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Friday, August 17, 2012
BBAO: Harrison Smith steps up for Vikings

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The second of two first-round draft choices doesn't usually get much public attention in training camp, so it's no surprise that Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith has been overshadowed by discussion about left tackle Matt Kalil. Until reading Judd Zulgad's column on 1500ESPN.com, I actually forgot that I spoke with Smith during my visit to Vikings training camp and found him to be an intense and confident personality.

Zulgad writes that Smith was a respectful rookie during training camp, but was clearly not a pushover -- as evidenced by several standoffs with receiver Percy Harvin. Smith has impressed coaches to the point where he is expected to start the Vikings' preseason game Friday night against the Buffalo Bills.

Said defensive coordinator Alan Williams: "You want your safeties to be quarterbacks and smart but you want some nastiness to them too, and he has that."

The Vikings and Detroit Lions will be in action Friday night, while the Chicago Bears will take the field Saturday evening. Remember, we wrapped up the Green Bay Packers' preseason effort from Thursday night a few hours ago.

So while we have a minute, let's take a tour around Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago on this fine Friday morning: