MANKATO — The first week of training camp is officially over. It only feels like we’ve been here a month already!
Another busy day and here are some highlights, notes and quotes from Judd and I:
Rookie Percy Harvin stood out today with two long catches, one from Tarvaris Jackson and one from Sage Rosenfels. Harvin also took direct snaps in the Wildcat formation and showed off his speed.
Afterward, safety Tyrell Johnson talked about Harvin’s speed and how much pressure it puts on the defense.
“He’s stretching our defense so I know he’s going to stretch everybody else’s defense when game time comes,” Johnson said. “He’s a blazer. He’s the fastest guy I’ve seen on the field yet.”
Even faster than Adrian Peterson? “It’s close. I would like to see that foot race between those two.”
Johnson also talked about how hard it is to defend the Wildcat formation.
“It’s tough. You have Adrian and Percy back there. If they train him to throw the ball you have to worry about Bernard [Berrian] and Sid [Rice] as the receivers. It’s like, how do you win against that.”
HAPPY NEWS FOR JOHNSON
Wide receiver Jaymar Johnson returned to practice after celebrating the birth of his first child, Jaymar Jr., in the Twin Cities on Wednesday evening. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and is doing well along with his wife, Kassy.
“Hands the size of mine almost,” Johnson said, smiling.
Johnson returned to Mankato around midnight and is a little sleep deprived. Johnson’s mother is staying with his wife and son while he is at camp trying to make the team.
“I told coach, I have all my life to be a father but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in the NFL,” he said. “I want to be with my child but I want to be here as well.”
His wife’s reaction?
“She was actually good with it,” he said. “She told me to come back here and kick butt.”
UNDER THE LIGHTS
The Vikings will have their second and final evening practice of training camp at 7 p.m. Friday. There will be a fireworks show after the practice ends around 9:10 p.m. Last week, the Vikings worked in shorts for their evening practice.
Asked if Friday’s session will be similar, coach Brad Childress said: “I think we have some live segments in there just based on looking ahead at what we are practicing exactly, but the whole practice won’t be live. There are a couple things that we don’t get anything out of unless we tackle to the ground.”
That indicates the Vikings will hold this practice in pads. The only practice in pads so far came on Monday morning.
OFFICIALS ON SITE
As is always the case, the Vikings are getting a visit from NFL game officials. The four officials are meeting with the team to go over rule changes and also were on the field during practice today to watch for infractions and help explain things. The crew will be back on the field Friday.
“They come ready to work,” Childress said. “I get them in all the meetings. They’ll make a presentation today about what rule changes there are.”
Childress also wants the officials to be an active part of his practice.
“I would rather be proactive about it and have them throw the laundry out on the field,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t like to do that when they come to these things. I want them to call them like they would call them in the game. I don’t want those errors to come in a game. I want a little dialogue. You can’t [have] dialogue during the course of a game. … They have teaching seminars and they can teach us what they learn and what points of emphasis there are. They can say, ‘Hey, if you do this I’m going to call that, but if you do this I’m not going to call that.’ Certainly they can help us, and I think our guys are going to use it that way.”