Access Vikings

Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


What you missed at Vikings training camp on Tuesday: Penalty pushups!

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated August 6th at 6:07pm 270228601

Vikings fans flexed some of their football intelligence muscles Tuesday when the loudest cheer of the afternoon practice applauded coach Mike Zimmer’s decision to make every player on the field and the sideline drop to the ground and do pushups after a string of offsides penalties.

It wasn’t a terribly sloppy practice, but the team clearly isn’t as sharp as it was at the start of camp. Part of that is the natural progression of training camp. Part of it is the daily installation of new portions of the offensive and defensive schemes. And part of it is, well, it’s just time to play a darn game.

Zimmer was asked if he thought about dropping to the ground and joining his players in what looked to be 10 or 20 pushups.

“I probably should have,” he said.

Asked if that’s something he pre-planned, Zimmer said, “It wasn’t pre-planned. It was spur of the moment.”

The pushup punishment came after defensive end Everson Griffen jumped offsides.

“The period before, a couple of guys jumped offsides,” Zimmer said. “So I got tired of it.”

And the fans who suffered through the sloppiness of last year’s 5-10-1 season cheered loudly.

SETTING THE SCENE: The weather has been consistently nice, but it appears the concentration level is wavering a bit. But it’s nothing to be alarmed about. The third-team units got more action today because most of them will be playing most, if not all, of the second half of Friday’s preseason opener. Also, multiple front-line players were rested while backups stepped into unfamiliar territory. The team also is putting more and more of its systems into place, so there’s going to be a natural ebb and flow in a camp with new coaches.

YOUR DAILY QUARTERBACK SMORGASBORG: Ponder and the third-teamers got more work Monday and today, presumably because they’ll be playing the bulk of the second half, if not the entire second half. Ponder remains a distant No. 3 and still looked tentative on some throws. The ball looks like it needs to come out quicker. Matt Cassel looks like the most consistent quarterback, but certainly not out of reach from Teddy Bridgewater. Cassel made a nice throw on a deep out that Cordarrelle Patterson snagged by reaching over the head of cornerback Kendall James. Based on how James was playing the route, Cassel made the ideal throw. Bridgewater continues to look a little hesitant. He threw late over the middle to Greg Jennings on one play. The hesitation allowed safety Andrew Sendejo to reach in and swat the ball away.

REST FOR THE AGED: Unlike the first camp of most new head coaches, Camp Zimmer hasn’t been one of those over-the-top boot camps where the new guy tries to prove to everybody that he’s a tough guy. Zimmer is firm with his players, but he’s not beating them up. Part of that is the fact the new collective bargaining agreement won’t allow things to get out of hand. But Zimmer also seems to be comfortable keeping the same personality that he had while making a name for himself as a defensive coordinator. He’s hands on when teaching, but he also knows when to back off. Practices usually end early and veterans get some days off here and there. Today, Zimmer rested defensive end Brian Robison, left guard Charlie Johnson, center John Sullivan and right tackle Phil Loadholt. “Just trying to take care of their bodies a bit,” Zimmer said. “And it doesn’t hurt for some of the younger guys to get a few more plays.”

ANOTHER FLASH PLAY FOR COX: Cornerback Derek Cox is third at right cornerback behind Xavier Rhodes and rookie Jabari Price on the team’s first depth chart of the season, which was released today. Price has been one of the top surprises of camp in that he’s progressed so quickly. But don’t count out Cox. He was a good player in Jacksonville before he was a bad player in San Diego. After a couple of recent interceptions on back-to-back days in camp, he had a nice breakup of a ball thrown from Bridgewater to receiver Rodney Smith today. The positioning and timing of the breakup was ideal.

JASPER DOES EXTRA PUSHUPS: Jasper Brinkley probably will win the middle linebacker job in the base defense, although one shouldn’t bet against Audie Cole, who has been moved back to the middle after auditioning at the weak-side spot. Brinkley was working with the backups in a team portion of practice when Ponder threw an ill-advised ball right to Brinkley. Brinkley dropped the ball for an incompletion and then hit the ground to punish himself with pushups.

INJURY REPORT: Tight end AC Leonard remained sidelined as he undergoes further testing for the headache he reported last week. Cornerback Josh Robinson missed another day because of his hamstring pull. Tight end Chase Ford is out of his walking boot, but isn’t close to returning from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot. Safety Robert Blanton also missed another day because of his hamstring injury. And, finally, backup left tackle Tiny Richardson returned to practice. He missed a portion of Monday’s practice after another played rolled up on his left leg.


Philadelphia 14 3rd Qtr 2:45
Washington 17
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Phoenix 99 FINAL
New York 90
Portland 6:00 PM
New Orleans
Utah 6:00 PM
Atlanta 7:00 PM
San Antonio 7:30 PM
Indiana 8:00 PM
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Arizona 2 3rd Prd :12
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 6:00 PM
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Florida 6:00 PM
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Chicago 6:00 PM
Nashville 7:00 PM
Calgary 9:00 PM
St. Louis 9:30 PM
San Jose
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 45 FINAL
American Univ 46
Abilene Christian 33 FINAL
Boise State 77
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Duquesne 79
South Alabama 65 FINAL
Ohio State 74 FINAL
North Carolina 82
Massachusetts 65 FINAL
Providence 85
Syracuse 77 FINAL
Villanova 82
Citadel 61 FINAL
Virginia Tech 64
Belmont 73 FINAL
Fairfield 61
St Bonaventure 69 FINAL
Binghamton 51
Montreat 64 FINAL
Campbell 90
Delaware 74 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 76
South Florida 62 FINAL
Florida State 75
Vanderbilt 60 FINAL
Georgia Tech 65
SC State 71 FINAL
Houston 63
Missouri 59 FINAL
Illinois 62
Truett-McConnell 55 FINAL
Jacksonville 84
Toledo 83 FINAL
McNeese State 69
Elon 71 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 64
Drexel 68 FINAL
Penn State 73
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Rutgers 68
Albany 64 FINAL
Yale 60
PSU-Beaver 74 FINAL
Longwood 106
Eastern Ill 60 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Indiana 82 FINAL
Butler 73
Marshall 58 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
Lafayette 69 FINAL
Kansas 96
Oral Roberts 63 FINAL
Memphis 78
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Delaware State 70 FINAL
Oregon 83
Fla Atlantic 56 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
Arkansas Tech 57 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 94
Howard Payne 50 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 89
Kennesaw St 53
St Josephs (IN) 54 FINAL
Chicago State 77
Eastern Mich 77 FINAL
Missouri State 65
Kentucky 83
UC Davis 81 FINAL
Air Force 75
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
UC Riverside 78
Davidson 80 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 68
USC Upstate 53 FINAL
Miss State 51
NC Central 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 60
Illinois State 77 FINAL
Murray State 89
Louisiana 85 FINAL
Northwestern St 89
Oakland 77 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
Detroit 55 FINAL
Rhode Island 69
Presbyterian 60 FINAL
UT Martin 77
Monmouth 74 FINAL
Wagner 66
Southern U 39 FINAL
Wyoming 57
Iowa State 68 2nd Half 7:11
Drake 38
Wake Forest 37 2nd Half 12:29
Florida 43
High Point 56 2nd Half 8:06
James Madison 59
Texas Southern 42 2nd Half 7:35
Michigan State 50
New Hampshire 51 2nd Half 4:36
Sacred Heart 68
Northeastern 66 2nd Half 6:34
Santa Clara 62
Huston-Tillotson 48 2nd Half 8:01
Texas State 69
Purdue 44 2nd Half 17:09
Notre Dame 50
Prairie View 19 2nd Half 18:04
Sam Houston St 37
Xavier 22 1st Half 5:52
Auburn 17
Bluffton 6:00 PM
NJIT 6:00 PM
Central Conn St
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Iona 6:00 PM
George Mason
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Texas A&M 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Morgan State 6:00 PM
Saint Josephs 6:00 PM
East Carolina 6:00 PM
Richmond 6:00 PM
La Salle 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word 6:05 PM
CS-Bakersfield 6:30 PM
Idaho State
Iowa 6:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Long Beach State 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St 7:30 PM
Lehigh 8:00 PM
Arizona State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Utah Valley U 8:00 PM
Weber State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
St Edwards 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
NC State 8:30 PM
West Virginia
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Fresno State 9:00 PM
Montana State 9:00 PM
Ball State 9:00 PM
San Diego St
South Dakota St 9:05 PM
Utah State
Stanford 10:00 PM
Utah 10:30 PM
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 38 4th Qtr 13:12
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 3 2nd Qtr 13:33
Air Force 6
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 40 FINAL
(11) Tennessee 59
Alabama A&M 47 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Central Michigan 45 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 80
Nebraska Omaha 50 FINAL
Creighton 67
Western Carolina 83
Houston 65 FINAL
Nicholls 47
St Thomas Aquinas 45 FINAL
Army 70
St Bonaventure 72 FINAL
Niagara 60
Texas State 57 FINAL
Stetson 75
George Mason 65 FINAL
ULM 53
Grambling 38 FINAL
Kansas State 61
Missouri 79 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Robert Morris 59 FINAL
Cornell 70
Air Force 44 FINAL
Abilene Christian 80
Hampton 53 FINAL
James Madison 85
American Univ 64 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 52
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 68
Tenn Tech 49 FINAL
NC A&T 54
Presbyterian 45 FINAL
NC Central 33
Penn 58 FINAL
Drexel 67
Lipscomb 38 FINAL
Xavier 62
Vermont 40 FINAL
Green Bay 60
Charleston Southern 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 80
Ohio Christian 62 FINAL
Akron 97
Jacksonville 62 FINAL
Murray State 80
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Iona 58
Indiana 88 FINAL
Oakland 61
Indiana State 64 FINAL
SMU 55
Denver 51 FINAL
Purdue 65
TX-San Antonio 48 FINAL
Texas Tech 64
Middle Tennessee 79
Campbell 66 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 55
Florida A&M 67 FINAL
SE Louisiana 69
Northwestern St 61 FINAL
Jackson State 62
Lehigh 61 FINAL
Arizona State 81
Valparaiso 65 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 77
Liberty 60 FINAL
Minnesota 74
Wofford 60 FINAL
North Florida 68
Montana State 61 FINAL
Washington St 82
Marshall 56 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 69
Morgan State 40 FINAL
Chattanooga 55
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Harvard 67
Furman 51 FINAL
(15) Georgia 58
(18) Michigan State 65 FINAL
(9) Baylor 84
Ohio U 52 FINAL
Massachusetts 59
Prairie View 48 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 86
Toledo 64 FINAL
Southern Ill 48
High Point 57 FINAL
(12) Nebraska 83
Winthrop 20 FINAL
Wichita State 66
William Jewell 59 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 39 2nd Half 7:21
Utah 53
Southern Utah 39 2nd Half 7:42
Gonzaga 59
Hawaii 60 2nd Half 7:59
Loyola Marymount 62
San Jose St 46 2nd Half 8:01
San Francisco 66
CS-Northridge 44 2nd Half 11:07
San Diego State 34
Norfolk State 28 2nd Half 9:47
East Carolina 41
Saint Peters 42 2nd Half 5:43
Loyola-Maryland 47
Arizona 25 2nd Half
Stephen F Austin 23
Northwestern 32 2nd Half 8:00
Eastern Illinois 79
La Salle 5:00 PM
Georgia State
Oral Roberts 18 1st Half 6:35
Wisconsin 23
Florida Atlantic 18 1st Half 2:55
New Mexico St 27
(16) Oregon State 0 1st Half 20:00
Nevada 0
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Delaware 6:00 PM
Troy 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Washington 7:00 PM
Pacific 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Old Dominion 7:00 PM
Austin Peay 9:00 PM
Lewis-Clark State 9:00 PM
(21) Miss State 9:30 PM


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