MANKATO, Minn. — Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be MVP running back Adrian Peterson?
The Minnesota Vikings have allowed at least a glimpse of what it’s like to be the league’s best running back, and other insider looks inside the huddle this summer.
Beginning in minicamp and continuing in the early days of training camp, the team has had players such as Peterson, safety Harrison Smith and receiver Joe Webb wearing a mini video camera on their helmet and posting the edited videos to the team’s website. Safety Jamarca Sanford, well known for his entertaining brand of trash talking, wore a microphone during Monday’s practice.
“When I say I’m working for the Feds today, that means I’m miked up,” Sanford joked Monday.
“Yeah, the Feds (are) watching,” Peterson said of his video.
Most armchair quarterbacks don’t get the chance to step anywhere near a field. Now the team is at least offering fans the unique view. Even the players enjoy seeing the videos, and Peterson said it’s an interesting look to remember seeing some of the things missed from that day’s practice. He watched his video Saturday night and said it was “cool” to see the interaction with teammates.
“You kind of forget that stuff as you’re going through practice and you’re tired,” Peterson said. “But to kind of sit back and watch how you interact with some of the players and what guys are saying to you, just to see what’s going on in front of me with my fullback and offensive line blocking and me cutting, things like that. It’s pretty cool what the Vikings are doing with that.”
Of course, it’s entertaining too, especially to hear the notorious chatter from Sanford, who enjoys talking trash to opponents and teammates alike.
“I still got to be myself,” Sanford said. “I try to tone it down a little bit, but got to be yourself when you’re out there … I talk a lot but I don’t mean no harm. I mean it in a good way, just fun and games.”
Felton misses second day: Fullback Jerome Felton missed both sessions of practice on Tuesday after leaving afternoon practice early on Monday. Coach Leslie Frazier said Felton has been tending to a personal matter, but said he expects Felton to return on Wednesday.
Tight end Chase Ford left practice Tuesday afternoon after taking a hard hit from linebacker Tyrone McKenzie. Ford was down momentarily before walking off under his own power with head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman. Frazier said Ford got the wind knocked out of him.
Frazier did say linebacker Nathan Williams, an undrafted rookie who has been unable to practice since having ankle surgery earlier this summer, could be getting closer to returning. Williams is on the physically unable to perform list and has been working on the side with the team’s athletic trainers.
However, Frazier said receiver Greg Childs, who’s also on the PUP list as he tries to return from tearing the patellar tendon in both knees in training camp last year, might not return to training camp while the team is still in Mankato. Childs has done some work on the side and has been a spectator during practices but doesn’t sound like he’s close to being able to practice.
“They’re working day-to-day,” Frazier said of Childs. “We’ll see how he progresses. We do expect to have Nate Williams back pretty soon, but Greg, not so sure.”
Williams and Floyd won’t play together: Echoing what Frazier said at the end of minicamp last month, defensive coordinator Alan Williams said playing Kevin Williams and Sharrif Floyd together isn’t in the team’s plans.
“That’s not a definite, but the one thing we do is we rotate guys so much that you do need two three-techniques (tackles), you do need two noses,” Williams said Tuesday. “We will see how that shakes out. The one thing about those two spots, they are different spots. Just because you’re a great three-technique does not necessarily mean that you’re going to come in and play nose and be as effective. I don’t think so but I’m not going to rule anything out.”
After talk in training camp last year about limiting the snaps of defensive end Jared Allen during the year, with some backlash offered by Allen, Frazier has mentioned this year the team hopes to limit Williams a bit this season to keep the soon-to-be, 33-year-old fresh as the season progresses. Williams said Monday he hadn’t heard about taking off many snaps and he’s preparing as he usually would.
“The guys know that they are going to rotate, they know that at some point they have to come out of the ballgame,” Williams said. “And that is going to be the best thing for the team, not necessarily the best thing for their number of reps, but we want to make sure that we keep them fresh, that we keep them going for two reasons, or really three reasons.
“One is that at the end of the ballgame, when we need to shut it out that guys are fresh, they can get themselves going. Number two would be at the end of the year when we need to make that playoff push that guys are healthy and they don’t have too many reps on their bodies so they are still fresh. The third is that if someone would happen to get injured the other guy has enough reps under his belt that he can come in there and play and play winning football so having that rotation helps the entire team out and they are good with it. Even though they might tell you, ‘Hey I want to play every down.’ They know what is best for us as a whole.”