VikingBuzz BLOG: 8/1

MLB E.J. Henderson

There have been bright spots on offense, but the defense is clearly ahead of the offense thus far in training camp. In fact, they've been downright dominant at times, with improved pass-rush pressure and a faster, more ball-hawking secondary. Good defense or bad offense?

>Henderson making smooth transition
Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson’s transition from the weakside linebacker to the middle has gone off without a hitch so far.  “He's doing well," Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said in this Pioneer Press report.  “He's taking more command every day.  He's feeling a lot more comfortable playing inside.  You just see him gaining confidence as we go through it.  We really expect that by the time we get to Sept. 9 (and the regular-season opener against Atlanta), he'll be in total control.”

>Moore stepping up
With Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson in the backfield it looked like Mewelde Moore would be the odd man out, but he’s drawn nothing but praise from coach Brad Childress so far in training camp.  Moore continues to be the team’s most reliable punt return man.  “I have to do everything I can possibly do to help the team,” Moore said in this Mankato Free Press report.  “I have to take advantage of the opportunities and be productive.”

>McCauley learning quickly
Rookie cornerback Marcus McCauley continues to impress.  Mentoring McCauley has been veteran Antoine Winfield.  “It's the best possible situation I could be in,” McCauley said in this AP story.  “Every question I have, he has the answer.  He's been awesome.  Everything is new to me.  [Winfield] just tells me to trust my instincts and trust my ability.  You're going to make mistakes, just make the mistakes at full speed.”  There’s also this KFAN story on McCauley.

>Notes from camp
Chester Taylor banged up his arm and has missed some time, but it isn’t expected to be anything serious.  Marcus McCauley continues to impress.  The defense flashes dominance, while the offense continues to struggle.  Here are daily reports by the StarTribune, Vikings.com, Pioneer Press, KFAN, WCCO.com and another Pioneer Press report.

>Vikes still getting no respect
The Vikings are still only ranked No. 25 in this realfootball365.com training camp power rankings report.  “Minnesota definitely scored coups with its first two draft picks – running back Adrian Peterson (first round) and wide receiver Sidney Rice (second round),” the report says.  But these guys aren’t convinced of Tarvaris Jackson and are not big fans of Brad Childress, either.

>Hasselbeck still not over Henderson hit
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is still upset about the hit on him by linebacker E.J. Henderson last season.  “To me, the most frustrating thing about last year and our season was probably my knee injury,” Hasselbeck said in this Seattle Times story.  “Because it was just such a pointless injury to me.  Very avoidable.  I'll just leave it at that.”

>Culpepper lands with Raiders
For Daunte’s sake, we hope it turns out better for him in Oakland than it did for Randy Moss.  Regardless, the ex-Viking got his one-year deal and should at least get a chance to re-establish his credibility as an NFL quarterback.  Here’s the ESPN.com report.

>Napo gone but not bitter
A good story here by Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press on former Vikings linebacker Napoleon Harris, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason.

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