EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Stand-up comedy isn't encouraged on the Vikings practice field, but when Jerick McKinnon is mic'd up for a session, a few laughs are guaranteed to be sprinkled into the work the team is doing during organized team activities.
McKinnon was wired Thursday when the Vikings participated in their third of 10 scheduled practices, providing up-close interactions with teammates, who joked that McKinnon was "The Feds."
During a special teams drill, 5-foot-9, 205-pound McKinnon ran into a wall named Jeremiah Sirles, a tackle who is 6-6 and 315. Sirles didn't budge, which was pointed out to McKinnon by fullback Zach Line.
McKinnon also compared his height to Captain Munnerlyn, who is also listed at 5-9. McKinnon joked the height of his hair offsets the size of Munnerlyn's head.
McKinnon also yearned for a little more size.
"I wish I was 6-2, 215," McKinnon said, rubbing the back of Adrian Peterson's head, as if making a request from a genie.
"The genie can't change your physical appearance," replied Peterson, listed at 6-1 and 220.
The thing of it is, McKinnon might be most effective for the Vikings at the size he is because of the contrast his running style provides with the three-time rushing champ Peterson's bruise 'em and break free power.
Peterson rushed 327 times for 1,485 yards (an average of 4.5 yards per carry) and 11 scores in helping the Vikings go 11-5 and win the NFC North. McKinnon carried the ball 52 times for 271 yards (5.2 per carry) and two scores.
The Vikings also involved the running backs as receivers, with Peterson posting 30 catches for 222 yards (7.4) and McKinnon adding 21 receptions for 173 yards (8.2) and a touchdown.
Peterson has shown big-play potential throughout his career, posting an NFL-record of 13 touchdown runs of 60 or more yards. McKinnon, who played more late in the season, notched his first in December, housing a 68-yard run for a score against the Giants.
Late in the season, Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner placed Peterson and McKinnon on the field at the same time for a few plays. It's too early to know whether that might happen again, but McKinnon said he thought it worked well.
"I think it's pretty good. The times we were out there, the defenses didn't know what to do," McKinnon told Vikings.com. "You could hear it in the communication, but there's no telling how often you'll see that. That's ultimately up to the offensive staff and Coach Turner."
McKinnon said he's working on multiple things during OTAs, including fine-tuning his routes out of the backfield, running the ball between the tackles and pass protection.
"It's a great feeling to be at the start of OTAs and laying a foundation for this year and building off what we accomplished last year and making ourselves a better team," McKinnon said. "There's a lot of excitement. Everybody is glad to be back, and the first few days have been real competitive."