The biggest name at the Vikings' three-day rookie camp this weekend might be a guy who doesn't even have a contract.
Quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who was dismissed from the LSU football team in May 2008 for disciplinary reasons and finished his collegiate career at Jacksonville (Ala.) State, is at Winter Park on a tryout basis. On Friday, Perrilloux split reps with R.J. Archer (signed as a free agent out of William & Mary) and displayed an impressive arm.
Despite a steady wind blowing during practice, Perrilloux looked sharp in various drills, including 7-on-7 and one-on-one where wide receivers went against cornerbacks. In one-on-one, Perrilloux completed a nice medium range pass to Ray Small on which the free-agent receiver from Ohio State made a nice adjustment. Three passes later, another wide receiver made a nice catch of a Perrilloux pass down the right sideline.
We can't tell you who made that catch because the Vikings do not provide a complete list of players who attend this camp on a tryout basis.
The team portion of the practice did end with Perrilloux throwing the only interception of the day.
Afterward, Childress said he was not concerned about giving Perrilloux a chance despite his past problems. “I was comfortable with it. He has raw skills and ability. We were able to talk yesterday and obviously you know what agent he has. I was able to talk to [agent] Bus [Cook] a little bit. Brett [Favre] has kind of interacted with him a little bit. I find him to be a humble kid here and I’m not judging him backwards. I’m judging him from forwards.”
The fact Cook represents Perrilloux certainly did not hurt him in getting a chance with the Vikings and he and Favre did some work together last week in Hattiesburg. Perrilloux said the two talked and that Favre did watch him do some work and offered advice. "He just told me to come up and be myself and get in my [playbook] and just study," Perrilloux said.
Childress did admit the Vikings gave no thought to selecting Perrilloux in last weekend's draft.
Although it rained late this afternoon, the Vikings were able to hold their entire practice outdoors before the rain came.
"Had a chance to get out here on the grass. The weather cooperated, it was awesome," Childress said. "Looks like we got some nice athletes in this bunch. Both drafted, signed as free agents and then guys that are attempting to flash here on this weekend tryout. Part of this thing is A, evaluation, the second thing is looking at the competes of these guys. Just watching how they innately compete and then seeing what kind of retention all of them have with the limited menu that we are putting in. First glance, a little bit of nerves going on today. They go back in and look at the tape, get back, get in their playbook and then we'll go at it again first thing in the morning."
Among those in attendance for the practice was Gophers football coach Tim Brewster, who had at least three of his former players on the field. Childress and Brewster also are very good friends. The former Gophers included linebacker Nate Triplett, a fifth-round pick, as well as cornerback Marcus Sherels and defensive end Barrett Moen, who are being given tryouts.
With so many players looking to make a quick and positive impression, the competition level this weekend will be high.
"There's elevated intensity since who knows? It may be the one and only swing for guys," Childress said. "We just ask them to put themselves in the best possible position in terms of how they came to us, first of all, conditioning-wise. And then, second of all, trying to flash something for us. What we don't want is we don't want someone to get run into and get hurt. But it's football. There will be some collisions, which we're not wild about. But I would say, yeah, you see that heightened sense of urgency."
- Running backs Darius Reynaud and Albert Young both came out of the locker room to watch a bit of the practice.
- Defensive end Dexter Manley Jr., son of the former NFL player by the same name, is in the Vikings camp for a tryout.
- Second-round pick Chris Cook was a right cornerback to open seven-on-seven drills. Cook was the Vikings' first pick in the draft.