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.


No plans to play Floyd, Kevin Williams side by side

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: July 30, 2013 - 1:12 PM

MANKATO -- Defensive coordinator Alan Williams met with reporters for the first time this training camp. Here's some of the Alan's highlights and at least one media lowlight:

Q: Is this the best defensive line you've had in your time here?

A: "Well, I've only had one year. ... So I'd say yes."

Q: If Sharrif Floyd and Kevin Williams are your two best tackles, would you play them together? (Floyd, a rookie first-round pick, is the backup at the three-technique tackle position behind Williams, an 11-year veteran)

A: "I don't think so. That's not a definite, but the one thing that we do do is we rotate [defensive linemen] so much that you do need two three-techniques and you need two noses [nose tackles]. We'll see how that shakes out, but the one thing about those two spots is they're different spots. Just because you are a great three-technique doesn't mean you're going to come in and play nose and be as effective. So I don't think so, but I'm not going to rule anything out."

Q: How tough is it to get the veteran defensive linemen to accept a rotation that cuts their snaps?

A: "Great question, but that's the same question we had from last year. Guys know they're going to rotate. They know at some point they're going to have to come out of the ballgame. And that's going to be the best thing for the team, but not necessarily the best thing for their number of reps. But we want to make sure that we keep them fresh, that we keep them going for three reasons. One is at the end of the ballgame, when we need to shut it out, so guys are fresh and can get themselves going. No. 2 would be at the end of the year when we have to make that playoff push, that guys are healthy and don't have too many reps on their body so they're fresh. And No. 3 is that if someone would happen to get injured then the other guy would have enough reps under his belt that he can come in there and play winning football. So having that rotation helps the entire team out. And they're good with it, even though they may tell you, `Hey, I want to play every down.' They know what's best for us as a whole."

Q: What is the biggest thing that Josh Robinson still needs to learn about playing the slot corner position? (Robinson has never played the position and is trying to replace Antoine Winfield, one of the league's best slot corners)

A: "He just needs the reps. He needs to see the different plays that he's going to get in practice. I don't think people realize how tough that position is. That's a position that you have to fit lit a safety or a linebacker in the box and you have to cover like a corner when you're on a receiver. That's a position unlike other ones where you can just get by by being talented. You have to have good instincts, you have to be talented and you have to see the reps. We're very, very encouraged with him playing in that spot."

Q: What kind of progress is safety Jamarca Sanford making as a leader?

A: "He's always been a leader. You guys who have interviewed him, he likes to talk. One thing about Jamara though is he backs it up on the football field. I think that's an important part. Guys can talk, but Jamarca is one that when he gets on the field he goes a million miles an hour. He plays hard. He plays smart. And one thing now is he probably has better judgment in the passing game than he has in the past. He's always been a fireplug in stopping the run. But he has elevated his game in the passing game. He's becoming a complete football player and one of the better safeties in the league. We like what he brings. He's another one of those guys who exemplifies everything that we talk about in terms of Minnesota Vikings football.

 

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Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 4
Minnesota - WP: T. May 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 6 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 6 FINAL
Arizona - WP: Z. Spruill 8
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 0
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: D. O`Day 3
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
New Orleans 24 FINAL
Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 19 FINAL
Tampa Bay 17
Seattle 21 FINAL
San Diego 30
NY Jets 24 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Kansas City 17 FINAL
Denver 24
Houston 30 FINAL
Oakland 14
Chicago 28 FINAL
San Francisco 20
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Indianapolis
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Connecticut 21
Indiana 42 FINAL
Bowling Green 45
Ga Southern 38 FINAL
Georgia Tech 42
Syracuse 40 FINAL
Central Mich 3
UCF 10 FINAL
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
Marshall 44
West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
Pittsburgh 42 FINAL
FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
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Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
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Duke 41
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Miami-Florida 41
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(10) Ole Miss 56
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TCU 30
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(3) Alabama 52
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UNLV 34
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(8) LSU 31
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Utah State 36
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(25) Oklahoma State 43
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(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
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Illinois
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Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
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(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
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Memphis
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Arkansas State
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Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
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Houston
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(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
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Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
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Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28
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2014 preseason     
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