Chip Scoggins: Vikings vets volunteer to erase that 3-13 taste

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 3, 2012 - 2:27 AM

It won't win any games, but the team's commitment to offseason workouts at Winter Park sends a good message.

hide

The appearance of the Vikings’ Percy Harvin at OTAs means a lot to some of the team’s young receivers.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Percy Harvin texted Leslie Frazier after he arrived in town on Memorial Day, seeking information about his appointment with the Vikings medical staff the following morning.

The Vikings coach fired back a reply.

"Is this the real Percy Harvin?"

Yes, Harvin made good on his promise to return to Winter Park for the start of organized team activities last week. Though sidelined because of a shoulder injury, he recognized the significance of making an appearance at the voluntary (wink, wink) workouts and even helped spread the word to teammates.

They apparently got the message -- if a 3-13 embarrassment last season didn't already do that.

All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen was the only player who chose not to attend the first session of workouts. A few players sat out because of injuries, and linebacker Chad Greenway tended to a family matter. Otherwise, everyone came ready to work, a positive development for a team attempting to move forward after a historically bad season.

"For those guys to show up in a voluntary situation -- especially when you're considering in years past this is something they haven't been a part of or sporadically been a part of -- it speaks volumes to their belief in trying to get things turned around," Frazier said.

To be clear here, the Vikings won't win any games in May or June. They're not even wearing pads, and established players take few reps. The playbook installation and film study serve as important building blocks for later on, but OTA attendance establishes a tone and perception as much as anything.

The Vikings tied a franchise record for losses last season. Imagine if a group of veterans decided to skip the first team gathering in the wake of that 13-loss campaign, even if the thing is entirely optional.

"We're just going to grind it out all the way up until the season and hopefully get a better result than last year," Harvin said.

In recent years, the Vikings treated OTAs as if they stood for Occasionally Train Apart. On-field workouts typically consisted of rookies, youngsters and select veterans. In 2010, Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams were the only starters from the previous season who took part in the first OTA session.

Harvin prefers to train in Florida. Adrian Peterson skipped a mandatory minicamp a few years ago to attend a parade in his honor in his hometown. Antoine Winfield usually conducts his workouts in Houston, estimating that he participated in "one or two" OTA practices the past few years.

And now?

"It's Year 14 for me," Winfield said. "I need the work, too."

He understands his presence is beneficial beyond just knocking off some rust. The Vikings are picking up the pieces and trying to create a new identity with a bunch of young, unproven players who need guidance and leadership. This roster has undergone a remarkable makeover this offseason. So many fresh faces populate the locker room that name tags should be required upon entry.

"There's so many new faces in there, it's amazing," veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams said.

Winfield joked that he didn't know too many names yet, but that's OK. The point is, they know his.

At a rookie minicamp last month, wide receiver Jarius Wright sounded like a kid on Christmas Eve as he recalled seeing Harvin on the field before their college teams played in 2008.

"I'm sitting over here thinking, 'Wow, that's Percy Harvin,' and I'm shell-shocked," Wright said.

Think it was important to Wright that Harvin showed up this week?

Harvin and Peterson caused a lot of gawking Wednesday as they raced up a hill several times during rehab drills. Everyone in attendance -- players, coaches, media, support staff -- took notice. Eventually, one got the sense their show accomplished a desired effect.

The two stars didn't have to be there, and they certainly didn't have to race up that hill, but their competitive juices started flowing and off they went.

A footrace in OTAs doesn't guarantee the Vikings will have a successful season, of course, but it sent an underlying message. Now everyone else needs to follow their lead.

Chip Scoggins • ascoggins@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees 0 Top 1st Inning
Toronto 0
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront 1:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Masterson
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 7 2nd Qtr 9:20
UAB 17
(7) UCLA 7 2nd Qtr 7:33
Virginia 3
Western Mich 14 2nd Qtr 10:50
Purdue 10
(5) Ohio State 3 2nd Qtr 7:29
Navy 7
Appalachian St 0 2nd Qtr 5:59
Michigan 14
Ga Southern 7 2nd Qtr
NC State 3
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Colorado 3:00 PM
Seattle
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close