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singersp
04-07-2006, 12:20 PM
Posted on Fri, Apr. 07, 2006

Vikings, Childress get chance to bond

Three-day minicamp this weekend offers new coach, new-look team opportunity to learn about each other

BY DON SEEHOLZER
Pioneer Press

A year ago, the biggest offseason move the Vikings had to deal with was the blockbuster trade that sent star receiver Randy Moss to Oakland.

This offseason, the changes have been just as dramatic and more widespread.

As the Vikings prepare to take the field as a team today for the first time under coach Brad Childress, on the opening day of a three-day weekend minicamp, their roster is far different from the one that rang out the 2005 season and the Mike Tice era with a 34-10 victory over Chicago on New Year's Day.

Gone is franchise quarterback Daunte Culpepper, dealt to Miami for a second-round draft choice in a March 14 trade that would have seemed unthinkable just a few months earlier.

Gone, too, are former mainstays such as wide receiver Nate Burleson, who signed with Seattle as a restricted free agent, safety Corey Chavous (who left for St. Louis) and running back Michael Bennett (New Orleans).

In their place is an infusion of fresh talent led by all-pro guard Steve Hutchinson, who came from Seattle, running back Chester Taylor (Baltimore), kicker Ryan Longwell (Green Bay) and others.

Throw in Childress and a whole new coaching staff and the Vikings might want to issue ID tags as well as jerseys this weekend to make sure everyone knows who's who.

"The new coaches will be the main thing," returning free safety Darren Sharper said. "We've had some turnover on the roster, but we still have the main core of guys left on the team. It's something that the guys are looking forward to, working with and getting to know their coaches. "

Like Sharper, tight end Jermaine Wiggins has been in town for the past month, participating in the Vikings' offseason conditioning program.

His early impression of Childress is that the new coach is a no-nonsense type.

"Coach Childress seems like a guy who's very confident in what his plan is," Wiggins said. "He's very diligent and gets right to the point. He's not a guy who's going to beat around the bush. We haven't been on the field, but seeing him and talking to him, he's not going to sugarcoat anything and is not going to sell you any pipe dreams. As players, we respect that and that's what we want — coaches who tell it like it is."

Childress and his assistants will have five weekend practices in which to size up their players during this first of two veteran minicamps, with two practices each scheduled for today and Saturday and one Sunday.

The NFL allows new coaches to hold two minicamps, and Childress chose this weekend for the first so he would have ample time to evaluate his roster before the April 29-30 NFL draft.

Sharper can't wait to get started.

"I think that's the attitude most guys have," he said. "They're curious about how things are going to go, how the schedule is going to be run, how the coaching staff is going to coach us, what we're going to do defensively and offensively."

In addition to all the other changes, the Vikings are putting in a new West Coast offense and the cover 2 defense new coordinator Mike Tomlin brought with him from Tampa Bay.

Sharper said it shouldn't be that big of an adjustment on defense.

"The good thing about the cover 2 defense is just about everybody on our team has run some form of it," he said, "but I think it's really a misnomer. A lot of people think we're just going to be a cover 2 team, and that's definitely not the case. We're going to do some cover 2, but we're going to do some other things, too."

Wiggins, who has led the Vikings in receptions each of the past two seasons, said he likes what he has seen of Childress' offense, noting, "It's very tight end-friendly."

This minicamp will be held indoors and players won't be in full pads, but Sharper, who made the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Vikings, said it still can help set the tone for training camp and the season to come.

"We definitely have to be better than 9-7," he said. "I think last year's team was better than that. That was the record we ended up with, but I think we could have been better. With coach Childress here and the coaches he's brought in and the players we have returning, if we can start fast, I definitely see us winning in double digits this year."

The Vikings' second minicamp is scheduled for May 12-14.

Don Seeholzer can be reached at dseeholzer@pioneerpress.com.

Vikings, Childress get chance to bond (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/14283159.htm)

singersp
04-07-2006, 01:07 PM
Vikings veterans minicamp

Last update: April 06, 2006 – 10:35 PM

Today through Sunday, Winter Park indoor practice facility
The skinny

First of two minicamps will serve as coach Brad Childress' mass introduction to the team. Fifty-five players have been working out in the offseason strength and conditioning program, but today will be their first team drills together.

QB Brad Johnson will resume his role as starter following the trade of Daunte Culpepper, and newcomers Steve Hutchinson (G), Ben Leber (LB) and Chester Taylor (RB) will also assume starting roles.

C Matt Birk will see his first football-related activity since undergoing hip surgery last September.

Many eyes will be on the linebacker position, where Leber will man one starting spot.

KEVIN SEIFERT

Vikings veterans minicamp (http://www.startribune.com/510/story/356621.html)

VikesFan4Life
04-07-2006, 01:49 PM
I wonder if they'll let us get a glimpse of the new horn on the helmets during their minicamps this weekend, if they even plan on wearing any kind of equipment at all.

If they did, they'd probably just wear the old helmets anyhow.

AngloVike
04-07-2006, 01:58 PM
"VikesFan4Life" wrote:

I wonder if they'll let us get a glimpse of the new horn on the helmets during their minicamps this weekend, if they even plan on wearing any kind of equipment at all.

If they did, they'd probably just wear the old helmets anyhow.
Think you'll find that its in T-shirts and shorts - I don't think there will be any equipment worn much before June or so. At this time it will be more to see how people read and position themselves and to show how much they may have picked up already of the new schemes that Childress is looking to bring in.
Think I read somewhere that the updated uniforms will be shown the week prior to the Draft - ideal time to launch it ready for the pics that will be taken of our draftees.

VikesFan4Life
04-07-2006, 02:04 PM
I figured as much.

I'm curious to see what the coaching staff thinks of our younger players, especially our linebackers.

danimal292
04-07-2006, 02:19 PM
mini-camp... I'm excited!!!!

digital420
04-07-2006, 03:27 PM
it'd be damn kewl to get a few glimpses of the team anyways.

anyone have a camera? near the location wanna supply those of us so far away i cant 'even hear the horn blast?

DiGiTaL

COJOMAY
04-07-2006, 03:41 PM
(quoting Sharper) "Coach Childress seems like a guy who's very confident in what his plan is," Wiggins said. "He's very diligent and gets right to the point. He's not a guy who's going to beat around the bush. We haven't been on the field, but seeing him and talking to him, he's not going to sugarcoat anything and is not going to sell you any pipe dreams. As players, we respect that and that's what we want — coaches who tell it like it is."

Interesting quote in light of the fact that Tice was just the opposite and yet he was called "a player's coach." I really believe the players respect and play for a guy like Childress much more than they would Tice.

Ltrey33
04-07-2006, 04:03 PM
Awww yeah! Mini camp bitches!

NodakPaul
04-07-2006, 04:12 PM
"COJOMAY" wrote:


(quoting Sharper) "Coach Childress seems like a guy who's very confident in what his plan is," Wiggins said. "He's very diligent and gets right to the point. He's not a guy who's going to beat around the bush. We haven't been on the field, but seeing him and talking to him, he's not going to sugarcoat anything and is not going to sell you any pipe dreams. As players, we respect that and that's what we want — coaches who tell it like it is."

Interesting quote in light of the fact that Tice was just the opposite and yet he was called "a player's coach." I really believe the players respect and play for a guy like Childress much more than they would Tice.

Tice was their buddy. Childress is their coach. I think most players will be more comfortable and perform better with a coach.

DaunteHOF
04-07-2006, 07:12 PM
This is where all the weaknesses will be spotted, hopefully we make wise decisions during the draft

BadlandsVikings
04-07-2006, 07:24 PM
Tice was to leneint and soft because he was around when stupid Denny was there.

AngloVike
04-07-2006, 08:12 PM
"digital420" wrote:

it'd be gol 'darnit kewl to get a few glimpses of the team anyways.

anyone have a camera? near the location wanna supply those of us so far away i cant 'even hear the horn blast?

DiGiTaL
see this thread from Alabama Vike - looks like Mr Cheer or Die is keeping to his word and getting some stuff posted up from this weekends minicamp

http://www.purplepride.org/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=367732#367732

Jeremy
04-07-2006, 11:16 PM
"westvirginiavikings" wrote:

Tice was to leneint and soft because he was around when stupid Denny was there.At least with "stupid" Denny we were in the playoffs 8 out of 9 years.

VikesfaninWis
04-07-2006, 11:48 PM
Whoo Hooo, bring on the beer and burgers, it's football time folks..