Henderson makes transition back inside smoothly
Any concerns onlookers might have had about whether or not E.J. Henderson could make the transition back to middle linebacker after having a breakthrough season at weakside linebacker a year ago seems to have diminished since training camp began.
The coaches see his comfort level improving each day.
“I think every day he gets a little bit more comfortable at that position,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “Just a couple days ago he grabbed the entire defense and he said a few words to them, and we all were looking for him to do that at some point, just take control and he did that. That tells me that he is beginning to feel more comfortable in that leadership role, which as a middle linebacker, you are in a natural leadership role and he is really coming into his own in that regard.”
Perhaps the biggest strength to Henderson’s game is his natural football instincts. His ability to read, react and fly to the ball are as good as anyone on the team.
“When I got here, [E.J. Henderson was] probably our best see-to-do linebacker,” head coach Brad Childress said. “He had probably the best innate instincts that we saw. I am not going to say he didn't have to learn some different things, but he is not having any struggles in there that I have seen at all.”
Interest in Warner?
According to Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press, “There's buzz that the Vikings could be interested in veteran Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.”
However, there are at least a couple reasons this sound more like rumor than fact. 1) Tarvaris Jackson has done nothing (yet) to blow his chances at being the No. 1 quarterback with the Vikings. 2) The Arizona Cardinals would have nothing behind Matt Leinart at quarterback on their depth chart if they dealt Kurt Warner.
We’re still convinced the Vikings are committed to Jackson as their starter this season. They don’t expect him to be great, but they are hopeful that he at least won’t cost them games. Besides, it’s getting pretty late in the game to bring someone in to learn the West Coast Offense in time to lead the team.
Would Warner be a good option behind Jackson? Outstanding, as this story suggests. But what’s in it for the Cardinals, who would be left even more thin than the Vikings without him.
Glenn very popular
The retirement of linebacker Jason Glenn means the departure of a class guy from the lockerroom for the Vikings.
“He was a great guy to have in our locker room,” coach Brad Childress said. “I’ll miss him. He's a salt of the earth kid and a consummate professional.”
Childress isn’t the only one who went on record to praise Glenn.
“He was the first guy to help the young linebackers, including myself,” Heath Farwell said.
Ultimately, Childress said, his balky knees and the recent death of his niece in Texas led Glenn to make the decision.
“In the long run, it was just too much to overcome,” Childress said. “His knees just wouldn’t let him function like his body has to.”
“He's a great guy and I really empathize with him,” defensive coordinator Leslie Fraizer, who has been there himself before, said. “I talked to him about that. It's a tough decision. But, fortunately for him, he really has peace about it and he's exhausted all avenues. He's tried to come back, and the knee just hasn't responded. He's a great guy and I think he'll be successful in whatever he chooses to do.”
“He made the most of his opportunities,” Ben Leber said. “He was a guy that always worked hard. He played twice as long as most guys do.”
Glenn’s brother, Aaron, is a cornerback with the Dallas Cowboys and is entering his 14th NFL season. Jason Glenn played his first four seasons with the New York Jets before spending 2005 with Miami and last year with the Vikings.
Mozes set to have surgery
Rookie offensive lineman Dan Mozes will have surgery Thursday in Birmingham, Ala., to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered while in training camp with the Minnesota Vikings. Surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.
Mozes, the 2006 Rimington Award winner as college football's top center while at West Virginia University, was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He will spend the entire season on injured reserve.
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