Vikings day at camp: Rookie punter shows off a big leg

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 5, 2013 - 11:00 PM

Vikings rookie punter Jeff Locke

Practice snapshot

The punter is a pretty big deal on a team that has a run-oriented, ball-control, field-position-is-vital offense. Rookie Jeff Locke is replacing the best punter in Vikings history, Chris Kluwe, but so far, so good. Actually, on Monday, it was more like so far, so REALLY good. Practicing punts from his own end zone during an 11-on-11 segment of practice, Locke launched a punt about 65 yards in the air, with the wind. A few snaps later, he blasted a punt that caught a tail wind, landed and rolled for about a 90-yarder. “When we’re backed up like that, we’re trying to flip the field so we’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of hang time,” Locke said. “And it always helps when you go with the wind.”

Good throw, good catch, great pick

It was a good throw and an even better catch right up to the point where it became a great interception. During an 11-on-11 segment of practice, Christian Ponder spotted tight end Kyle Rudolph about 15 yards over the middle. Ponder threw the ball even though Rudolph was being tightly covered by middle linebacker Erin Henderson. Ponder threw the ball high enough that only Rudolph, a giant target, could catch it. Rudolph snared the over the linebacker’s head, but Henderson wrestled it away before Rudolph could secure it.

From the podium

Coach Leslie Frazier was having a hard time concentrating on questions from the Mankato Free Press’ Chad Courrier. Turns out it was nothing personal. Just Courrier’s T-shirt, which had a sketch of Da Coach, Mike Ditka, on the front of it. “That shirt keeps throwing me off, man,” Frazier said. “That’s my old coach.” Frazier was one of Ditka’s starting cornerbacks in 1985, the season the Bears won the Super Bowl. As you might know, they called Ditka “Iron Mike” for a reason. “Flashbacks,” Frazier joked while looking at the shirt.

Camp chatter

“I haven’t had to run that far in nine years.”

— Long snapper Cullen Loeffler, talking about covering Locke’s 90-yard punt.

Injury report

• CB Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) missed his third consecutive practice.

• S Mistral Raymond (hamstring) returned to practice after missing two days.

• LB Desmond Bishop (groin) missed his second practice in a row.

• CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) returned to practice after being limited on Saturday.

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

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

Schedule

Three days out

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

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

Thursday: Players off.

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Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 1 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 5
Cincinnati - WP: T. Cingrani 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: B. Cumpton 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 7
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 4
Minnesota - WP: R. Nolasco 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: E. Bedard 7
Arizona - WP: M. Bolsinger 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 2
San Diego 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Washington 1
Baltimore 1 Top 5th Inning
Toronto 3
NY Yankees 7 Top 3rd Inning
Boston 0
Oakland 2 Bottom 1st Inning
Houston 0
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Indiana 38 3rd Qtr
Atlanta 39
Oklahoma City 9 1st Qtr 5:37
Memphis 8
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Golden State
Boston 0 1st Prd 12:59
Detroit 0
Colorado 8:30 PM
Minnesota
San Jose 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
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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

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