Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Shiancoe puts in extra work

Posted by: under Vikings players Updated: September 10, 2009 - 9:21 AM

Brett Favre had high praise for tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on Wednesday.

"By far, physically speaking, he's as good a tight end as I've ever played with and I've played with some good ones that date back to Chewy [Mark Chmura] and the combination we had with Chewy and Keith Jackson," Favre said. "He has a ways to go, as far as numbers are speaking, to live up to that, but I think given time [he can]. There is no doubt physically speaking that he's got it."

Shiancoe clearly wants to reach that level judging by the extra work he puts in every day after practice. He did an interesting drill for about 15 minutes after almost every other player had left the field.

Shiancoe laid on his back with wide receivers coach George Stewart standing at his feet. Stewart threw passes to Shiancoe at different spots in rapid fire succession. At the same time, wide receiver Jaymar Johnson kneeled above Shiancoe's head and waved his arms in front of his face while also hitting the side of his helmet.

The goal was for Shiancoe to work on catching passes that were slightly off target while being harassed by a defender.

"I did 150, man," Shiancoe said. "This was a drill that George Stewart taught me and my coach Jimmie Johnson works with me on every day. I'm following the ball everywhere it goes. I don't know where it's going. It's coming so quick. I have to throw my hands out and my eyes have to follow. It's all about reaction."

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