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Vikings Camp Day 3: Edwards Calling Plays, Reiff Absent From Practice and What did Alex Boone Say About the Packers...

Day three was my best day personally I had some spray-on sunscreen, SPF 50 so don’t worry mom, plus shorts and a short sleeve shirt so the 80-degree weather and sun did less damage than before. You could say I have learned from my mistakes like a good veteran player would do.

ZIMMER HANDING OVER DEFENSIVE PLAY CALLING

One of the bigger stories from the week came from head coach Mike Zimmer saying he was considering handing play calling duties for the defense over to defensive coordinator George Edwards and is expecting to give Edwards the play calling duties for at least one preseason game.

Friday, we heard form Edwards on the subject for the first time. In terms of taking over play calling full time he deflected that question back to the head coach “you would have to talk to Zimmer about it” said Edwards “Anything coach Zimmer needs me to do I’m going to do”. He did add that he would embrace the idea of calling plays “Anytime you get an opportunity to do something like that, you’re excited about it”.

Edwards is entering his fourth season as the defensive coordinator and did call the plays last season in the game against Dallas which the Vikings performed well in despite a 17-15 loss. When you ask players about that game and if there were any differences between Edwards and Zimmer. He called a great game as far as I’m concerned” said linebacker Anthony Barr “you don’t really think of it during the game but it’s definitely different, just a different voice…it’s a little bit of an adjustment but you just call what you’re given so it’s not a big difference”. The Vikings did hold Dallas to under their season average in points and yards and it seemed like the defense responded well to Edwards voice. “It was pretty seamless” according to safety Harrison Smith “as players we’re going to deliver no matter who’s calling plays or where the coaches are at”.

MICHAEL FLOYD SPEAKS ON SUSPENSION

One player that has looked very impressive through the first two days of practice is receiver Michael Floyd. He has made a few very nice catches against Trae Waynes and Terrence Newman and is actually a bigger target than I thought he would be. However, he is suspended for the first four games of the season. Reporters got a chance to talk to him about the process after the morning practice. “I’m still learning the playbook so I’m taking every single day as a learning process” said Floyd when asked about his approach to practice knowing he will miss four weeks, “it doesn’t matter if I’m not out there for the first four games you still got to prepare like you’re going to play that’s just me that’s how I am and I’m moving forward”. Floyd did admit he’s happy the process of the suspension, that stemmed from a DUI last year in Arizona, is over and he can focus on football. The NFL decided to suspend Floyd 4 games instead of the minimum two games for a DUI. When it came to the decision on four game Floyd didn’t have much to say, “you go through a process with people, you state your argument and they tell the outcome that was about it”.

MCKINNON BACK REIFF ABSENT

Running back Jerrick McKinnon returned to the practice field for the morning walk through after leaving the field Thursday with an undisclosed injury. McKinnon was on the field but did not participate in the afternoon session however and he declined opportunities to comment about the injury afterwards. The more serious concern is coming with left tackle Riley Reiff who was completely absent from the practice field all day after leaving on a cart Thursday with an undisclosed injury. The Injury does not appear to be anything serious according to Zimmer but it’s not the ideal start for the veteran who was supposed to help a decimated offensive line from a year ago after signing a five-year contract worth $58.75 million. Fellow linemate Alex Boone does believe Reiff will be back “Riley will be fine he’s a grinder he’s a tough guy” but after living through endless injuries and questions about health Boone was not up for talking about them again and let us know in his own special sarcastic way “I had a whole year of that we’re not doing it again….We’re good just say we’re good I can’t do this again”. Rashad Hill, a player the Vikings took off Jacksonville’s practice squad last year, has been filling in for Reiff

PACKERS SUPER BOWL VICTORY

Boone is always a fun and colorful interview so I had to sneak in a question about his thoughts on Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy saying the Packers will win the super bowl this year in the Vikings home US Bank Stadium. His response “Over my dead ******* body, there ya go” almost like he knew he was giving us a premium headline.

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES

One injury concern from the day was second string linebacker Kentrell Brother who is in his second year out of Missouri. Brothers went down after going out in the flat to cover a tight end during the 11 v 11 drills. He stayed down holding the back of his left leg near the top. He was helped to a cart and taken off the field.

Edmond Robinson and Emmanuel Lemur both continued to split time at the outside linebacker spot in base defense that was vacated by Chad Greenway. Lemur is in his second year with the Vikings after being signed as a free agent from Cincinnati and he is embracing the competition “we’re competing right now it’s up in the air right now so the best mans going to play period”.

One player I have really liked so far that is way off peoples radar is Cayleb Jones a 6ft 3in receiver who signed as an undrafted free agent this year out of Michigan St. He has made some impressive catches, about 3-4 already, with the third unit and even got a look returning a punt when he danced by Laquon Treadwell on the punt coverage and got down the sideline. I don’t necessarily expect him to make the roster with a fairly full receiver group at this point but there are a few spots potentially open so Cayleb Jones might be a name to listen to.
               

Day three is a wrap hopefully you have enjoyed updates from training camp and the stories, you can reread any of them on am1100theflag.com or find them along with other updates on my twitter profile @ARieckWZFG. Also make sure to tune in to Flag Sports Saturday tomorrow, I’ll be on with the guys for two segments and talk about everything Mankato

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