Vikings' Bowman hopes hoops skills help as a cornerback

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 14, 2012 - 1:55 AM

Vikings cornerback Zack Bowman admits he has added interest in this year's NBA Finals. Why? He's keeping a close eye on one of his old teammates: Heat point guard Mario Chalmers.

Bowman and Chalmers played at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska, winning back-to-back state championships in 2002 and '03. It's no wonder then that, after Tuesday's Vikings practice, Bowman picked Miami to take down Oklahoma City, offering his recollection of Chalmers from their prep days.

"Mario loved to shoot the three," Bowman said. "He was a reliable point guard and we were always successful together. We went 25-2 two years in a row."

Bowman, 28, said he was a slashing small forward in high school while also spending some time at power forward.

"I had game," he said. "I had speed and I could jump. I could get you anywhere from 15 to 20 points a game, a few rebounds, a couple steals."

The Vikings hope Bowman can use his speed and athleticism to contribute in their secondary and on special teams. Signed to a one-year deal in March, Bowman believes he has good ball skills and can use his strength to be reliable in press coverage. He's also hoping to recapture the success he had in 2009 with the Chicago Bears, when he had six interceptions.

"So much of that stemmed from the defensive line," Bowman said. "They applied a lot of pressure up front that season. And that forced quarterbacks to get the ball out. For us as a secondary, when that D-line is humming, you have an opportunity and a responsibility to make plays."

For what it's worth, the Vikings had an NFL-best 50 sacks in 2011, 40 1/2 of those coming from the defensive line.

Banks to work out

Looking for linebacker help, the Vikings plan to see what Brian Banks has to offer later this week. Banks is currently participating in the Seattle Seahawks minicamp, attempting to make a return to football after spending more than five years in prison on a rape conviction that was overturned.

Banks was exonerated on that charge last month when the alleged victim recanted her original story. Banks last played organized football in 2002, then a 17-year-old high school star in California with a scholarship offer to Southern California. But his football dreams were dashed by the rape charge, to which, according to reports, his attorneys advised him to plead no contest. Now free, Banks is giving football another go.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said there was a "good chance" Banks would be coming in for a workout Friday.

Notable absences

Missing from Tuesday's OTA were defensive end Jared Allen, running back Adrian Peterson, cornerback Antoine Winfield, receiver Percy Harvin and linebacker Chad Greenway. Harvin has missed four consecutive OTA sessions after returning to the field for the team's June 5 practice. Frazier said again Tuesday that Harvin's absence since last week has had nothing to do with the arthroscopic shoulder surgery the receiver had in April.

Greenway is back home in South Dakota, tending to a serious family matter. The linebacker has already been given excused status to miss next week's mandatory three-day minicamp.

Etc.

• Rookie receiver Greg Childs is back in action after missing the first two weeks of OTAs because of a calf strain. Childs is steadily working back toward full speed.

• Linebacker Jasper Brinkley is not practicing this week because of a minor groin injury. He is expected to be back for next week's minicamp. Fellow linebacker Solomon Elimimian also sat out Tuesday because of a hamstring issue.

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