Fans should enjoy one of the few changes to Vikings training camp in Year 2 under coach Mike Zimmer.
Meeting with the media not long ago, Zimmer said this year’s format in Mankato will be basically the same as last year, expect he plans more periods that include inside running plays.
That means more contact, more hooting and hollering back and forth between players, and some added excitement for the fans who will sit and bake in the late afternoon sun beginning Sunday.
“We’re going to do some more inside run deals that I think are important for us to continue to preach the toughness and mentality that I want for this football team,” Zimmer said.
And that does mean more contact, “just with the basic drill that we do,” Zimmer said.
But, no, that doesn’t mean the team will be putting a certain 30-year-old superstar running back in unnecessary danger of injury after about 11 months without contact.
“Yeah, we’re not tackling Adrian [Peterson],” Zimmer said with a laugh. “All the guys know that.”
Zimmer said Peterson will, however, “get a large majority of the reps.
“He’s like everybody else as far as that’s concerned,” Zimmer added. “He’s in great shape. Through OTAs and minicamp, he looked fantastic. He wants to get back, too. I’ll probably have to hold him back moreso than push him.”
In other news:
- Zimmer said he expects defensive end Brian Robison to be ready for the start of practices on Sunday. Robison is coming off a pectoral muscle injury suffered earlier this offseason.
- Zimmer said he won’t know if any players will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Physicals are later today.
- Zimmer said cornerback Jabari Price’s recent NFL suspension won’t change how the team evaluates him in training camp and the preseason. Price is eligible to participate until the regular season starts. Said Zimmer: “We’re disappointed with what happened there. We’re trying to clean up all those kinds of things with the Vikings. We’re trying to make this a team that the fans respect, a team that our fans are proud of. Things like that happen and are not good and extremely disappointing. But it won’t change that part [the evaluation] that much.”