Tough In The Trenches

Posted Aug 12, 2013

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The Vikings are nearly through with their Mankato portion of the 2013 training camp schedule, but there will be no coasting through the final days at Minnesota State-Mankato. After a crisp practice on a lazy Sunday just a day ago, the Vikings got to work on focused on the trenches with their Monday practice.

Several team periods in Monday’s practice featured short yardage and/or goal line situations, and both the defense and offense had their fair share of victories. Adrian Peterson didn’t see much of the field for those periods and the defense wasn’t tackling to the ground, so both sides had some inherent disadvantages but both sides also competed well and can walk away feeling okay with what transpired.


With the team concentrating on short yardage and goal line, I thought it prudent to pay particular attention to the one-on-one pass rush drill between the defensive line and offensive line. Not all the individual matchups are worth detailing, but here are a few of the interesting outcomes…

-- The first matchup was Phil Loadholt against Brian Robison. Loadholt held off Robison as he tried an outside speed rush move on the first rep, but Robison got home on the second rep with a sudden outside-in move.

-- Kevin Williams jumped offside on his first rep and then battled Charlie Johnson to stalemate on the re-snap. On the second rep, Williams gained some ground with a power move to the inside.

-- Jared Allen battled Matt Kalil to a stalemate on their first rep, and then the veteran defensive end used a solid outside-in move to get home on the second rep.

-- Everson Griffen executed a sweet spin move on his first snap to get past Kevin Murphy, but Murphy responded on the second rep and battled Griffin to a stalemate.

-- At right tackle, Brandon Keith stopped Lawrence Jackson on their first rep and then Jackson gained some ground on the second snap with a bull rush.

-- Seth Olsen and Everett Dawkins had a good battle, with Olsen standing up Dawkins on the first snap and then Dawkins getting the better of Olsen on the second rep. Dawkins went again later in the drill, ripping through Baca on one snap and then was stood up by Olsen on the next snap.

-- Fred Evans had an impressive couple snaps after jumping offsides on the first snap. Evans engaged in a good hand fight/stalemate with center Camden Wentz and then beat Wentz with a crafty swim move on the second snap.

-- Rookie guard Jeff Baca stood up defensive tackle Anthony McCloud on their first rep. McCloud countered on the next snap with swim move-bull rush combo move that saw him get to the quarterback, although I’m not sure it would’ve been in time to result in a quarterback pressure.

Ponder sharp in hurry-up
One of the team periods late in practice was a hurry up drill in which the offense began at the minus-25. Ponder was sharp in guiding the first team offense against the second team defense, completing 6 of 7 passes on the drive and finishing with a touchdown. His first completion was to Greg Jennings along the right sideline and later in the drive Ponder would connect on quick slants to both Jerome Simpson and Jarius Wright. The drive concluded when Ponder hit Wright along the right sideline for a touchdown.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson guided the third team offense on a similar drive, with the top play being a 4th-down fade to Joe Webb along the right sideline. Later, Bethel-Thompson hit tight end Colin Anderson to complete the scoring drive.

The first team defense forced the second team offense into a three-and-out thanks to a pair of sacks on first and third down.