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Photo - Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Mankato, MN - Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier found some relief from the hot summer sun Thursday afternoon when he grabbed a seat on the shaded KFAN perch to have a brief chat with our very own Dan Barreiro. It didn't take long for coach Frazier to comfortable and start to clear the air on a few topics, one being Jared Allen.
Wednesday afternoon, Allen told the media that if the Vikings are going to rest him they should "rest me during the week because I get paid to play on Sundays."
Thursday, Coach Frazier set the record straight.
"Contrary to what Mr. Allen has to say," Frazier said with a smile on his face. "We've talked about this subject."
Frazier said that they have even had this conversation with Jared in year's past. Last season, Jared played on almost every defensive snap and ended the year a Pro-Bowler with a team record and league leading 22 sacks.
"This is not a revelation, no matter what he tells you guys," Frazier told Barreiro. "we've had these conversations and he knows what the intent is...we'd like to be able to get him off the field to insure that in key games, in key situations he's fresh...It's a long season and we don't want him taking 1200, 1100 snaps."
Decision to release Longwell started with Special Team's Coach Priefer...
One of the hot topics of this year's camp has surrounded the team's decision to release veteran kicker Ryan Longwell and replace him with an unproven, untested rookie in Blair Walsh. Thursday, we found out that the decision to make this move started with Special Teams coach Mike Priefer.
"I recommended we do what we did," Priefer said after morning walkthroughs. "Rick [Spielman] and Leslie [Frazier], we're all on the same page...I just thought for the future of this football team kick off wise and even into field goal wise, I thought it was the best move."
Longwell had spent the last six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings but new kickoff rules began to place a premium on big leg kickers. Longwell achieved only 19 touchbacks on 77 kicks in 2011 (24.6%) with his average distance coming in at 64.6 yards per kick. Making 22 of 28 field goals, 2011 saw Longwell's FG average drop to 78.6% as well, his lowest since joining the Vikings.
"You hate to do that to any veteran," Priefer continued. "It was a tough deal because he's been a great kicker in this league for a long time...it was very amicable, he's a good man."
Walsh has a widely publicized big leg and can regularly be seen booming kickoffs deep into the endzone. His vice so far has been consistency. As Priefer continues to work with Walsh and slow down his motion, Walsh's accuracy begins to wane. Thursday, Walsh was 6-for-7 to open the afternoon session with the makes coming from between the 30 and 42 yards.
One of the Arkansas receivers finally splashed...
After staying quiet through the first five days of Training Camp, rookie receiver Greg Childs had a good day on Thursday including what would be the top play of camp so far.
During 11-on-11 no huddle drills, Childs ran a deep route with the second-team offense. Covered tightly by cornerback Stephen Burton, Childs came back to catch an under thrown ball from Joe Webb. Unable to shake Burton, Childs reached both arms around Burton catching the ball and pinning it on the back of Burton's pads. As the pair came tumbling down, Childs shook loose and held on to complete the catch cueing the near capacity crow to erupt in cheers.
It's good to see Childs gaining confidence after having a frustrating first week of camp.
Replacement officials arrived on Thursday...
As the NFL and the officials continue to work towards settling their dispute with the officials, replacement officials were shipped in around the country with some arriving to Mankato Thursday.
Appearing to be slow-rolling their way into the positions, the officials called yesterday's practice pretty liberally. Arguing with officials has become an art in the NFL but even yesterday's practice was filled with arguments stemming from pure frustration as seemingly blatant calls went whistle-less.
Coach Frazier briefly touched on the matter of replacement officials saying, "I haven't thought about it a whole lot...as we get closer to the regular season [i'm sure] it will be a subject that we talk about."
Chris Cook continues to shine...
Surely a household name after his issues with the law last season and highly publicized local court hearing this offseason, Chris Cook is back on the field and honestly looking better than ever. Cook picked off Vikings QBs twice yesterday and both were in impressive fashion.
The first came against the first team offense as he jumped a route and intercepted a Christian Ponder pass that was then returned for a touchdown. The second came in one-on-one drills when cook turned at the last second to snatch a deep ball out of the hands of the receiver.
Despite his off field issues, Cook will play a big role on this Vikings team this year. The coaching staff has already touched on their plans to limit the snaps of veteran CB Antoine Winfield and Cook appears to be second in line at the position.
The injury bug reared its ugly head again on Thursday as offensive lineman Pat Brown and running back Jordan Todman missed time due to injuries. Brown went down with an MCL sprain that the team was going to look at further following the afternoon session. "They don't think it's as serious as John's was," Frazier said, listing Brown as day-to-day.
With the increased repetitions at running back due to Peterson's injury, Jordan Todman had been turning some heads in camp. That was until he sprained his ankle during goal line work Thursday afternoon. Todman limped off the field where he was checked out by head trainer Eric Sugarman. With his right ankle heavily taped, Todman hobbled back onto the practice field thirty minutes later but did not return to full contract drills.
In lingering injury news...
- Josh Robinson (hamstring) continues to be limited but hopes to be back practicing soon
- Robert Blanton (hamstring) spent his second straight day on the sidelines with no pads
- John Carlson (knee) has been on the sidelines, knee heavily wrapped, for each practice since his injury
- Adrian Peterson (knee) continues to rehab with Sugarman but remains out of team activities. Frazier said that if they hope to use him week one vs. Jacksonville, he will need to see snaps in the preseason.
-DeMarcus Love (shoulder) continues to miss time, thought to be a week or so away from returning.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings' updates and breaking Vikings' news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjMansourKFAN