The Free Press, Mankato, MN


July 30, 2013

Defense handles offense in live contact


Rookie wide receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson seems to be having a pretty good training camp, but he's not doing it all by himself.

"Having a guy like Greg (Jennings) around is a big help," he said. "He's like my mentor. It's a great opportunity for me to have someone like him to learn from."

Patterson said reading defenses is a lot tougher in the NFL than it was in college.

"Defenses here disguise everything," he said. "One second you might see something, but then, the next second, when you start running your route, you might see another coverage. You have to adjust to that and you have to do it now."

CBs getting sorted out

Defensive coordinator Alan Williams cracked a big smile at his morning press conference when he was asked about rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes, elaborating on Rhodes' physical traits and practice habits. But he said he's not ready to put any of the cornerbacks into specific roles.

"I expect for all of our corners to play well, and all we have to do is let him go out there and compete, turn on the film, and the film says what it is," Williams said.

Rhodes and Chris Cook have been the first-team cornerbacks, with Josh Robinson in the slot in the nickel defense. Frazier said earlier this week that with all the three- and four-receiver sets, cornerback depth is important.

Williams revisited

On Monday, coach Leslie Frazier said that ideally, defensive tackle Kevin Williams would take 30 to 40 snaps per game, with the rest going to Sharrif Floyd or Christian Ballard. Later, Williams said that number seemed a little low, and he planned to discuss that with Frazier.

It's the same discussion that Frazier had with Jared Allen during last training camp.

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