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Vikings break camp -- already

8/12/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Wow, that snuck up on us: Just like that, Minnesota's training camp is over. Yes, the Vikings conducted their final practice Wednesday morning at Minnesota State University, Mankato -- the result of a scheduling conflict between the NFL and the school.

The team travels Thursday to Indianapolis for Friday's preseason opener. By the middle of next week, MSU students will begin moving into the dormitories the Vikings use for camp. So rather than bring the team back to Mankato for a couple more days, coach Brad Childress will relocate camp to the Vikings' permanent facility in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Under NFL rules, the Vikings couldn't start training camp any earlier than they did. As a result, they spent only 12 days practicing "off-campus" this summer, their shortest camp stay in recent memory. Childress, however, told reporters Wednesday that the team "accomplished just about everything that we could here" and said he will maintain a quasi-camp schedule in Eden Prairie for at least another week.

When I left Vikings camp last week, their quarterback position remained very much in flux. Reports since then suggest it's been difficult to gauge the offense's overall progress overall while the competition between Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels plays out.

Asked about the offense Wednesday, Childress provided what on paper seems to be a pretty neutral answer:

"I don't feel too bad about it. I think you always learn some things when you play against different personnel. I think it's always interesting to see where they are, football-wise, when you have to block unscouted looks. Our defense, with that said, has given us about every look there is to give us in these [12 days of practice] here. To watch those guys put it into play, that's what it is all about. I believe we are going to be a good offense."

We'll know more Friday night. I'll be heading east to cover the game -- vestiges of my pre-camp plan for Hewhoshallnotbenamed -- and we'll revisit the topic then.