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It was a nice sunny day for the Vikings morning practice. Some NFL refs were on hand during practice today, which is a strategy employed by the Vikings which intends to cut down on penalties and give players a better understanding of the rules.
Tarvaris Jackson continued to “flash” today, particularly on a very pass to Visanthe Shiancoe in the two minute drill which brought them to the goalline. He finished that drive with a nice touchdown pass to Greg Lewis with six seconds remaining with Sanford in coverage. This drew some high praise of both guys from Darrell Bevell. Jackson was 7 of 10 on that drive.
Rosenfels made a nice opening pass in the two minute drill, but the leaping catch by Taye Biddle in front of Antoine Winfield was even more impressive. It appeared, however that Rosenfels and the second offense were going to go four and out, but Leber was flagged for interference on Garrett Mills. Then it looked like they were in for another four and out, but Asher Allen was flagged for interference on Logan Payne. That drive ended not in a touchdown, but with a 48 yard field goal converted by Rhys Lloyd.
Later in team drills, Bernard Berrian had a good lead on the defender deep down the sideline but Jackson put the ball just out of his reach.
Here are the passing stats from this morning’s 11-on-11 drills: Jackson 10-for-13, Rosenfels 10-for-11, Joe Webb 1-for-1.
Adrian Peterson sat out, missing his third straight practice due to “tightness” in his leg. Darius Reynaud also sat out after injuring himself during Wednesday’s practice. Albert Young got some time with the first team offense.
Toby Gerhart made a nice leaping catch off of a Rosenfels pass with Kenny Onatolu in coverage.
The Pass Catchers
Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice were still not practicing.
In one-on-one drills, Shiancoe had a pass deflected by Chad Greenway in front of him. They lined up to do the same thing and this time Shiancoe dropped the pass. In 7-on-7 drills a little later, Shiancoe beat out Kenny Onatolu for a touchdown grab from Rosenfels.
Logan Payne made a nice diving touchdown catch off of a Sage Rosenfels pass in 7-on-7 drills after juking Asher Allen out of his shoes to get open. Of all the guys competing for a backup spot as a receiver, Payne appears to be the early favorite.
Ray Small had a catch after getting rocked by Lito Sheppard, but he managed to hold onto the ball.
Garrett Mills has done nothing but drop balls all camp long and that continues today. It seems unlikely that he makes the team as it is, drops will make it impossible.
Jon Cooper was lining up with the starting offensiveline.
The Front Four
The defense began the day working on the “scoop and score” drill which included an emphasis on stripping the quarterback of the ball. It should be noted that when the first defense participated in the two minute drill, Letroy Guion replaced Pat Williams at nose tackle.
Ray Edwards ended practice by getting a touch sack on Joe Webb.
J Leman still was not practicing today.
Benny Sapp and Cedric Griffin still sat out. Missing this many days cannot be a good sign for Sapp who faces stiff competition at the cornerback position.
At one point Eric Frampton did a great job of breaking up a pass intended for Visanthe Shiancoe. Marcus Sherels also made a notable play when he broke up a pass intended for Greg Lewis.
During team drills, the first team defense had Husain Abdullah and Jamarca Sanford lining up as the starting safeties.
The Special Teams
I mentioned it earlier, but it is worth mentioning again. Rhys Lloyd hit a 48 yard field goal to end a two minute drill by the second offense.