>Udeze anxious to move forward
Nobody is more hungry to prove his critics wrong this season than defensive end Kenechi Udeze. “It ate at me, but that's something I let go when I came back and first started working out with the team,” Udeze said in this AP report. Playing at his more natural left end position, Udeze expects to shed the “zero sacks” label as soon as possible this season.
>Shiancoe at home with Vikings
Free agent tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is making the adjustment to a new offense and terminology with the Vikings, but is happy to be getting the opportunity to have a bigger role. “Basically, it just an adjustment process,” Shiancoe said in this Mankato Free Press report. “It’s getting more comfortable with the offense. It’s a little different. ... It’s just like being a rookie again. There’s a little delay in the learning process.”
>Can Edwards be “special?”
This Sporting News report offers its defensive all-breakout team, and the Vikings’ Ray Edwards earns mention at defensive end. “Vikings coordinator Leslie Frazier, who has been around many good pass rushers as both a player and coach, thinks Ray Edwards can be special,” Dennis Dillon writes. “Edwards lacks experience and needs to improve against the run, but he is quick off the snap, has some countermoves and can change direction without losing speed.”
>Moore a luxury as backfield is thinned
The Vikings are fortunate to have a back the caliber of Mewelde Moore waiting in the wings while Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson are sidelined with minor injuries as this report highlights.
>Team happy with offensive line
Sid Hartman reports that OL coach Pat Morris considers this as good a group of offensive linemen he’s ever worked with. Interestingly, Childress notes that they are slightly undersized. Hmmm: McKinnie (343), Hutchinson (313), Birk (311), Hicks (335), Cook (328). Slightly undersized?
>Thursday’s notes from training camp
Despite the tragedy back in the Twin Cities, the Vikings forged on with training camp down in Mankato. Adrian Peterson and Ronyell Whitaker left the field with what sounds like relatively minor injuries today. Billy McMullen, Erasmus James, Chester Taylor, Ben Leber and Aundrae Allison did not practice. Todd Lowber and Wendell Mathis were back on the field. Here are six different daily reports: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
>Finally, some optimism
This report from Sports Spectrum Insider offers up four surprise teams for 2007. Guess who makes the list? The Vikings. “Rookie running back Adrian Peterson is my pick for Rookie of the Year, if he stays healthy. The NFC Central is on the rise, the Bears are better than they were a year ago. The Packers are improving. The Lions will be a surprise. And, the Vikings are a team that scares everybody,” Frank Giardina writes.
>Filming limitations frustrate media
The team’s decision to limit video and photography footage of training camp is ridiculous. As WCCO’s Mark Rosen is quoted in this StarTribune report, “As Bud Grant said, 'Everyone runs the same plays – it’s when you run them.’” We concur. If a coach in the NFL is getting his inside info for scouting reports off the internet, he's already in trouble.
Here’s a tally of this year’s first-round picks and their contract terms, including Vikings top pick Adrian Peterson
>NFC North training camp report
Here’s the take of the NFC North from PFW. For each team, reasons for optimism, causes for concern, key battles and potential surprises are offered.
>Whitlock catches on with 49ers
The 49ers are expected to sign running back Arkee Whitlock, an undrafted rookie from Southern Illinois, after he passes a physical exam with the team. Whitlock was with the Vikings earlier this year before being released.
>Al Davis sees some Plunkett in Culpepper
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis draws comparisons to Jim Plunkett when he looks at his newest quarterback, Daunte Culpepper, the former Vikings’ All-Pro signalcaller, according to this scrippsnews.com report. At least enough to give him a one-year, $3.2 million contract. Here also is a Pro Football Weekly analysis of the Culpepper-to-the-Raiders move. And, this Bay Area report offers yet another perspective.
>Bennett in the mix with Chiefs
The Vikings will see former teammate Michael Bennett when they scrimmage the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. This StarTribune report has the story on his situation with the Chiefs.
>Moss sidelined with apparent hamstring injury
Speaking of big-name former Vikings, wide receiver Randy Moss is currently sidelines with the New England Patriots after tweaking his hamstring in practice the other day according to this report.
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