Youngblood here. Wild coach Todd Richards, assistant coach Dave Barr and video coordinator PJ DeLuca finally did something Richards has wanted to do since being named head coach: attend a Vikings practice.
It wasn't just about being a fan. Richards said he is, and that part of it was fun. But it was more about observing how Vikings coach Brad Childress and his staff approach preparation for a game.
"We thought about doing this last year, but we didn't have a lot of time," Richards said. "This year we had some time to get down here to see exactly what the Vikings staff does to prepare for the day. It was very gracious of the coaches, Brad and his staff, to allow us in."
That included getting to Winter Park early to sit in on some meetings. Then Richards, Barr and DeLuca went out into the hot mid-day sun to watch the Vikings go through a relatively brief practice.
"We watched how they prepare, how they do things," Richards said. "We had a chance to witness some other things, too. It was a chance to see how things are done in a different sport."
And while the sports are obviously very different, there are some things Richards said he was able to take away from the experience. For example, how coaches relate to their players. Or how organized things have to be to get all the stuff done that needs to get done as an offense, defense and special teams prepares for a game.
"There are things that you can take from it," Richards said. "How you go about your day, trying to get your players to play a certain way, communication with the players. I was very impressed with the organization the coaches have. I was impressed by the meetings, the efficiency with which they went about their day."
For Richards, it was time well spent. "I truly enjoyed it," he said. "From a coaching standpoint and from a fan standpoint. It was great."