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Bleacher Report – Vikings

DAY 3 TRAINING CAMP NOTES

By: Joe Nelson | KFAN.com
@JoeNelsonKFAN

Mankato, MN – The third day of Vikings training camp was the first in full pads, and the first of six consecutive afternoon sessions with pads on. Here are some notes from practice.

Cassel Chemistry With Burton
Backup quarterback Matt Cassel found a groove with Stephen Burton. Burton, one of a few wide receivers in a competition to get the fifth WR spot on the team, beat safety Andrew Sendejo over the top for a 71 yard touchdown in an 11-on-11 drill. Burton would haul in another touchdown — a 13-yard pass from Cassel with just three hypothetical seconds left on the clock.

“Eight years-plus we’ve always known who’s going to be on the front line.”
That’s how veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams summed up the uncertain future of the Vikings defensive line. He, along with Brian Robison and Everson Griffin become free agents at the end of the season.
D-Line Rotation
One observation from the defensive line rotation was rookie DT Shariff Floyd and third year DT Christian Ballard playing on the interior line during a portion of the nickel defense. They were bookended by Jared Allen and Everson Griffin.
Locked Inside The Ten
Rookie punter Jeff Locke is actually entertaining to watch punt a football. The left-footed kid from UCLA showed off great touch on punts inside the ten yard line. Frequently, the ball would take a soft bounce straight up in the air, allowing coverage players to down it inside the ten.
The Wright Connection
Jarius Wright didn’t have a lot of trouble getting open in short-yardage situations. I marked him down for six receptions — including two touchdowns — over the course of seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills. The touchdowns came on an 8-yard fade to the middle-left of the end zone from Christian Ponder, and a back-shoulder throw from Ponder for a 13-yard TD against rookie cornerback, Xavier Rhodes. Wright called the drills the “best simulation” for “game situations.”
Physical Rhodes
The aspect of Xavier Rhodes’ game that stands out at first glance is how physical he plays. The rookie from Florida State isn’t an imposing cornerback, but he’s not afraid to put his shoulder into bigger running backs like Toby Gerhart.

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