Training Camp Postcard: Vikings
Posted: Wednesday August 8, 2007 12:22PM; Updated: Thursday August 9, 2007 1:07AM
At Minnesota State in Mankato, a 75-minute drive south of the Twin Cities. Lots of construction on campus, with a sparkling new student center and rebuilt athletic center that houses the Vikings locker room and weight room.
Five Things I Think
1. I think that although Bryant McKinnie looked a little sluggish at this morning's practice (training-camp legs, I presume), the left side of the Vikings line will be markedly improved because of the burgeoning chemistry between McKinnie and the best guard in football, Steve Hutchinson. They were thinking too much last year, and Hutchinson told me he's feeling significantly better next to McKinnie now.
2. I think the strongest handshake in the NFL belongs to first-round running back Adrian Peterson. For the second time since April, I shook his hand; and for the second time I had to check to see if my fingers were still attached.
3. I think Chad Greenway is one of the fastest linebackers I've seen this summer ... and this is after ACL repairs on both knees, one in college and one last summer. "Sitting out last year was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life," he told me. "Every time I get out there now, I'm so excited to play.'' Farm kid from South Dakota. Can't you tell?
4. I think if you want to see the next physical cover corner in the NFL, look at the guy playing opposite Antoine Winfield -- 2006 second-round pick Cedric Griffin from Texas. I saw him drive some poor rookie free-agent wideout to the ground out of bounds this morning, in what would have been an unnecessary-roughness penalty if a back judge had been on hand.
5. I think these guys say all the right things about the loss of defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, but the guys I know on this team ... I can see it when I ask them. They like new coordinator Leslie Frazier, but they miss Tomlin.