|Photo by John Cross|
Adrian Peterson, one of the last players to arrive, wasn't too worried about the test, presumably a series of runs and sprints:
"Conditioning test?" the recently married running back said. "I should be able to make that if I take two months off."
Zimmer takes over
This will be the first camp for coach Mike Zimmer, who talked about getting texts from his old mentor, Bill Parcells, as well as advice he's received from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis (Zimmer was with the Bengals last year and worked for Parcells with the Cowboys) as he tried to shape his first training camp.
"A little bit of all of it," he said. " I went back and took a lot of the things we did in Dallas with Parcells and went back and looked at a lot of things we were doing with Marvin Lewis. Talked to (offensive coordinator and former Chargers and Redskins head coach) Norv Turner about it a lot. But I guess when you're an old coach you get more experience that way. It's a combination of a lot of things, I think."
Many players used the word "accountability" when talking about what they expect out of Zimmer's version of training camp.
"I think he's exactly what we all needed," left tackle Matt Kalil said.
The Priefer-Kluwe situation
Much of the focus on Thursday was the Mike Priefer situation. The special teams coach will be suspended for three games when the regular season starts due to comments he made about homosexuals in a team meeting. The situation and ensuing investigation was sparked by comments made former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
The Vikings were wise to address the issue right away, having Zimmer, Priefer, GM Rick Spielman and long snapper Cullen Loeffler all face the media.
Priefer apologized again (as he did in a statement released last Friday) for his comments and said he's "learned a hard lesson."
There will be more on the Priefer situation in The Free Press, but a couple of interesting comments:
Loeffler not only said he laughed at Priefer's comments ("We should round up all the gays, send them to an island and then nuke it."), thinking it was a joke, but added that Kluwe laughed at it, too.
Earlier, kicker Blair Walsh might have made a veiled rip on Kluwe while praising current punter Jeff Locke: "He's a great guy, a great punter, who takes it seriously, which is nice."
Who's the QB?
Zimmer said that Matt Cassel comes into camp as the No. 1 quarterback, not necessarily as the "starter" for Week 1. There will be competition for that position and most others.
Rookie Teddy Bridgewater and fourth-year former stater Christian Ponder are the others.
Said Bridgewater: "I have to compete with myself first. That will make me a better player. Then I'll compete with the other guys, and that will make our team a better team."
More to come
The Free Press website has a fan feature by Tim Krohn and a photo gallery by John Cross, as well as Tout videos (on the Freep home page) from throughout the morning/early afternoon.