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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

Stop back often because Sean and Don regularly posts updates to your comments. Leave your comments and questions by clicking on the comments link below each post.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Pat Williams on Active PUP List

Vikings coach Brad Childress said defensive tackle Pat Williams was placed on the active physically unable to perform (PUP) list Monday. Childress said Williams had lost 14 to 15 pounds, but he still did not meet his weight requirement Sunday. Williams also did not meet the team's cardiovascular goal for him.

Slow start

Not surprisingly, the offense is off to a sluggish start. Don't worry, though. That's usually the case, given the timing needed to execute on offense.

There have been too many bad passes and a fair share of drops too.

Best play so far was made by cornerback Dovonte Edwards. He made a great break on a pass from Tarvaris Jackson to Chris Jones.

Defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin ran over to Edwards and padded the top of his helmet.

Pat Williams not practicing

It is unclear why, but starting nose tackle Pat Williams is running and stretching with a Vikings staffer.

He does not have a uniform on, and his unit is working with their helmets on.

I have an inkling why he's not practicing but I don't want to speculate.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pimp My Bike

The players were issued nice mountain bikes. But the most distinctive bike belonged to cornernack Fred Smoot, who had a small dirt bike, replete with spinning rims.

Moving day winner

The undisputed winner for most stuff packed was safety Darren Sharper. He needed at least three trips to his SUV, and he packed one of those fancy hyperbolic chambers.

"I got a lot of stuff, don't I," sharper said as he carted in a load.

He also brought what appeared to be an air purifier, but I could be mistaken.

Good thing the Pro Bowl veteran doesn't have a roommate.

Brad Johnson arrives

The Vikings quarterback arrived a little after 2 pm. He chatted at his car with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, who came by after a mini-vacation in Colorado.

Brad also was upbeat about the season but declined to talk about his contract status.

Having a ball

After this morning's practice, head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman led about 16 players, coaches and staff in a workout on exercise balls. The group, which included defensive line coach Karl Dunbar and rookie center Ryan Cook, stretched and did some sit ups.

Sadly, that was the highlight of the morning session. I can't wait until Tuesday, when training camp officially starts, at least in my mind.

For now, I'll look forward to the veterans arriving later this afternoon.

Fiery presence

Mike Tomlin, the Vikings young defensive coordinator, makes his presence felt throughout practices. He roves around the field, checking out his different units, often leaning his chin on his right hand, in the thinking man's pose.
He also barks out constant commentary on players' execution, sometimes insisting they repeat the drill.
He also is very hands on, taking the snaps as a quarterback and seeing how his players execute plays.
One of his favorite lines so far to the linebackers: "You got to have violent hands."

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Two-day update

I can't tell you that Tarvaris Jackson is a markedly better quarterback because of these last four practices. Or that Ryan Cook is going to be a superstar center. But I can tell you that the Vikings should be thrilled that there was no LeCharles Bentley incident thus far. Bentley, the Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl center, suffered a season-ending knee injury in his first practice a few days ago.

In addition, despite temperatures consistently in the high 90s, there does not appear to have been any cases of heat-related illnesses.

Once they get through Sunday morning, though, the Vikings will welcome the rest of the team, and the real practices will start in earnest Tuesday morning.

Bueller? Bueller?

Do you guys know you're allowed here at practices? Sure doesn't seem like it. Its Saturday, and there are maybe 30 fans here.

Are you guys waiting for the vets? Angie's kettle corn?

Because Viking fans haven't been too present here so far.

Ryan Cook

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said the second-round pick out of New Mexico could swing out to right tackle at some point during camp. So far, though, I haven't been too impressed with his footwork. But what do I know, right?

Tarvaris Jackson

The kid isn't has heralded as Vince Young, Matt Leinart or even Jay Cutler. But Jackson has a cannon for an arm, and he's showcased it several times in the first few practices. In the morning session, he connected with Chris Jones down the left sideline for a gain of at least 35 yards. His motion seemed effortless and the ball's trajectory was ideal for Jones, who made a nice catch.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Right attitude

Early this morning, 45 minutes before the official start of practice, a lone player was on the practice field at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

That player was Chad Greenway, the Vikings first-round pick.

Asked if he was trying to make an impression, Greenway said, "That's what I try to do every day, I guess.

"You want to get out here and you want to be in the right place when practice starts," he said. "It's maybe the first day jitters a little bit too. No matter what you do, it's the first day and you are going to be a little bit nervous and a little bit excited. That's definitely what I was. You are supposed to be the first one out here and the last one off, right?"

Is this guy for real? He tells his agent to make sure to get him to camp on time, AND he's the first player on the field for practice and the last one to leave.

Maybe this is the honeymoon stage.

No shows

Maybe fans were discouraged by the confusion about the start of camp. Questions of whether fans could watch these first few practices were resolved earlier this month. But there have only been a smattering of fans so far. I count less than 20, in fact.

The Vikings and Mankato hope this is not an indication of days to come.

Be careful what you wish for...

Before leaving for Mankato, a lot of people said, "you're so lucky."

Am I?

Its about 97 degrees, and I'm watching players - most of whom won't make the roster - basically stand and listen to coaches talk.

The only thing keeping me sane is the sliver of shade provided by a mobile film tower and a solid breeze.

Good news is, this will make me appreciate when the veterans show up and the real practices begin.

Kluwe kicking

We're off to a dull start. But that was to be expected. The morning practice was painful to watch, with very little activity. But the highlight had to be punter Chris Kluwe, who had offseason knee surgery, punting the ball. He's been kicking for a few days now. But this is a positive sign for the Vikings, since Kluwe was one of the pleasant surprises of the 2005 season.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dez White signs

The Vikings added to their glut of receivers by signing seventh-year receiver Dez White. After four seasons with the Chicago Bears, White played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2004 and 2005. His best season, though, was in 2002 with the Bears, when he caught 51 catches for 656 yards and four touchdowns. Originally a third round pick out of Georgia Tech, White ranks second in team history with 90 catches for 1,833 yards.