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.


Rookie safety Smith doesn't back down in practice scuffle with Harvin

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: August 8, 2012 - 5:58 PM

MANKATO -- Finally, a camp scuffle ensued on the 11th day of Vikings practice.

Star receiver Percy Harvin and rookie Harrison Smith, a hard-hitting safety who quickly has gained the reputation for not taking any guff from anyone, were the key combatants during a shoving episode that came during an 11-on-11 team drill.

Players wore shells rather than full pads, but the tempo was aggressive because players are fed up with practicing against each other. This was the last practice before Friday's night's preseason opener at San Francisco.

The incident began when Harvin caught a short pass and turned hard upfield into a crowd of defenders. Safety Eric Frampton tried to strip the ball, but was unsuccessful. Another defender swiped at the ball as Harvin kept running. When Smith became the third defender to reach in and tug on the ball, Harvin lost his temper and the two players started pushing and shoving.

Teammates hurried into the fray. Receiver Jerome Simpson shoved Smith. Defensive end Jared Allen and offensive tackle Phil Loadholt were separating players. Meanwhile, safety/team screamer Jamarca Sanford yelled "Calm down, 1-2. [Harvin's number]" a few times from the defensive sideline.

Smith, a first-round draft pick who's still running primarily with the second team but has seen some action with the first team, shrugged the incident off after practice.

"It's football," Smith said. "That stuff happens sometimes when you play football."

Smith said players are getting tired of hitting each other without being able to unleash at full game speed. That comes -- finally -- on Friday.

So much for no hazing:  Coach Leslie Frazier isn't a fan of player hazing. He has a policy against it. Well, that policy was broken by some of his best players after Wednesday's practice. Don't worry. No one was hurt. But Chase Baker, an undrafted rookie from Boise State, did get a little wet and messy.

Members of the defensive line taped him to a goal post. Allen then dumped ice and a jug of water over his head while telling the youngster to sing the Boise State fight song. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams then dumped Pepto-Bismol over Baker's head.

Baker took it all in with a smile. Frazier didn't seem happy. He was talking to Allen as they walked off the field together. Allen threw an arm around the coach's shoulder and said, "Don't worry. We didn't beat him."

In other news: 

  • Frazier said the coaches will spend tonight determining playing time for Friday night's preseason opener at San Francisco. He said the injured players who won't play are safety Robert Blanton (hamstring), tight end John Carlson (knee), receiver Kamar Jorden (hand), offensive tackle DeMarcus Love (shoulder), guard Geoff Schwartz (sports hernia), running back Jordan Todman (ankle) and cornerback Josh Robinson (hamstring). Robinson has returned to practice, but the Vikings are being extra cautious with a player they think has the potential to be the third cornerback and return punts.
  • Training camp has been quiet and unusually devoid of drama and controversies. And that's A-OK with Frazier. "Yes, I sleep a whole lot better at night, no question about it," he said. "You want guys to be focusing on football and the team and the message that you're delivering in that first meeting. You have some of those outside distractions and it takes away from that focus. Part of what we do requires great focus and great determination, and if you don't have that it shows up on the field. We've had our share of distractions as you know, so it's refreshing at this point that we can concentrate on what's important. And that's getting ready to play football."
  • 28
  • Comments

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann 3
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 0
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 5
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 4
Minnesota - LP: K. Correia 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 5
Cincinnati - LP: T. Cingrani 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: E. Jackson 8
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 4
Milwaukee - WP: J. Henderson 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Grilli 7
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 5
NY Yankees - LP: I. Nova 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 16
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 7
Chicago WSox 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Texas 6
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 3
Arizona 6 Top 9th Inning
Los Angeles 8
San Francisco 1 Top 8th Inning
San Diego 2
Brooklyn 94 FINAL
Toronto 87
Golden State 109 FINAL
LA Clippers 105
Atlanta 101 FINAL
Indiana 93
Memphis 30 2nd Qtr 0:58
Oklahoma City 54
Chicago 3 FINAL(OT)
St. Louis 4
Columbus 4 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota 1 2nd Prd 18:52
Colorado 1
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 1 FINAL
Chicago 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Colorado 0
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Columbus 1
Toronto FC 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 0 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 4
Portland 0 2nd Half 44:55
Real Salt Lake 0
Seattle 0 1st Half 40:00
Chivas USA 1
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
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which quarterback is best in the NFL draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT