Jerome Simpson’s assertions that he’s more energized now than he was last season held validity Tuesday. During work in the two-minute drill, Simpson hauled in pretty third-down catches of 27 and 19 yards from Christian Ponder. He later scuffled with Chad Greenway after taking a pop during 7-on-7 action. As Simpson kangarooed around, shoving and swatting at Greenway, the Pro Bowl linebacker simply stood still, held his ground and clutched the thrashing 190-pound receiver at arm’s length.
Ups and downs
Attention-grabbing catches keep coming from Stephen Burton, with Tuesday’s occurring when he adjusted to an underthrown deep ball from Matt Cassel and contorted his body to beat cornerback Brandon Burton to the ball. It has been a flashy camp for Burton. But coach Leslie Frazier also knows he can’t quite trust Burton’s sizzle until it’s sustained through the preseason. “He’s been better,” Frazier said. “But we’ve had other occasions where he’s started off pretty good and then he’s tapered and then he’s come back. We need to find a time where he’s a guy you can trust throughout.”
From the podium
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is likely to keep things simple for Friday’s preseason opener against Houston, not wanting to show his hand too soon. But Musgrave also knows his offense needs to develop a confidence in what it does best. “It’s a fine line,” Musgrave said. “You want to breast your cards somewhat. But you also want to be good enough at your concepts that it’s not the first time you’re running them when it really counts. So we’re always trying to balance that. Remain tough to defend but also be good at what we do.”
“Erin enunciates a little better. But Jamarca is definitely louder and probably funnier. So I’ll give it to Jamarca because he can hit those elevated pitches.”
— Defensive end Jared Allen when asked who’s the better talker on defense, linebacker Erin Henderson or safety Jamarca Sanford
• DE Jared Allen (ankle) left practice and did not return.
• S Harrison Smith (knee) left practice and did not return.
• LB Erin Henderson (groin) was limited in practice.
• DT Christian Ballard (groin) missed practice.
• CB A.J. Jefferson (ankle) missed practice
• CB Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) missed his third consecutive practice.
• LB Desmond Bishop (groin) missed his third consecutive practice.
• WR Greg Childs (knees) remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Three days out
Wednesday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.
Thursday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through (closed to public)
Friday: preseason opener vs. Houston, 7 p.m. at Mall of America Field