Setting the scene
A cloudless sky with temperatures in the low 80s and only 39 percent humidity made Friday the best day of camp, weather-wise. The team returned to the practice field after a day off per CBA rules. The team looked fairly crisp and energetic, but some of the communication is still rusty.
All Day includes blocking, too?
Adrian Peterson would never admit it, but if there’s any weakness in his game, it’s pass protection. Could it be that after nearly an entire year on the sideline Peterson has improved his pass protection skills and want-to in that area? Well, in the first linebacker-running back pass protection drills of camp, AP stoned big linebacker Anthony Barr and quick linebacker Gerald Hodges.
McKinnon shaky in pass protection
Meanwhile, second-year running back Jerick McKinnon continues to show that pass protection is an issue for him. He’s small, but he’s also deceptively strong, so he should be able to do it once he gets more experience with it. “He had some good ones [in the pass protection drill] and he got beat a couple times. That’s typical,” coach Mike Zimmer said. McKinnon worked with the receivers during individual passing drills.
Watching the first-team nickel defense, it’s clear the team is excited about the possibility of using speedy rookie second-round draft pick Eric Kendricks at middle linebacker in the nickel. He played there consistently with the first nickel unit Friday, while Audie Cole stayed No. 1 in the base. Zimmer also gave Antone Exum a few snaps with the first team at strong safety and rookie first-round draft pick Trae Waynes a couple of reps outside in the nickel as Terence Newman, not Captain Munnerlyn, played in the slot.
“I had to talk to him a few times about things I didn’t like.”
— Zimmer, who continues to answer questions about the number of conversations he’s had to have with Exum to convince the youngster it was time to stop acting like an immature youngster.
• DuJuan Harris, RB: The first injury of camp struck when he left practice early and didn’t return. Zimmer said he was “shaken up” and indicated that it wasn’t serious.
• Josh Robinson, CB: Remains on PUP (pectoral).
Saturday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. (walkthrough) and 7:15-9:15 p.m. at Blakeslee Stadium.
Sunday: 2-5 p.m.
Monday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. (walkthrough) and 2:45-5 p.m.