Vikings coach Brad Childress had a lot of praise for defensive end Brian Robison and wide receiver Jaymar Johnson after today’s OTA practice.
Robison had two sacks in team drills, nearly had another one and was disruptive off the edge all day. Johnson, as Judd mentioned in an earlier blog, has added about 17 pounds this offseason and looks a lot stronger.
Robison primarily is Jared Allen’s backup at right end, but he played all four defensive line spots last season. Childress was asked if Robison could possibly switch to left defensive end and challenge Ray Edwards for that starting spot.
“We talk about base ends and rush ends,” Childress said. “Not that he couldn’t rush from that side. Everybody has a – whether you swing a golf club right-handed or left-handed – guys are comfortable coming out one way and then maybe they can just do it the other way. I think he has a home right here. That doesn’t mean that you don’t ever roll him over there. Earlier in the week we had Ray (Edwards) playing right end and Jared (Allen) playing left end extensively. So I just see him doing what he is doing from the right side. Then, as you saw last year, he has the ability to move inside and be an inside rusher on some of those nickel passing downs.”
Childress was asked whether Robison (who’s listed at 259 pounds) can hold up against the run as an every-down end, particularly on the left side.
“I mean he can,” he said. “Would you want him in there all the time holding up against the run? That’s the goal, but I mean right now he would be even heavier than Jared Allen. Jared is big enough to hold up against the run; he can hold up against the run too.”
As for Johnson, it’s clear that Childress is extremely pleased with his work ethic this offseason and the approach he’s taken in trying to win a roster spot. Johnson, who also is in the mix as a return guy, is noticeably bigger this season and looks confident as a receiver.
“Once again, I can’t think of anybody that’s (worked harder),” Childress said. “You’re talking about a guy that came in here at 169 pounds soaking wet and he is 187 pounds right now. I don’t know how he does it, but he has 3 percent body fat and just gained 17 pounds now. I can look around here, men and women included, I doubt that has happened to any of you (laughs).
“So, he has worked his tail off. His wife is a special needs teacher over here at Eden Prairie High School and they are here year round. He wasn’t gone a week [this offseason] because he lives here now. He was right back in there in the weight room, taking care of himself (and) taking care of what he needs to take care of. He is in meetings that he doesn’t have to be in with the rookies. I mean he is on a mission.”