Vikings corners think they’re among the best

Yahoo sports posted a story today about how the Vikings corners believe they are among the best tandems in the league.  Click HERE to read that story.  (It’s a short one)

Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin are the starting corners for the Vikes this year.  They have some confidence.  That is a good thing for defenders to have.

I have to say I share that confidence.

The Vikings passing defense had looked bad for years, but was it ever really the fault of players like Winfield?  I really don’t think so.  No corner in the league can cover a wide receiver for 8, 9, 10 seconds, and before this past year, that’s what the Vikings DBs were often asked to do.  The Vikings were consistently putting talented guys in their backfield, but even though their D-line was amazing against the run, it produced no pass rush at all.

Of course last year, the appearance of Jared Allen on the Vikings scene changed all that.  Allen not only had 14.5 sacks (and who knows how many hurries and knock downs), his mere presence on the line allowed guys like Kevin Williams, Ray Edwards, and Brian Robison to spend more time in the opposing team’s backfield.  The Vikings also seemed a little more willing to blitz this year as well, which also helped to pressure the other team’s QB.

The combination of the added pressure and the fact that the Vikes really do have talent in their defensive backfield meant that the Vikings skyrocketed up the stats list when it comes to pass defense.

And I really don’t see any reason it should be any different this year.



Check out Adrian Peterson as a high school player

I found a video on YouTube of Adrian Peterson in the HS All American game. It’s only a 13 yard rushing TD, but you can already see traces of the things he would later become famous for as he spins away from a defender and plows through 3 guys to get into the end zone.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/jPGfQjzcjkg" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]



Some notes from today’s training camp

Just a quick link that you guys might find interesting. This is some notes from this morning’s practice posted on Vikings.com

A few notes from this morning’s practice before we head out to a 1 hour special teams practice this afternoon…

– Vikings WR Sidney Rice had a nice morning practice today, hauling in a number of catches during various periods and making a great play over a CB down the right sideline. At 6-4, 202 pounds, Rice is a big target with great hands and he’s entering a year that could really be a turning point for him.

– Another Vikings WR, Percy Harvin, also had a great day. He caught deep balls from both Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels today, stirring the Vikings fans in attendance and showcasing his impressive speed.

Click HERE to see the rest of the notes

Two things about these notes made me a happy fan. The first one was the note about Sidney Rice making big plays. Sidney is a potential weapon for the Vikings that so far has been held back by injuries. Sidney has a great work ethic, too, and he wants to do whatever it takes to improve. He spent time before training camp working out with Larry Fitzgerald and Cris Carter. Carter had great things to say about him.

I love it that the writer for the Vikings blog pointed out that he had a great practice, but on Twitter, Sidney said that it was “average” and “not good enough”. I think this will be a big year for Rice.

I also love hearing good things about Percy Harvin. Catching deep balls is a great thing, and something we’ve needed for a few years (although Berrian filled in some of the gaps last year).

But I really think Harvin will bring a lot to the team. I was reading some news earlier about how the Vikings have designed some plays with both Harvin and Adrian Peterson in the backfield at the same time.

Now THAT gets me all sorts of pumped up.


More on Albert Young

A couple days ago I wrote about Albert Young, who I happen to be pulling for to win the #3 spot on the running back depth chart. Access Vikings posted an interview with Albert today.

The first practice starts at 9 a.m. While we’re waiting here’s an interview I did with second-year running back Albert Young, who is competing to be the No. 3 running back.

Young was an undrafted rookie from Iowa who spent last season on the practice squad. Young impressed the staff with his development last year and is making a strong bid to earn a spot on the active roster. Here is some of what he said:

Q: You seem comfortable with the offense and your assignments out there. Is that just a product of having a year under your belt?

Young: Yeah. That’s key. That’s probably the biggest thing for me from Year 1 to Year 2 is being confident in what you’re doing and having an understanding of what is going on so you can just play. You’re not really thinking too much. You can just go out and play and have fun. Of course, you’re not always going to be perfect. But for the most part, you’re just playing.

Read the rest of the interview by clicking HERE

Like I mentioned the other day, I’m personally pulling for Albert Young mostly because he’s from the University of Iowa, and I happen to be a fan of that team. But I also really do think that Young is a very solid player. He impressed me a lot last year during preseason. Yes, it’s true that he was usually running against 3rd and 4th string defensive players, but on the flip side, he was doing it behind a 3rd and 4th string offensive line. He showed last year that he could also catch the ball from the backfield. It’s always valuable for a team to have a running back with good hands on their roster.




The Williamses can play, barring Federal action

A Minnesota court ruled today that Pat and Kevin Williams can play this season unless a federal court decides to reclaim jurisdiction on the case.

The two defensive tackles were supposed to be suspended last year because of traces of banned substances found in a drug test, but they sued the NFL, claiming that they were not made aware of the problems with a drug that has been taken in the NFL for years.

A panel of three federal judges will hear an appeal from the NFL on August 18th. If they decide that it’s a state matter, the Minnesota judge said it is unlikely that Pat or Kevin Williams will miss any games this year.

Kevin Williams declined to comment on any of this today until after he talks to his lawyer.

Source:  STAR TRIBUNE


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