Vikings day at camp: Defense delivers big plays

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 31, 2013 - 6:59 AM

Practice snapshot

On a day where the Vikings defense stepped up, Tuesday’s loudest hit came from the littlest linebacker. In 11-on-11 action, Larry Dean — all 6 feet and 226 pounds of him — knifed through the defensive line to deliver a resounding tackle for loss on Toby Gerhart.

The most athletic defensive highlight came in 7-on-7 with A.J. Jefferson deflecting a deep ball to Jarius Wright and safety Robert Blanton swooping in to make a diving interception.

Cole position

Audie Cole’s biggest moments as a Viking came last preseason when he returned interceptions for touchdowns on back-to-back plays in a victory over the Bills. The second-year linebacker is showing positive signs early in camp, especially now with the pads on. Cole was active again Tuesday using his 6-5 frame and physicality to make his mark. He’s also a first-teamer on the kickoff and kick return units.

From the podium

The Vikings seem to have more depth on their defensive line than anywhere else, which has coordinator Alan Williams sticking with the 2012 blueprint of using a rotation across all four spots.

The confidence in starters Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Letroy Guion and Brian Robison is high. But there also will be a push to get Everson Griffen, Sharrif Floyd, Fred Evans, Christian Ballard and Lawrence Jackson into action.

Said Williams: “One [hope] is that at the end of the ballgame, when we need to shut it out, guys are fresh and they can get themselves going. Number two would be at the end of the year when we need to make that playoff push, guys are healthy and they don’t have too many reps on their bodies. … The third is that if someone would happen to get injured, that other guy has enough reps under his belt the where he can come in and play winning football.”

CAMP CHATTER

“The sooner you can come to grips with the idea that you know what, this isn’t a situation everyone’s fit for, you understand you have to be mentally tough. So you stay out of the papers [for negative publicity] and believe in yourself and believe in your team, then that’s what it’s all about.”

— Backup Matt Cassel, on the challenges of never-ending scrutiny as an NFL starting quarterback.

INJURY REPORT

• WR Greg Childs (knees) was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

• LB Nathan Williams (ankle) was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

SCHEDULE

Three days out

Wednesday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.

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Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston 1 Top 6th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Toronto 0 Top 7th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 6 Bottom 6th Inning
Miami 1
Los Angeles 0 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Cleveland 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Houston 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
St. Louis 0
Arizona 0 Top 2nd Inning
Colorado 0
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc
Tampa Bay 0 1st Qtr 2:58
Atlanta 14
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(20) Kansas State 7
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
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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 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

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