Back in the 1980s as a young kid growing up in small town Nova Scotia (is there any other kind?) on the East Coast of Canada, keeping up with training camp developments of the Minnesota Vikings was difficult.
Unless our one daily newspaper, by chance, ran a short story about the Vikings or there was a clip on TV about the team, there was no way to keep up on how preparations for the new season were going. And unless you lived in Minnesota (or the Dakotas) – I'm sure it was the same for other Viking fans.
The Internet and social media have changed that. With every TV and print reporter who covers the Vikings sporting a Twitter handle and posting daily blogs, fans of the team can get updates on their favorite team no matter where they live – and they get it as it happens.
I've found monitoring the tweets of the reporters covering the Vikings training camp in Mankato can provide some interesting observations about the club and some of the 90 players vying for spots on the 2012 squad. And for those of you who don't follow Twitter, I've culled some of the more enlightening tweets from the more active ink stained wretches over the first few days of camp. (Please note: I won't be spelling out full names of the Vikings mentioned in these tweets, because if you're a Vikings fan, you know who these guys are.)
Dan Wiederer – Star Tribune (Twitter handle: @StribDW)
- Brinkley has looked a touch slow. Will be interesting to see him drop in coverage.
- Still not sold that Childs is ready. And I think that's a big hope. Keeping an eye on his progress. Wright's quickness: wow.
- Covered Cole some when he was at NC State. Love how he plays. Will have to use size, savvy to offset below avg. quickness.
Arif Hasan – Daily Norseman (Twitter handle: @ArifHasanDN)
– Reggie Jones is playing a physical game against third strings. Seems to be working.
– Webb keeps the tip of the ball high, but still needs work on placement, footwork and read progression.
– Walsh is 8 for 9 from the 30. Enormous leg.
Jeremy Fowler – Pioneer Press (Twitter handle: @VikingsNow)
– Chris Cook looks the part today. Made a few nice plays.
– Webb has a cannon when he steps into it. Fired one into Kerry Taylor, who was sandwiched by two defenders in two-on-two work.
– Ponder looked steady last week, but not sure he can get away w/all the same throws against padded D. Interested to see how he adjusts.
– Kalil with 1s, Harrison Smith with 2s. Simple – one first-round pick will have hold on starting job from beginning, one needs to earn it.
Tom Pelissero – ESPN 1500 (Twitter handle: @TomPelissero)
– Two bubble players who have seemed to be everywhere in camp: Reggie Jones and Manny Arceneaux.
– And there's Jared Allen's first touch-sack against Kalil in team. Kalil still faring better than Charlie Johnson last year.
– Trevor Guyton and Brandon Fusco showing well in one on ones.
– Jerome Simpson just destroyed Chris Cook on a go. Not a good matchup if Cook's not jamming. Jenkins beat him on an in too.
– McLeod Bethel-Thompson finally getting some team reps and just chucking darts. Dude has crazy arm strength.
– D'Aundre Reed just did what he always does in practice – speed rushing touch sack.
– For as big as Matt Kalil is, I'm struck by how small his calves are. A question among teams scouting him was lower body strength.