Mike Wallace and Vikings receivers have had a week of training camp matchups with cornerbacks like Xavier Rhodes and Terence Newman.
It will be another week before the Vikings open the preseason against the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday Night Football, but Wallace said he's enjoying the competition between teammates. Asked if he has a favorite, Wallace said:
"Talking-wise, I like Xavier, but when you want to go against a guy who is just crafty and a veteran, that's gotta be T-Newman because he's so smart and he knows how to take a lot of things away so it makes you react rather than just playing how coach tells you to run a route," Wallace said. "You have to react for how he's playing because he's seen every single route in the playbook. Going against a guy like that makes you better on your releases and better at your route running because if there's any tips, he's going to take it away."
Wallace at first appeared to create enough separation in a play Saturday night when Newman's helmet was knocked off, but the savvy vet recovered in time to break up the pass with his right hand.
"He's a true vet, a true professional," Wallace said. "His helmet came off and he still was out there making a great play."
Wallace, an offseason free agent acquisition said he's been impressed by receivers teammates.
Asked particularly about Stefon Diggs, Wallace said the rookie reminds him of a former teammate who was drafted by the Steelers in 2010 (Wallace's second pro season).
"When you look at a guy, you can tell if they have it or not, just from the start and he has that football capability, great hands, speed, routes are crazy," Wallace said. "He's going to be good. He reminds me a lot of Antonio (Brown)."
JOHNSON REELS IN CATCH OF THE DAY
Wallace also said Charles Johnson has "been doing great." Wallace hadn't seen much of the former Grand Valley State star who was injured in his rookie year of 2013 in Green Bay and signed off Cleveland's practice squad last September.
Johnson has been making plays at multiple spots and said he's concentrating on creating separation from defenders while running routes.
"That's what I pride myself on, getting the most separation on routes," Johnson said. "I'm very detailed on route running. I want to be as open as I can, so when Teddy sees me, all he sees is me and he knows he can get the ball to me."
He's also shown the ability to make contested plays in traffic, including Sunday when he jumped up on a timing route, fought for the ball through coverage by Rhodes and landed with both feet in bounds according to the sideline official.
HALL OF FAMER ALAN PAGE VISITS VIKINGS
Retiring Supreme Court Justice Alan Page visited Verizon Vikings Training Camp Sunday with members of his family. Page, the legendary defensive tackle who helped lay the foundation for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in which he was later enshrined, briefly spoke to the team at the end of practice.
"It's great to have these great former Vikings come in and talk to the team," Zimmer said. "His stats, I happened to read them out in front of the team and these guys couldn't believe all of the things that he did. I like doing that with these former players. It gives them a chance to understand a little bit about how we want to go about getting to that spot. And plus he's from Canton."
The 1971 NFL MVP and four-time NFC Defensive Player of the Year recorded 148.5 career sacks, including 108 for the Vikings (fourth-most in team history) and made nine Pro Bowls.