Vikings staff takes shape and hits the ground running

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Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, left, and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (obscured behind Miami’s Stephen Morris) were among quarterbacks who talked to the Vikings at the Senior Bowl practices.

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– There hasn’t been any official announcements about Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s staff, but some of those pieces already are busy behind the scenes at the Senior Bowl. That includes the new quarterbacks coach Scott Turner, who will hold the position under his father, Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd both said Tuesday they interviewed with Scott Turner on Monday. Thomas said Zimmer wasn’t present at the 15- to 20-minute interview. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr also said he has talked with the Vikings, but he didn’t go into detail.

Scott Turner was wide receivers coach with the Cleveland Browns under his father, who was the offensive coordinator, last season. Before the Browns, the younger Turner was the offensive quality control coach for the Panthers for two years.

The Turners are among the four known assistants. Adam Zimmer, Mike’s son, does not have a defined role yet on the defense. He has served as an assistant linebackers and defensive backs coach in his previous two stints with the Bengals and the Chiefs. George Edwards will be the team’s defensive coordinator.

With Zimmer putting his staff together, former offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will be the Eagles quarterbacks coach, Fox Sports reported. Musgrave has been in Mobile this week during the Senior Bowl, an event where some unemployed coaches attempt to find work. Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer and defensive line coach Brendan Daly have been spotted at Senior Bowl practices, but both declined interviews.

Versatile linebacker

Florida State’s Telvin Smith has been listed as an outside linebacker on the Senior Bowl roster, but he doesn’t want you to believe that’s the only position he can play. He thinks his versatility is his biggest strength on the field.

“I’m a playmaker; you put me at any linebacker position, and I’m going to make plays,” Smith said. “I compare to a man that cooks hamburgers. You put him on any grill, and he’s still going to cook a hamburger. That’s just how I feel about it.”

Smith, an All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team linebacker, said he spoke to the Vikings on Monday. He is listed as the sixth-best outside linebacker, according to ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper.

Smith hasn’t had a significant break since his season ended as a national champion, recording a career-high 15 tackles in the 34-31 victory over Auburn in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 6. In his first year as a starter, he led the Seminoles with 90 tackles and tied for a team-high three interceptions last season. Smith also had 9 ½ tackles for loss.

“It was incredible,” Smith said. “To start the way it did, I made the first tackle of the season and the last tackle of the season, and won the national championship, ACC championship; just to go down in history, that’s something they can’t take from you. I’m a champion.”

Only two weeks later, the Valdosta, Ga., native has showcased his talent in front of NFL coaches and executives in Mobile. With an invitation to the NFL combine, Smith doesn’t even want to hear about fatigue. He still has goals of gaining weight, hoping to go from 218 pounds at the Senior Bowl weigh-in to a little more than 225 next month.

“When you first tell yourself you’re getting beat, that’s when your mind starts to break down your body,” Smith said. “I don’t look at it like that. I look at it like every chance I get to step on this field and showcase … not even to showcase anything but just to play the game and be around these guys and build relationships. I’m going to take advantage of it.”

Sooners CB hurt

Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin tore an ACL on Tuesday during practice, according to NFL.com. Colvin injured his right knee and left the stadium limping. Colvin was one of the top performers in Monday’s practice and was expected to be one of the best cornerbacks in the draft.

“He’s just a great, great person and a great kid from the two days I’ve been with him,” said Gus Bradley, coach of the Jaguars and the South team in Mobile.

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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 NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
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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