What started a damp and gloomy walkthrough turned into a beautiful Saturday for the Vikings’ second practice in Mankato. It functioned at a similar pace though as Friday’s session because the team wasn’t in full pads. The Vikings coaching staff continue to serve as teachers, instructing players on the fundamentals for each position. Defensive linemen concentrated on their hands and feet off the line of scrimmage, cornerbacks received feedback on their hip movements and eyes while the running backs honed in on pass protection drills during practice. There were a few special teams periods, sprinkled in the individual and team periods, with the focus on kickoff return coverage.
All three quarterbacks showed improvement from Friday. Matt Cassel continued to receive first-team reps followed by Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder. There were fewer dropped passes and incompletions, a good sign as the team will suit up in pads for the first time Sunday.
From the Podium
Tight end Kyle Rudolph entered camp about 15 pounds lighter, which will help in offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s scheme. Turner said Rudolph is running better now than he has in the past and will be a big part of the offense. He’s had to make some adjustments mechanically as a route router though, which Turner said was mainly a mindset change. Rudolph already has been lined up in multiple ways in Turner’s offense as a pass threat.
“The way he has been running routes has been to stop and change direction,” Turner said. “A lot of moves at the top of routes, cutting, stopping to cut. We try to keep him on the move a little bit more with a quicker change of direction, running out of breaks as we say, not turning and looking for the ball because we know where the ball is going to be placed. I think some of it is technical stuff and he has taken to it well.”
“Man, I can’t stand Norv. I can’t stand him. No, I said something earlier today. He’s like the nicest, meanest coach ever. He’s like, tries to be so mean on the field and then a couple plays he’ll come by and he’s like the coolest guy you’ve ever met. So, I love it.”
— Wide receiver Greg Jennings joking with the media when asked about his offensive coordinator.
• WR Cordarrelle Patterson (foot) missed practice for second straight day
• CB Captain Munnerlyn (hamstring), S Andrew Sendejo (back and ankle) and TE Chase Ford (foot) are all still on the physically unable to perform list.
Three days out
Today: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; 3-5:10 p.m.
Monday: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Tuesday: No practice