Saturday, July 27, 2013
Vikings camp: Day 2
By Kevin Seifert
MANKATO, Minn. -- Our second day of training camp with the Minnesota Vikings is complete. The team will take Sunday off and then likely make the move to full pads Monday.
Many of you continue to ask about the progress of for the Vikings' passing game. I'll start off Saturday's observations with this rough transcript of a sequence witnessed during team drills at Minnesota State, Mankato:
Christian Ponder throws an interception, middle linebacker Erin Henderson snaring a pass intended for tight end Kyle Rudolph.
A fan in the stands yells, "Bring in [backup] Matt Cassel!"
Cassel misses a receiver badly.
Same fan: "Ponder!"
Ponder overthrows receiver Greg Jennings by several yards.
Same fan: "Cassel! Ponder! Someone else!"
Yes, that's the kind of practice it was. Ponder continued to mix competency with some poor throws that you hate to see any starter make in a non-contact setting. We've discussed the need for Ponder to even out his performances, and for whatever it's worth, he hasn't done that in the first two outings of training camp.
A few other thoughts before we point the NFC North blogmobile north:
- For those setting their fantasy teams, the Vikings' three-receiver set has pretty consistently been Jennings and Jerome Simpson on the outside with Jarius Wright in the slot. The thought is that Simpson will eventually be challenged by rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, but it's too early in camp to assess how long that process will take.
- Two attributes that show up in non-contact drills are speed and quickness, and it hasn't taken long to see that undrafted free agent Bradley Randle has both of them. Randle is a 5-foot-7 scatback from UNLV who might have some potential as a returner. All you have to do is watch him in a few pass drills to know that he can run.
- Another speed-based player who stood out over the first two days is defensive lineman Everson Griffen. I'll have more on him Sunday, but let's just say the Vikings are expecting the world from him this season.
- One thing is clear about Joe Webb's attempted transition to receiver: The guy can catch. The Vikings are giving him plenty of repetitions, and I haven't seen him miss a pass yet. There are plenty of other skills required to play receiver, but the ability to catch is obviously the most important.