The road to success in the NFL begins each year with the hard work and wide-open possibilities of training camp. As teams around the league gear up for the 2015 campaign, NFL Media reporters will be checking in from all 32 camps around the league. For our next stop, Randy Moss visits the Minnesota Vikings.
Where is NFL Media?
This summer, the Minnesota Vikings are marking the 50th anniversary of their training camp association with Minnesota State University, Mankato (formerly Mankato State University) in Mankato, Minnesota. Mankato -- population 40,000 -- is a 90-minute drive south of the Vikings' permanent headquarters in Eden Prairie, a Minneapolis suburb.
1) Adrian Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP who spent all but one game last season either suspended oron the Commissioner's Exempt List after being indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child, has looked as sharp as ever early in camp. Of course, fitness has never been an issue with Peterson. During that MVP season, he defied medical expectations by rushing for 2,097 yards after undergoing major knee surgery in December 2011.
2) Second-year pro Teddy Bridgewater, a bit rusty at times in the opening days of camp, was mostly on target in Wednesday's 11-on-11 work in full pads against the first-team defense. The young quarterback's primary targets were Charles Johnson (who drew the loudest fan reaction by stretching for an over-the-middle grab), trade acquisitionMike Wallace (who caught everything thrown his way, though he mostly ran quick slants as opposed to the deep routes he is best known for) and tight end Kyle Rudolph. In the final month of his rookie season, Bridgewater had the fourth-best passer rating (99.8) among all starting NFL quarterbacks.
3) Any concerns about the Vikings' pass rush seemed misplaced Wednesday, as head coach Mike Zimmer's defense penetrated effectively with creative blitzes and front-line pressure. Of course, it's difficult to tell, at this point, how much the pass rush can be attributed to defensive prowess and how much to protection struggles by the offensive line. Starting right tackle Phil Loadholt missed some snaps.
"He looks awesome. On the first play (in 11-on-11s on Tuesday), we ran a zone read to the left, and if it had been an actual game, he would have taken it to the house. It was awesome."
» Patterson had a good day Wednesday, although he was working against the second-team defense. He had a promising rookie campaign, but his 2014 season was such a disappointment that many Vikings insiders have virtually written him off as anything other than a kickoff-return specialist. Any meaningful contribution from Patterson at receiver would be a major bonus.