Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: On learning, setbacks and potential

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 1, 2012 - 10:03 PM

The Vikings have completed five days of practice and are still rebuilding. But wait, there's more. Here are a trio of other things you should know in this edition of Three-and-Out:

1. Erin Henderson is hoping for a breakthrough season followed by a big payday.

Put it in ink: Henderson will be the opening day starter at weak-side linebacker. And that alone has the 26-year-old feeling assured and confident his ascension will produce a steep curve this season.

Henderson has no trouble admitting his first go-round as a starter in 2011 came with growing pains. He says he too often was enticed to try to make plays that weren't his responsibility, a temptation that grew as the Vikings' struggles mounted.

"I kind of had that college mentality still," Henderson said. "It was, 'Make every tackle and try to be in on every play.' But at this level, you can't do that."

Henderson's biggest wake-up call came late in the season against the Broncos. Straying from his gap to chase Willis McGahee, Henderson left the defense vulnerable and infuriated defensive coordinator Fred Pagac.

"Pug told me, 'If I see that again, you're coming on the sideline next to me.' It was straight like that," Henderson said. "From what I remember, it was nothing too bad -- a 12- or 13-yard run. But he was tired of seeing that. And I understand why. He told me if I get out of the B gap again, he was going to put me on the bench and somebody else was going in there."

Henderson has come to camp with greater discipline plus a hunger to prove his worth. Remember the anxiety he had in March when he sat available on the free-agent market, unable to land the marquee deal he felt he deserved?

The Vikings eventually signed him to a one-year deal, worth around $2 million, setting the stage for a prove-it season.

In late February, Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson -- a friend of Henderson's and a former teammate at Maryland -- had received a lucrative contract extension reportedly worth more than $42 million over five years. Jackson's "Your time will come" pep talk encouraged Henderson.

Said the Vikings linebacker: "D'Qwell told me, 'It's going to come when it's supposed to come. You have to keep grinding until it does.' ... Nothing I can do about it right now. I need to go out there and take care of my business and handle my end and hopefully it will play out different next time."

2. John Carlson's absence will be significant in the next few weeks.

Carlson is out until further notice because of a knee injury, a setback he suffered late in Tuesday's practice when, while he was blocking, someone rolled into his right knee. An MRI exam revealed a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament, which likely will put Carlson on the shelf for at least two weeks.

So what's the big deal? Well, the Vikings made Carlson one of their top targets in free agency and ended up overwhelming the tight end with a deal worth $25 million over five seasons. That kind of investment brings great expectations. Plus offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has made it clear he plans to run a lot of two-tight-end sets, envisioning Carlson and Kyle Rudolph as major catalysts to the growth of quarterback Christian Ponder.

None of that is off the table, obviously. If Carlson heals quickly and can be back in action by the third preseason game -- Aug. 24 against San Diego -- the Vikings will be ecstatic. But let's not forget, Carlson has had a handful of significant injury setbacks in recent years. He missed all of 2011 after shoulder surgery. His 2010 season (31 catches, 318 yards) ended in the playoffs with a nasty concussion in Chicago.

As for what will be missed with Carlson on the side for the rest of the team's time in Mankato? Coach Leslie Frazier said the tight end's veteran presence will be lessened. In addition, Frazier said, "The fact that it's a new offense for him -- the terminology, being able to not just hear it in meetings but to and actually practice his movements, you miss that part of it."

3. Greg Childs still has a lot to prove.

When the Vikings used a fourth-round pick to nab Childs in April, they were intrigued by his potential. The 6-3, 217-pound playmaker out of Arkansas sure looks the part, possessing a combination of size, speed and ball skills that has Frazier and General Manager Rick Spielman believing he could emerge as the steal of the 2012 draft.

But the electric version of Greg Childs hasn't been seen very much in the past two years. Childs' junior season in college was cut short when he tore the patella tendon in his right knee. That injury lingered into 2011, with Childs' recovery so slow that he averaged only two catches and 22 yards per game as a senior.

Then he came to the Vikings and was limited during rookie minicamp and into organized team activities because of a calf strain. And now, in the first week of training camp, Childs has had minor difficulty holding on to passes he should catch.

The Vikings' 2012 revival plans will hinge on patience. And that applies to monitoring Childs' growth. Yet Frazier has been straightforward with what he hopes to see.

"You want him to be able to show that he can stay healthy," Frazier said. "That's a big deal, being available."

Ideally, Childs will prove his health is not a worry and that his potential can be realized.

"His size stands out," Frazier said. "To have a big receiver who can run as well as he can and having the catching radius that he has gives you a belief that even when people have decent coverage, because of his size and ability to catch balls in tough spots, he has big-play potential."

  • related content

  • Vikings training camp notes: Wednesday

    Wednesday August 1, 2012

    Staff writers Mark Craig and Dan Wiederer blog at Access Vikings on startribune.com. Here is Mark's report from Wednesday:

  • Vikings day at camp: Wednesday

    Wednesday August 1, 2012

    The Vikings defense clearly pulled ahead of the offense during Wednesday's workout. Defenders were swarming their way to sacks, forced fumbles, interceptions and backfield stops on end-around plays.

  • Erin Henderson

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 2:30 PM
LA Clippers
Boston 6:00 PM
Washington
Orlando 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Memphis 6:30 PM
Miami
Indiana 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Detroit 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Carolina 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Boston 6:00 PM
Columbus
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Nashville
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Arizona
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 77 2nd Half 1:45
Minnesota 100
Georgia State 60 2nd Half 1:10
Green Bay 76
Jacksonville St 20 2nd Half
Jacksonville 25
Kentucky 17 1st Half 3:50
Louisville 15
Northern Ky 2:00 PM
Northwestern
UAB 3:00 PM
North Carolina
IUPUI 3:00 PM
Pepperdine
Santa Clara 3:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Oakland 4:00 PM
Maryland
Gonzaga 5:00 PM
BYU
Mercer 5:00 PM
Georgia
San Francisco 5:00 PM
Pacific
Wright State 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Brescia 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Tennessee St 7:30 PM
Tennessee
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 10 3rd Qtr
Virginia Tech 13
(15) Arizona State 10 1st Qtr 2:59
Duke 3
Miami-Florida 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 42 2nd Half 3:11
(2) Connecticut 87
UCF 2:00 PM
Houston
BYU 4:00 PM
Gonzaga
Pacific 4:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
San Diego 7:00 PM
Portland
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 NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close