Minnesota Vikings: Alan Page

Vikings Camp Report: Day 11

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
6:45
PM ET
MANKATO, Minn. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Minnesota Vikings training camp:
  • In the team's final practice before Friday's preseason opener, coach Mike Zimmer let the Vikings work without pads, and the team finished about 45 minutes early. The afternoon session had the feel of a dress rehearsal, with no 7-on-7 periods and some extra full-team work. The Vikings' starters will likely play a few series on Friday night, and rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater could play as many as two quarters, with some of his work coming with the Vikings' first-team offense.
  • Bridgewater was intercepted for the fourth time in training camp when he threw a high screen pass that bounced off the fingers of running back Dominique Williams and landed in the arms of cornerback Kendall James. Bridgewater finished the day 6-for-10 in full-team drills, and Matt Cassel was 5-for-6. Third-string quarterback Christian Ponder, who figures to get plenty of playing time once the starters are out on Friday night, had one of his busier days of camp, throwing a total of 13 passes and completing nine. Ponder waited a beat too long on a downfield throw to Erik Lora, but fared better against the Vikings' first-team defense than he did on Tuesday.
  • Zimmer again spent plenty of time coaching cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who appeared out of position on a downfield pass. The coach said on Wednesday he's had to adjust his approach to Rhodes somewhat, trying to go a bit softer on him than he did early in practice. "That's about every player; you try to figure out what buttons to push," Zimmer said. "He's better when he's playing off (the receiver); that was one of his weaknesses early on. He's done that a lot better. He understands the coverages much better. He understands the alignments and where he's supposed to be. The press technique, we've still got some work to do, but he has great recovery speed. He's improved in about every area."
  • Safety Jamarca Sanford and cornerback Marcus Sherels didn't practice Wednesday, in addition to injured safety Robert Blanton and tight end Chase Ford. Sherels watched practice next to Blanton from the sideline, while Sanford sat out with a back spasm. His status for Friday's game is unclear.
  • The Vikings received a visit on Wednesday morning from Hall of Fame defensive end Alan Page, who addressed the team about what it takes to be great in the NFL. "He said he went to Notre Dame, and I was the only guy who clapped," said tight end -- and Notre Dame product -- Kyle Rudolph. "We've got to get these other guys up on their history." And in the afternoon, Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders was on the sideline, chatting with general manager Rick Spielman. The Timberwolves have regularly held training camp at Minnesota State, where the basketball area is named after owner (and Minnesota State graduate) Glen Taylor. We know what you're thinking, and no, we didn't see Saunders on his phone, trying to complete a deal for Kevin Love.

Milestone for Vikings' Kevin Williams

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
3:15
PM ET
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- When he starts his 158th career game on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, defensive tackle Kevin Williams will pass Hall of Famer Alan Page for the most starts in Minnesota Vikings history by a defensive tackle.
Williams
He will still trail Jim Marshall (270) and Carl Eller (201) for the most starts by a defensive lineman, but considering the defensive linemen the Vikings have had in their history -- from the Purple People Eaters to Chris Doleman and John Randle to Jared Allen -- Williams is in some elite company.

"It's quite a feat," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We're looking forward to watching him play (Sunday). Just a class guy in so many ways."

Williams voided the final year of his contract in exchange for the Vikings guaranteeing his 2013 deal, so he will be a free agent after the season. The six-time Pro Bowler could be in his final year with the team, considering he took a pay cut this season and the Vikings have rookie Sharrif Floyd, but Williams' absence in Week 1 was a reminder of how much the Vikings still need him. And for his part, Williams said he doesn't want to play anywhere else.

"I was excited to still be here this year, and hopefully, to play next year here," he said. "I have no intentions of going anywhere else. I would love to finish here."

So what's the secret to his longevity?

"I don't know," he said. "Maybe being breast-fed (as a baby) helps a lot. You get the best nutrients that way."

There you go.

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