View Full Version : Smoot says he will play Monday

08-13-2006, 08:58 AM
Posted on Sun, Aug. 13, 2006

Smoot says he will play Monday (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/15264500.htm)

Minor neck irritation kept the cornerback from morning practice

Pioneer Press

MANKATO, Minn. — Fred Smoot was held out of Saturday morning's full-pads practice because of minor neck irritation, but the Vikings' starting right cornerback said there's no way it will keep him out of Monday night's preseason opener against Oakland.

Smoot participated fully in the afternoon practice, with players in shorts, and even intercepted a Mike McMahon pass. He said trainers told him to sit out the morning session after he knocked helmets with a wide receiver a day earlier.

"We just ran into each other head to head," Smoot said. "It wasn't anything. They're just being precautious."

Coach Brad Childress said the team would err on the side of caution with any neck injury, no matter how minor, and that Dovonte Edwards would start at right corner against the Raiders if Smoot can't.

Smoot, who missed the first two exhibition games a year ago because of a minor knee injury, said he's good to go.

"This ain't last year," he said. "I'm feeling a lot better and am just ready to go play football."

In this corner: Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie wasn't kidding when he said he would try wearing a boxing glove to protect the partial fracture in his left hand.

The Vikings' starting left tackle did just that during the morning practice, with a protective wrap covering the glove.

Asked if he planned to use the same bulky contraption Monday night, McKinnie said: "Not sure. We're still experimenting."

But Childress said it's possible.

"There's guys that play with that all the time," he said. "It's got to heal up a little bit. Is it the best? No. But you can't hold in this game anyway, so what do you need your fingers (for)? They ought to put gloves on everybody."

No-return policy: Wide receiver Koren Robinson won't return kickoffs Monday night, but Childress said that could change before the start of the regular season.

"He's still in there," Childress said. "Are we repping him a good bit? No. Are we going to rep him a lot during the preseason? Probably not. He's kind of a known entity, and with his added responsibilities this year, we just want to see if there's anybody else who can step to the surface and have that ability. That would be the optimum."

Robinson made the Pro Bowl as a kickoff returner last season but has moved up to the Vikings' No. 1 receiver. Running back Mewelde Moore will be the No. 1 punt and kickoff return man Monday night.

VIP guest: Former Vikings coach Bud Grant visited camp with nearly 400 members of the Minnesota Momentum group that is working to help the team get a new stadium built.

After being treated to breakfast, guests watched the morning practice, collected autographs and took pictures.

Heavy duty: No. 1 draft pick Chad Greenway got on the field with the first-team defense as the fourth linebacker in a 4-4-3 alignment the Vikings will employ when the offense uses two tight ends or heavy personnel.

Childress, asked if he'd like to see a lot of Greenway in that role, said: "I'd like to see it as long as they don't have four wide receivers on the field. Four linebackers is not a real good deal (then), so it'll probably be situational."

Wait and see: Pass protection has never been a strength for Moore, who has struggled in blitz-pickup drills, but Childress said it's unfair to judge him on practice alone.

"We don't cut our own people," he said. "We don't go low on our own people. That's a great equalizer for a running back. That's tough on a guy that's a little bit smaller in stature. I'm interested to see him when it's live and he has all those tools at his disposal."

Briefly: The Vikings say 300 tickets remain for Monday night's game. They are available through the team's ticket office at 612-GO-VIKES.

The Vikings will hold a mock game this morning that is closed to the media, after which Childress will announce how he plans to use his starters.

Agent Bob LaMonte, who represents Childress and a number of other NFL coaches, watched both practices.

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

08-13-2006, 09:17 AM
Despite continued neck pain, Smoot says he's ready to play (http://www.startribune.com/510/story/611209.html)

Last update: August 12, 2006 – 10:24 PM

MANKATO - Fred Smoot was back on the field Saturday afternoon after missing the Vikings' opening practice of the day because of irritation in his neck. But coach Brad Childress did not make any assurances that the cornerback will play Monday night in the preseason opener against Oakland.
"I don't want to anticipate yet," Childress said Saturday morning. "We'll find out how he did and how he moves around. He is much better [Saturday] morning than he was last night. We'll see, and again you can always be cautious. It is the preseason."

Smoot insisted several times Saturday that he was fine, and he made a nice play in the late practice, anticipating a Mike McMahon pass toward the sideline and stepping in front of it for an interception. Smoot felt he could have taken part in both practices, but the morning session was held in pads, while players wore shorts and did not hit in the afternoon.

"They just told me to sit this morning out," he said. "There isn't nothing to it."

Smoot hurt his neck during 1-on-1 drills Friday.

Smoot's neck also gave him problems last year during training camp and landed him on the physically unable to perform list. He ended up missing three of four preseason games because of neck and knee problems. Smoot missed time during the regular season because of a fractured collarbone.

"This ain't last year," Smoot said, cutting off any comparisons. "I'm feeling a lot better and am just ready to go play some football."

If Smoot is held out Monday, cornerback Dovonte Edwards will start in his place.

McKinnie's club

Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie continues to experiment with ways to protect the fractured middle finger on his left hand. On Saturday, McKinnie was wearing a boxing-type glove on his hand that had tape wrapped over it.

McKinnie is not sure if the club-like device is something he will wear Monday. "We're still testing out different things, so I'm not sure what we're going to do," he said.

Childress made it sound as if McKinnie could end up wearing the club. "We're going to protect it -- there are guys that play with that all the time," Childress said. "It's got to heal up a little bit. Is it the best? No."

At that point, Childress put some humor into the conversation, saying, "You know you can't hold in this game anyway. You don't need your fingers. They ought to put clubs on everybody."

Bud makes appearance

Former coach Bud Grant attended practice Saturday morning. He led a contingent from Minnesota Momentum, a group working to secure the Vikings' future stadium. After practice, Grant and Childress chatted before the latter addressed the media.

Although Grant still has an office at Winter Park and is considered a consultant, Childress said the two only chat on occasion.

"Bud likes it that way," Childress said. "I'll give you a little story about walking down the hallway. ... I say, 'Hey Bud, how are you doing?' I extend my hand and he says, 'This is the last time I'm shaking your hand in this building. [I'm] not going to shake your hand every time I see you.' He's got a great dry sense of humor. I appreciate him and his wisdom."

08-13-2006, 11:03 AM
I really hope that Smoot will be alright. I am not to comfortable with Dovonte as a starting corner yet. I know that he has showed us some good things but I just don't think he is good enough to be a starter yet.

08-13-2006, 11:07 AM
First off, I am diggin the new look of PP.O..nice.
Cool to see that Smooty is going to gut it out and play. I just hope that he does not cause further injury to the neck area. Play a few downs and relax, we need him for the season.

08-13-2006, 11:10 AM
I'm glad to see that he wants to play, because I really want to see our entire defense out there Monday night.

Darn, no Koren kick-off returns.
Well, it's probably for the best and I think Mewelde has always been pretty good at taking kicks.
Maybe he will go to the pro bowl for it this year!

08-13-2006, 12:44 PM
i'd rather see koren go to the probowl for receiving :wink:, i've been saying all along childress isnt bright if he starts k-rob at kick returning

Heavy duty: No. 1 draft pick Chad Greenway got on the field with the first-team defense as the fourth linebacker in a 4-4-3 alignment the Vikings will employ when the offense uses two tight ends or heavy personnel.

that ought to be interesting to see

08-13-2006, 12:49 PM
I just hope doesn't hurt himseld worse and won't be able to play in the regular season.

08-13-2006, 01:00 PM
i really want to see how smoot can play

08-13-2006, 01:05 PM
Well I am looking forward to the new look Fred Smoot playing this year.. I can understand Childress playing it safe with him though.. I just hope Smoot is able to play, and its not just that he is itching to get back on the field and prove himself.. The last thing we need now is another injury to one of our starters..