MANKATO, Minn. -- A week into CampTour'11, I finally saw a full-pads practice with a team's entire roster available. So, on the final day of my time at Minnesota State University, Mankato, let's resurrect our traditional practice report.
The Vikings had a spirited and live 9-on-7 run drill, meaning players were tackling to the ground. Coach Leslie Frazier used tailback Adrian Peterson for three plays, a rarity in Peterson's camp career. But Frazier never blinked. "It's OK," he said. "We'll have to watch things. We won't do it too often. But it's part of what we do for a living, is tackling. It's hitting. It's running. It's football."
Peterson made two outstanding catches, one a pass down the hashmarks from quarterback Joe Webb in 7-on-7s and one a back-shoulder grab from Donovan McNabb in team work. "That's something he wants to do," Frazier said. "He wants to be a better receiver. He wants to stay in on third downs. He doesn't want to come off the field. In order to do that, you've got to do what he did today. You've got to catch the football. He's working to get better at that."
Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder mostly worked with the second team for the second consecutive day. It was a rough one. Ponder threw two interceptions during 7-on-7 drills and struggled with his downfield accuracy throughout the practice. Frazier called it "being a rookie in the National Football League" and Ponder said: "Today was kind of a step back, but these are the days you learn the most from."
After a rough debut Thursday, left tackle Charlie Johnson seemed to get his feet underneath him a bit Friday.
Again, I'll have more practice observations and many other thoughts in this weekend's Camp Confidential. I've had a fruitful few days here and look forward to sprinkling some further thoughts into future blog posts.