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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

About that weighted football

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, Brad Childress, Vikings offense, Vikings players, Adrian Peterson, Brad Childress Updated: June 16, 2010 - 5:55 PM

The NFL Network showed footage last week of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson carrying a 14-pound football that was filled with sand. The drill was part of a design the Vikings have put together to help Peterson overcome his issues with fumbling.

Coach Brad Childress, asked about this on Friday, said having Peterson carry a weighted football was the same as an on-deck hitter in baseball swinging a weighted bat before going to the plate. Nonetheless, I'm not sure I understood this explanation.

Well, thanks to NFL Network reporter Solomon Wilcots and a blog post he has done at I now have a much better idea of what the Vikings were hoping to accomplish.

You can check out Wilcots' entire blog entry here but here is what he had to say in particular about the weighted football: "Weighted balls are often used to increase muscle memory at all three pressure points — the hand that covers the point of the ball, the opposite end of the ball under the elbow, and the top of the ball against the chest — for greater ball security. It’s impossible to maintain possession of a heavy football if it’s held out and away from the body. The goal is to train the muscles to remember all three pressure points, so that eventually it’s naturally kept high and tight."

TV note: KSTP (Ch. 5) will simulcast the Vikings' two Monday night games that will be aired nationally by ESPN this season. The Vikings will play at the New York Jets at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 and will play host to the Chicago Bears at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 20. 

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