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singersp
06-10-2006, 02:12 PM
Posted on Sat, Jun. 10, 2006

Childress has Vikings shaping up

Players buying into conditioning program

BY SEAN JENSEN
Pioneer Press

Sharp and in shape.

Vikings coach Brad Childress doesn't expect anything less from his players. Just ask right guard Artis Hicks, who endured last month's conditioning drill where each player had to run sideline to sideline — 107 yards, 16 times, with 45-second breaks between each. Players had a time limit, based on their position.

Hicks, who played for Childress the past four seasons in Philadelphia, said he is in better shape now than he ever has been at training camp.

"I hadn't run that well in training camp," Hicks said, "so I'm ahead of schedule."

During minicamp and organized team activities, or OTAs, Childress has directed high-tempo practices and made subtle comments about conditioning and weight control.

That each player is expected under a target weight isn't groundbreaking — unless a player is expected at or near that weight in June.

Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie said he often gains an additional 10 pounds in the offseason. But he now is at his playing weight of 345.

"I don't mind it," he said. "It's only going to make you feel better (at training camp), and no one will have any problems with the heat.

"Everyone is dropping weight, and people are doing extra running, so people are taking it serious. When you see other people do it, you're like, 'I might as well do it, too, so they're not ahead of me at training camp.' "

Tight end Jim Kleinsasser is entering his eighth season with the Vikings. He said the weight and conditioning requirements aren't anything new for the club, but he said they are necessary for survival under Childress.

"I think it's just in the players' best interests, to be in shape, because these practices can dig you pretty deep," Kleinsasser said. "It's not, 'Hey, you have to do this.' You want to do it, just so you're prepared. The practices are a higher tempo, and we move throughout practices quickly."

Hicks also noted Childress' expectations for players being in peak shape.

"It's a new program, a new era," Hicks said. "It's more of an emphasis on conditioning, and being where you need to be cardio-wise and weight-wise.

"Some of the big guys have had problems with keeping their weight down, and he's been real tough on that. But he wants to make sure that everyone is in peak shape when we come into training camp so we can get this thing rolling."

If not, there inevitably is a chain reaction, Hicks said. Out-of-shape players beget sluggish practices, which begets poor exhibition games, which begets a bad start to the regular season.

"So he's nipping all that stuff in the bud, before it even happens, and you have to respect him for that," Hicks said. "I'd rather go through it now, rather than when it's 100 degrees outside, with two-a-days and the pads on your shoulders."

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams said he doesn't mind the added intensity.

"That's what it's going to take to get us to the Super Bowl," Williams said.

"(Childress) was in the Super Bowl (in 2005). He knows what it takes."

The players collectively feel the same way. Attendance this week was 100 percent, with sidelined players such as receiver Troy Williamson still making himself available. The OTAs are "voluntary," but there is an underlying expectation that all players attend, all a part of the shrinking NFL offseason.

"It's definitely shorter offseasons, with the extra minicamps," quarterback Brad Johnson said. "But everyone does the work, and everyone has the same amount of practices, and everyone is working hard throughout the league."

Asked about the perfect attendance, Childress said, "They want to be good, so they're all participating in OTAs.

"It's hard to be good if you're not here," he said.

Not only is this a chance to make an impression on the new coach and his staff, players also have a lot to learn with a new offense and defense.

"With all the new stuff we got going on, it's very important that all the guys are here, because you'll miss the bus if you're not here and at home and doing your own thing," Williams said. "Everyone here is learning and getting better."

Sean Jensen can be reached at sjensen@pioneerpress.com.

Childress has Vikings shaping up (http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/sports/14784961.htm)

sleepagent
06-10-2006, 03:22 PM
Nice to hear.

This is were the groundwork for success is built upon.

singersp
06-10-2006, 03:30 PM
"sleepagent" wrote:

Nice to hear.

This is were the groundwork for success is built upon.

My only concern is & correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the strenuous & intense workouts exactly what Les Steckel did & "burned out" our players before the season even began?

The only difference I see is that the players, for the most part, are all "onboard" for the intense workouuts & buying in to Childress' system.

COJOMAY
06-10-2006, 04:36 PM
player had to run sideline to sideline — 107 yards,

Man, this writer doesn't even know how wide a football field is. Where does he come up with 107 yards? A football field is 60 yards wide in college and 53.3 yards wide in the NFL.

ZDoy379
06-10-2006, 04:43 PM
back and forth aka sideline to sideline. 53.3 times 2 equals 106.66, rounding to 107. thats why. the question is, do you know?

RK.
06-10-2006, 04:50 PM
"singersp" wrote:

"sleepagent" wrote:

Nice to hear.

This is were the groundwork for success is built upon.

My only concern is & correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the strenuous & intense workouts exactly what Les Steckel did & "burned out" our players before the season even began?

The only difference I see is that the players, for the most part, are all "onboard" for the intense workouuts & buying in to Childress' system.
There were many reasons that Steckel burned out the team and practice was not the most important of them. :wink:

COJOMAY
06-10-2006, 04:55 PM
"ZDoy379" wrote:

back and forth aka sideline to sideline. 53.3 times 2 equals 106.66, rounding to 107. thats why. the question is, do you know?

Ah, got ya! You see "sideline to sideline" could also mean from one sideline to another -- hence 53.3 yards.

ZDoy379
06-10-2006, 04:57 PM
Yea I understand the wording wasn't too great either. It would have been better like this: From one sideline to the other and back. Then we wouldn't bee talking about this right now. But as long as it's all understood and we now realize the writer knows what he's doing.

V4L
06-10-2006, 05:08 PM
Im glad we got a coach who is wiping the boys into shape..

With Tice is seemed like we faded at the end.. Maybe cause we weren't in shape? And he was wayyy to friendly to be a NFL headcoach

PurplePeopleEaters89
06-10-2006, 06:28 PM
I am glad that Childress is wanting players to be in shape!! I don't think Tice even cared that much!!!

crazyB
06-10-2006, 06:42 PM
that is great to know we should be able to look foreward to a nice strong start to the pre-season and season.
we will see soon enough when game time come's hope we go all the way.

NordicNed
06-10-2006, 06:54 PM
Sounds like the team is behind their coach, and happy to do what has to be done to be a winning team..

Funny thing is, I didn't see Fat Pat's name mentioned anywhere? Maybe he got stuck in trafic at a local Burger Drive Thru Window...LOL

whackthepack
06-10-2006, 08:51 PM
I wonder how Phat Pat is doing?

singersp
06-10-2006, 08:56 PM
"whackthepack" wrote:

I wonder how Phat Pat is doing?

I search for articles on him every day.

There hasn't been anything yet, except for the playground he helped build.

Vikes_King
06-10-2006, 11:01 PM
good to hear that working is actually part of our teams strategy now