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.


What you missed at Vikings training camp Thursday

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: July 31, 2014 - 6:23 PM

Vikings rookie defensive tackle Isame Faciane is hearing a familiar voice in his ear for his first training camp. His defensive line coach at FIU was none other than Andre Patterson, the Vikings’ defensive line coach.

The undrafted free agent spent last season under Patterson before he was hired by the Vikings. Faciane is attempting to crack the roster as a flexible defensive tackle that can play both three-technique and nose tackle.

Faciane has seen an increase in reps over the last two days mixing in with the second team. He’s felt improvement getting over his stance and improving as a pass rusher over the last three days as Patterson continues to stress technique.

“Run to the near hip and have my hips down on the field while I’m rushing,” Faciane said about his improvement as a pass rusher. “It’s just repetitive things I keep telling myself and just self-taught throughout the whole practice.”

With the first preseason game next Friday against the Raiders, Faciane knows that will be a big opportunity to receive more reps in practice. Patterson reminds him and the rest of the defensive line about how crucial their preseason play will be in deciding whether some will crack the 53-man roster.

“I’m itching to get out there and especially play somebody different,” Faciane said. “Going against my teammates for training camp and OTAs gets old after a while. You’re ready to see different people and different foes.”

Here’s a rep featuring Faciane and defensive tackle Fred Evans against (from left to right) guard David Yankey, center Joe Berger and guard Vladimir Ducasse. Faciane stunts to his right and brings pressure against Yankey.

SETTING THE SCENE: It was another nice day in Mankato. Temperatures hovered around 80 degrees with mostly sunny skies and not a drop of rain in sight. It was a decent turnout too for a Thursday afternoon.

TEDDY 2-PICKS: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw two interceptions during 11-on-11 periods. It was the first time Bridgewater threw a pick in team sessions during training camp. Linebacker Audie Cole made a great jump to cut off Bridgewater’s throw during a simulated two-minute drill period for a touchdown. Cornerback Derek Cox made a nice grab diving for a low pass from Bridgewater for the second interception. Bridgewater, however, did receive a few reps again with the first team in between both interceptions.

AP RESTING: Running back Adrian Peterson dressed but was held out of individual drills and team periods. It appeared to be nothing more than a day off for the 2012 NFL MVP. Matt Asiata received the first team reps with Jerick McKinnon getting most of the second team reps.

Here’s a pass protection drill the running backs worked on featuring McKinnon. Running backs coach Kirby Wilson emphasized footwork in this drill.

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SAFETY ROTATION: Safety Robert Blanton (hamstring) was held out of practice again, which allowed Jamarca Sanford to receive the majority of the first team reps next to Harrison Smith. Rookie Antone Exum also sprinkled in some reps with the first team at safety.

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