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.


New defensive coordinator Alan Williams will take a field-level view

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Vikings training camp Updated: August 7, 2012 - 5:25 PM

By Kent Youngblood -- @BloodStrib

Greetings. Kent Youngblood here with an update following Tuesday's walkthrough. The Vikings will return to the practice field at 2:45 p.m. with the offense looking to bounce back from a somewhat disappointing Monday practice. On to the notes ...

Friday’s preseason opener in San Francisco will mark the first time a number of players will have to see how they operate in a game-like situation. And they won’t be alone. This will also be Alan Williams’ first game as the team’s defensive coordinator.

“I’m looking forward to working with the staff in game mode,” Williams said. “It’s not just a first-time run-through for the players, it will be a first-time run-through for our staff in terms of communicating.”

Williams said he would work the game from the field rather than the press box. He has done both in his career. But in his first go as a coordinator in the NFL, he wanted to start out on the field to make sure the lines of communication were clear and the staff was adept at making in-game adjustments.

“If it works fine, I think I’ll stay (on the field),” Williams said. “If it’s working, why try to fix it? I’ll start there, see what happens, and then adjust.”

Playing time?

Both offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and Williams said a final decision on how much time their starters will play against San Francisco has not been made. Both will take their lead from head coach Leslie Frazier. But Musgrave said he wanted to take his starters as deep as he can in the first quarter while still trying to get sufficient tape on everybody.

Williams, meanwhile, said being new wouldn’t alter his approach to playing his starters. It remains to be seen how much veterans like Antoine Winfield, Kevin Williams and Jared Allen would play. It would be a surprise if any of them played much; Allen has already jokingly asked out of the action.

One thing is clear: The Vikings are still in camp mode, in the sense that they are not game-planning for the 49ers at all. And, given the fact that the two teams meet again in Week 3 of the regular season, you can bet the schemes will be vanilla.

“That’s definitely a factor when you talk about what you’re going to show, what we want to work on and what we could care less about,’’ Musgrave said.

Musgrave said he hoped his offense would bounce back this afternoon after struggles Monday in move-the-ball and goal-line drills.

"Yesterday we took a step backwards in a couple periods," Musgrave said. "We're looking to make those corrections and be better the next time.

A complete corner

Williams went out of his way this morning to praise third-year cornerback Chris Cook for his play in camp so far, referencing a handful of impressive interceptions he has made, both in team work and in one-on-one drills.

“There was one play when he really broke downhill and made a nice interception,” Williams said of a play last week. “Then, in one-on-ones they tried to throw a deep ball on him, and he intercepted that one, too. And if you were here (Monday), you saw on goal line he stuck it up in there and made a tackle and stopped [Toby Gerhart] short of the goal line. I’m seeing a complete football player, which is what you want to have.”

Williams playing well

Alan Williams said defensive tackle Kevin Williams is having a strong camp. In analyzing the players after being hired, Alan Williams said the veteran defensive tackle played better at the end of the season compared to the beginning, when he was battling plantar fasciitis. “He’s playing at a high level,” Alan Williams said.

Griffen gets opportunity

Williams said linebacker Everson Griffen would get looks both as an outside linebacker in the normal defense and as a pass rusher against San Francisco. On Monday, Griffen took a number of snaps as a stand-up rusher in certain sets.

“We’re trying to evaluate him, see what he does best,” Williams said. “We like his playmaking ability, his athleticism. We want to see, in a game-like situation, see how he functions with the lights on, see if he can operate within the scope of the defense.”

Etc.

Musgrave said running back Jordan Todman (ankle) would try to practice this afternoon. The young tailback tried to practice Monday, but couldn’t. There is a spirited competition between Todman and Lex Hilliard for a backup spot in the rotation, a rather big issue considering Adrian Peterson is coming back from knee surgery and remains on the camp PUP list. Hilliard is a more bruising runner, Todman more elusive. Musgrave said he might go easy on Toby Gerhart on Friday in San Francisco, so Todman (if healthy) and Hilliard could see a lot of action. Derrick Coleman will also get a share of the workload.

ADVERTISEMENT

Golden State 99 FINAL
Cleveland 110
Oklahoma City 48 3rd Qtr
Phoenix 53
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Arizona 3 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Montreal 5 FINAL
Columbus 2
Philadelphia 2 FINAL
Toronto 3
Chicago 3 FINAL
Florida 0
St. Louis 2 FINAL(SO)
Winnipeg 1
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Nashville 2
Ottawa 0 2nd Prd 9:42
Los Angeles 0
Detroit 1 2nd Prd 13:09
San Jose 2
Northern Ky 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
East Tenn St 73 FINAL
Citadel 74
Winthrop 50 FINAL
Campbell 65
Delaware 58 FINAL
Drexel 44
Jacksonville St 57 FINAL
Eastern Ky 63
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Elon 72
Sacred Heart 90 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 85
Western Carolina 49 FINAL
Furman 53
Char Southern 81 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Western Ill 66 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Nebraska Omaha 73 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67
Radford 69 FINAL
Liberty 80
St Francis-NY 74 FINAL
Long Island 69
Wofford 76 FINAL
Mercer 72
Minnesota 96 FINAL
Michigan State 90
High Point 75 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 71
Samford 67 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Nebraska 57 FINAL
Ohio State 81
Wagner 59 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Mount St Marys 60 FINAL
St Francis-PA 63
Houston 54 FINAL
Temple 66
Vanderbilt 73 FINAL
Tennessee 65
Chattanooga 86 FINAL
Va Military 82
Milwaukee 61 FINAL
Wright State 58
Coastal Carolina 69 FINAL
Presbyterian 80
Central Conn St 69 FINAL
Bryant 77
Ga Southern 77 FINAL
Appalachian St 58
SIU Edwardsville 61 FINAL
Austin Peay 64
Green Bay 72 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 67
Texas-El Paso 60 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 77
FIU 69 FINAL
Marshall 87
Rider 63 FINAL
Monmouth 60
Eastern Ill 57 FINAL
Murray State 65
Charlotte 65 FINAL
North Texas 81
North Dakota St 58 FINAL
Oral Roberts 74
Old Dominion 63 FINAL
Rice 54
TX-San Antonio 66 FINAL
Southern Miss 70
UT Martin 69 FINAL
Tennessee St 52
Fla Atlantic 68 FINAL
Western Ky 71
Northern Ariz 85 FINAL
North Dakota 75
Grand Canyon 70 FINAL
Chicago State 74
Utah Valley U 50 FINAL
UMKC 69
ULM 75 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Texas-Arlington 80 FINAL
Arkansas State 81
Georgia State 83 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 92
Troy 61 FINAL
Texas State 67
Arizona 82 FINAL
Colorado 54
SMU 66 FINAL
Memphis 57
Tenn Tech 73 FINAL
Morehead State 86
Rutgers 85 FINAL
Purdue 92
Southern Utah 67 FINAL
Northern Colorado 77
Montana State 68 FINAL
Eastern Wash 92
UC Davis 60 2nd Half 0:46
UC Santa Barbara 74
UC Irvine 63 FINAL
Cal Poly 56
Cal State Fullerton 68 2nd Half 1:43
CS-Northridge 75
Montana 57 2nd Half 1:23
Idaho 54
BYU 69 2nd Half 4:27
Portland 64
Pacific 60 2nd Half 0:22
Santa Clara 53
Arizona State 17 2nd Half 13:34
Utah 48
San Diego 17 1st Half 0:35
Gonzaga 20
St Marys-CA 49 2nd Half
San Francisco 29
Oregon State 26 1st Half 3:31
Stanford 19
Long Beach State 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Rice 68 FINAL
Old Dominion 83
Manhattan 67 FINAL
Monmouth 84
Georgia Southern 39 FINAL
Appalachian St 66
Marshall 74 FINAL
FIU 50
TX-Arlington 62 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
ULM 45 FINAL
South Alabama 38
Troy 75 FINAL
Texas State 59
Georgia State 39 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 56
William & Mary 84 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 55
Delaware 68 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
UMBC 41 FINAL
Maine 61
UMass Lowell 72 FINAL
Vermont 64
Albany 65 FINAL
Hartford 50
Stony Brook 68 FINAL
Binghamton 59
Boston College 60 FINAL
(8) Louisville 77
(23) Syracuse 60 FINAL
Clemson 55
(16) Duke 62 FINAL
Georgia Tech 71
Florida 53 FINAL
Alabama 49
NC State 52 FINAL
(9) Florida State 72
Miami-Florida 59 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
LSU 57 FINAL
Ole Miss 58
(11) Miss State 50 FINAL
(2) South Carolina 69
Fairfield 74 FINAL
Iona 62
Marist 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 66
Quinnipiac 91 FINAL
Rider 53
Virginia 70 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 72
Pittsburgh 59 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 87
Ohio State 88 FINAL
Penn State 70
Massachusetts 60 FINAL
Dayton 69
(22) George Washington 81 FINAL
Richmond 69
Saint Louis 53 FINAL
Rhode Island 68
Wright State 74 FINAL
Detroit 59
Green Bay 70 FINAL
Oakland 55
Western Ky 85 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 74
Indiana 72 FINAL
(5) Maryland 83
North Texas 46 FINAL
Charlotte 71
Central Arkansas 64 FINAL
Sam Houston St 56
SE Louisiana 60 FINAL
Northwestern St 71
Nicholls 63 FINAL
New Orleans 68
Incarnate Word 44 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 58
Denver 68 FINAL
No Dakota State 87
IUPU-Ft Wayne 61 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 70
IUPUI 53 FINAL
South Dakota 69
Lamar 77 FINAL
McNeese State 98
Western Ill 49 FINAL
South Dakota St 69
Missouri 70 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 69
(13) Kentucky 56 FINAL
Arkansas 51
(20) Rutgers 60 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 80
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 59
Wisconsin 74 FINAL
(17) Iowa 78
North Dakota 68 FINAL
Northern Ariz 72
Northern Colorado 88 FINAL
Southern Utah 66
Louisiana Tech 0 Postponed
Texas-El Paso 0
Eastern Washington 53 FINAL
Montana State 63
Idaho 68 FINAL
Montana 81
Auburn 70 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(6) Tennessee 70 FINAL
Georgia 59
Gonzaga 62 FINAL
San Diego 75
USC 48 FINAL
Washington 60
Portland 63 FINAL
BYU 65
(24) California 74 FINAL
Oregon 59
(19) Stanford 69 FINAL
(7) Oregon State 58
Chicago State 49 FINAL
Grand Canyon 73
UMKC 51 FINAL
Utah Valley U 61
San Francisco 65 FINAL
St Marys-CA 62
UCLA 74 FINAL
Washington St 69
Santa Clara 74 2nd Half 0:43
Pacific 83
CS-Northridge 65 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 53
UC Santa Barbara 47 FINAL
Cal-Irvine 57
Hawaii 47 FINAL
Long Beach St 46
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
UC Davis 50
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 NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT