Some highlights from offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s press conference not long ago …
– Turner opened his press conference with, um, breaking news. “Just a sport update,” he said. “The Vikings employee softball team got beat last night. Couple of the players are here. I think they got mercy-ruled. And one of our equipment guys, Terrell [Barnes], got run over at third base by a girl, they say. That’s the sports update, if you missed it.” The team, which calls itself “I’d Hit That” and is sponsored by long-snapper Cullen Loeffler’s Minnesota Ice company, plays in the Bloomington Co-Ed League. The team is made up of players from all departments, but primarily the team’s media relations staff. “I’d just like to say we weren’t mercy-ruled,” said Jon Ekstrom, public relations manager. “There was a time limit. We scored four runs to keep from getting mercy-ruled.” Eckstrom also said throw out the first inning — 11 runs allowed and six errors — and it the Vikings actually win the game 9-7.
– Turner said Mike Harris has looked “surprisingly good” in his transition to right guard. Harris was a career tackle until a freak injury situation forced him to finish last year’s Buffalo game at right guard. The Vikings are giving him the first crack at winning the right guard position in camp. “It’s tough for a guy his size, his length, in there,” Turner said. “But he’s going against good players and I think he’d doing well. He’s gradually getting his pad level down. He can’t play too high in there because you’re going to play against big guys all the time.”
– Turner was asked who quarterback Teddy Bridgewater reminds him of. He didn’t go down that road (hey, the guy is a veteran and he knows that if he throws out a name such as Drew Brees or whomever, it’s going to be a storyline the entire year that Turner compared Teddy to someone like a Drew Brees). But Turner did have something interesting to say about Bridgewater. “The thing that surprised me the most about Teddy last year was his mobility,” Turner said. “Because it didn’t really show up in his college tape. But it certainly showed up in our tapes.”
– Turner said receiver Cordarrelle Patterson “is playing faster,” which is understandable because “this is the first time he’s had [the same] back-to-back systems in five years.”
– Turner said the biggest advantage of having five preseason games as opposed to four is having more chances to evaluate the offensive line. “Offensively, certainly our biggest deal is finding the young linemen who are going to function and play the best in games,” Turner said.