Newcomer Jerome Simpson pushes Percy Harvin: Percy Harvin was far and beyond the Vikings best wide receiver last season. Although Harvin is still likely the number one receiver, Jerome Simpson has the ability to push Harvin to be better.
“It’s been great to have Jerome here,” Ponder said Thursday, Aug. 2. “He’s been pushing Percy a little bit. I think Percy’s been a lot better. It’s almost like a competition to see who’s the better receiver. They’ve got a great relationship. They’re hanging out a lot off the field. They both look good. It’s exciting.”
Greg Childs with the play of the day on offense: “With the second unit offense and defense on the field, Childs’ 26-yard touchdown catch from Joe Webb came on a play during which cornerback Brandon Burton had near-perfect coverage..Childs leaped, reached both arms around Burton and managed to pin the ball on the cornerback’s back long enough to haul it in,” as described by Dan Wiedner.
Added head coach Leslie Frazier: “That was a nice play. We saw him do that in college as well. That was a real nice play. Great concentration. That’s what we need. We need a guy to make that hard catch for us even when he’s covered. That’s good to see.”
Chris Cook the standout on defense: Cook stood out on 11-on-11 drills where he intercepted Christian Ponder on a pass intended for Percy Harvin. Then in drill work, Cook picked off a Sage Rosenfels pass for Jarius Wright.
Special teams coach started effort to cut Ryan Longwell: It was special teams coach Mike Priefer that he was the person that started the movement towards cutting veteran kicker Ryan Longwell and handing the reigns over to rookie Blair Walsh.
“I recommended that we do what we did,” Priefer said, adding that he, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier ”all were on the same page.
“It was a tough deal,” Priefer continued, “because (Longwell)’s been a great kicker in this league for a long time, and I just thought for the future of this football team, kickoff-wise and even on into field goal-wise, I thought it was the best move.”
Jared Allen can expect to see reps decrease: In order to keep Allen fresh throughout the season, the Vikings intend to limit his reps, although Allen isn’t keen on the idea.
“We’re going to make a concerted effort to try to get him off the field at times,” Frazier said Thursday, Aug. 2. “Without hurting the team. We don’t want to hurt the team. He’s our best pass rusher, one of the best in the NFL.”