Vikings players responded to a tweet by former teammate Darren Sharper, who said the Saints would target Brett Favre’s surgically repaired left ankle when they play in the season opener on Sept. 9 at the Superdome.
“Sharper had surgery too,” tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. “And it was a knee. If x marks the spot on Brett, I wonder what marks the spot on Sharper?”
Right guard Anthony Herrera said Sharper’s public threat is “nothing new.”
“That’s what every team does,” he said. “We’ll see Sharp and we’ll handle that when the time comes.”
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie is frequent twitter user and follows Sharper but he said he didn’t read the tweet. But he had heard all about it.
“I’m waiting for him to get on there again so I can say something and start a little controversy,” McKinnie said. “I think he’s taking a shot so I’m going to take one back. We’re going to have a beef on twitter and it will carry over to game day.”
Herrera didn’t seem overly interested in getting into a war of words publicly.
“I’m happy that he feels that way,” he said. “They did their thing in that game. They won. They’re NFL champions. But when a team plays you and has six turnovers and still is in it in the last series of the game I wouldn’t open my mouth too much.”
Shiancoe said he took Sharper’s tweet as simply trash talk and not a threat to injure Favre again. “We’re not going to take it lightly,” he said. “I think it was a joke. I know Sharp. That’s my boy. We hang out. It’s like he said before the NFC Championship game, he told me their whole goal was to aim for my knees. And they didn’t do it. I know he talks trash.”
Favre surgery no surprise
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said he has talked to Brett Favre once since last Friday when the quarterback had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle but that was more to give Favre a hard time about being a speaker at the “Get Motivated” seminar at Target Center on Wednesday.
Bevell said he has not spoken to Favre about his plans for the future or even when he might begin working out at the Mississippi high school where he threw the football last summer.
“I didn’t really have a reaction to it to be honest with you,” Bevell said of finding out Favre had surgery. “He likes to do things kind of that way to surprise everybody. So I didn’t really have a reaction.”
Bevell said it was not a surprise too him to find out Favre had the surgery.
Asked about the amount of contact the two longtime friends have had this offseason, Bevell said: “It’s been just off and on. I try to find things just to mess with him with and talk to him a little bit about what’s going on out here. There’s a lot of talk that’s not even football. Basically check in on him and see how he’s doing.”
Favre said during his via satellite appearance at the seminar that he will soon get the stitches out of his ankle.
Road to recovery
Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin, who suffered a torn left ACL on the opening kickoff of overtime in the NFC title game, has spent the offseason rehabbing at Winter Park.
On Thursday he was on the field stretching before practice and then went inside to do rehab. Griffin wasn’t wearing any type of knee brace and said his next big test will be to get on the practice field.
When that will happen isn’t known. There has been talk that Griffin could open training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
“I really don’t want to put a number on anything,” Griffin said. “I won’t put a number on it. I’m just going to see how it goes but the PUP list I seriously doubt and I hope that I won’t be on that.”
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier admitted that “it’s hard to say” if training camp will be a possibility for Griffin. “That’s a six to nine month injury ordinarily and to come back any sooner that would be a lot different,” Frazier said. “So you just have to listen to what the doctors say and just believe it’s going to be a six-to-nine month injury.”
Asked how tough it would be to not be on the field on Sept. 9 when the Vikings open at New Orleans, Griffin said: “It’s definitely going to be tough, going back down to Louisiana where a lot of my guys are at, a lot of my family members are at. It would be tough playing the Saints again but I’m going to be patient. I’m not going to try to rush anything. I’m going to let my leg tell me when it’s time to go.”
Kickers Ryan Longwell and Rhys Lloyd were both at the OTA today. Lloyd, signed as a kickoff specialist, was the only one who attempted field goals. He went a perfect 9-for-9.
Bevell on Darius Reynaud’s transition from NFL wide receiver to running back: “He’s definitely natural back there and with any of these guys that are moving positions or doing it for the first time, young rookies coming in, it’s how fast they can digest the playbook. Again for him it’s going to be protections and that kind of thing. He’s a willing blocker, he’ll step up and hit somebody, he’s tough enough. It’s just being able to have the nuances of who he is supposed to pick up when.”
Frazier on the recovery process of middle linebacker E.J. Henderson, whose season ended in December because of a broken leg: “We’re cautiously optimistic with E.J. He’s making progress, he’s actually ahead of schedule in a lot of areas. We all have our fingers crossed. It would be so good to see him lineup against the Saints in that first ballgame. But we just have to wait and see. But he’s moving right along.”
Frazier called it a “major relief” that the Vikings appear as if they will have the services of defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams this season as their court case against the NFL drags on. “You don’t want to go into any football season without those two guys,” Frazier said. “One is for sure a future Hall of Famer and the other is a potential Hall of Famer.”