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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Training camp Day 2 quick hits: Patterson ‘top option’ on kick returns

Notes and observations from Day 2 of Vikings training camp

• Minnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer called rookie Cordarrelle Patterson his “top option” at kick returner this season.

“It makes me feel pretty good,” Patterson said after Saturday’s practice. “Shows [Priefer] has a lot of confidence in me. If he feels I can be back there, I feel I can be back there also.”

• On top of the regular cast of returners, the Vikings had receiver Jarius Wright and running backs Bradley Randle and Jerodis Williams fielding kicks from a machine.

Wright, not Patterson, is currently in the team’s three wide receiver sets along with Jerome Simpson and Greg Jennings.

Patterson, along with Stephen Burton and LaMark Brown are in the second-team receiver set. Joe Webb lined up with the third team.

• In an underwhelming day for quarterback Christian Ponder, he threw an interception to middle linebacker Erin Henderson that drew ire from the crowd.

• Samantha Ponder was in attendance along with her mother and Ponder’s parents.

• Rookies Sharrif Floyd and Gerald Hodges lined up with the kick return team and Priefer said there could be more uses for the first-round pick up his sleeve.

“I think we can play [Floyd] on kickoff return, in the wedge,” Priefer said. “He can be a guy who can help on field goal protection and field goal block, maybe on punt return depending on who we match up against, because he’s such a great speed. Doing all the drill work we were doing, watching it on tape, his feet are unbelievable.”

• The deep ball plagued cornerback Josh Robinson last year, but receiver Rodney Smith didn’t need more than a 10-yard grab to out-run Robinson, who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the 2012 combine, all the way to the end zone.

Robinson, who lined up as starting slot corner again Saturday, redeemed himself when he broke up a pass from Ponder to Simpson later in passing drills.

• Cornerback Bobby Felder ended Saturday’s practice with an interception off of a terrible pass by third-string quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
by Andrew Krammer

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