The ball went into the air and wide receiver Darius Reynaud had the presence of mind to catch the pass.
The Vikings have two practices on Saturday, with the first one scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Judd and I will have our twitter going so hopefully you check in for updates.