Notebook: Sidney Rice talks to old teammates; Lorenzo Booker flashing
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"I CAN'T Believe the Vikings let my boy Sidney Rice get away!" Peterson wrote on Twitter last month, hours after Rice agreed to a five-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks. "I didn't think we wouldn't be playing together this year! WOW!"
They'll be back together, but on opposite sidelines on Saturday night, when the Vikings visit Seattle for their second preseason game.
Peterson admitted on Monday that Rice's decision "caught me by surprise. But I know the business and sometimes it works out that way." They continue to exchange text messages, Peterson said, mainly about how Rice is adjusting to his new home.
"We were friends first," Peterson said. "He's a great athlete. He helped this team out a lot. So, he's missed in both areas."
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell joined the Seahawks in the offseason, too, but neither was expected to return to the Vikings.
The situation was different with Rice, whom the Vikings pursued until shortly before he accepted an offer from Seattle that reportedly is worth up to $44 million, including $18.5 million guaranteed.
"He texts Bernard (Berrian) all the time," said receiver Percy Harvin, who also stays in touch with Rice. "It will be a little different. He had to do for himself the decision. I'm happy for him. We'll hug and compete versus each other."
If not for a costly fumble, Lorenzo Booker's preseason debut would have been an unqualified success.
He gashed the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night for 47 yards on nine carries (5.2 average), including a 20-yarder; caught a team-high three passes for 32 yards; and returned a kickoff 26 yards.
"The biggest thing here is just knowing that I have a specific role and knowing it is catered to what I do best," Booker said. "I think that's the biggest thing with a lot of players, most of the players in the NFL, is just being able to have a coach recognize what you do."
Booker, 27, flashed his speed and quickness after buying his way out of the United Football League to join the Vikings in December. So, he's gotten a long look as a third-down back and also is the front-runner on kick returns -- something he didn't do at Florida State or previous NFL stops in Miami (2007) and Philadelphia (2008).
"Lorenzo now, he's a super quick guy," Frazier said. "He has great hands catching the football out of the backfield, can make people miss. Good change of pace to what Adrian and Toby (Gerhart) are able to do. He's a guy you can feature in certain sets out of the backfield. He proved that a year ago with some of the explosive plays he made for us, so it was good to see him come in and run in some two-back situations."
As for Saturday's turnover, Booker said he's "not a fumbler" -- although he had one in five offensive touches with the Vikings last season -- and credited defensive tackle Jurrell Casey for making the play by ripping the ball out of his hands.
"Obviously, it didn't stop me from taking chances or making plays," Booker said. "I just obviously brought my focus back to where it should have started in the first place. But that's what the preseason is for -- to get that out of the system."
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe missed practice again and isn't expected to play on Saturday because of the hamstring injury he suffered on Aug. 8.
Asked if the injury is more serious than initially thought, Frazier said, "No, just want to be cautious. We'd like to take a look at the other guys. We kind of know where 'Shianc' is. If it were a game situation, maybe, but no, preseason, we should be all right."
Linebacker Kenny Onatolu, who hasn't practiced since Aug. 2 because of a stress fracture in his left foot, also is unlikely to play against Seattle.
Also sitting out Monday's practice were: end D'Aundre Reed (calf strain), linebacker Heath Farwell (mild hamstring strain) and tackle Thomas Welch (glute strain), who is expected to practice on Tuesday.
Right guard Anthony Herrera (knee/triceps) was activated from the camp/physically unable to perform list and went through the jogthrough. Two rookie draft picks who sat out Saturday's game because of hamstring trouble, safety Mistral Raymond and receiver Stephen Burton, also returned.
"No residual effects after practice," Frazier said of Raymond, who tweaked the hamstring on the final play of training camp. "He feels good, so he'll give it another shot (Tuesday) and see how he does."
• Frazier said Charlie Johnson "wasn't challenged a whole lot on the edge" on Saturday, but the new left tackle graded out well on tape, especially in run blocking. "This next week, against (Seattle) may be a little bit more of a challenge," Frazier said, "but we'll see."
• Chris DeGeare moved to right tackle for Monday's practice, Scott Kooistra got some snaps at right guard and center Jon Cooper is expected to get some work at guard as well. "We're going to flop those guys a little bit and just see what kind of position flexibility they can give us," Frazier said. "You know on that offensive line, if you can find a couple guys that can do that, it just helps you numbers-wise when you come to game day."
• Frazier said QB Rhett Bomar didn't play on Saturday because the Vikings ran out of time -- not because of his arrest the previous weekend on DUI charges. "Hopefully, we'll get him in the ballgame this coming weekend," Frazier said, "because we want to see him on tape and get a chance to evaluate him as well."
• The Vikings are continuing to hold morning walkthroughs before their afternoon practices, but the walkthroughs are closed to reporters.