Practice notes: Vikings' first 'open' OTA light on veterans
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Media members' first look at the Minnesota Vikings' organized team activity practices was, to say the least, light on veterans.
The only offensive or defensive starters present were safety Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson. In all, 29 players were absent -- not including end Ray Edwards, who hasn't signed his restricted free-agent tender.
OTAs are voluntary, of course, and coach Brad Childress said more players were inside lifting or rehabilitating injuries.
"We'll have different people trickle in and out," Childress said. "There was a group that was out here practicing (Tuesday) that wasn't out here today. There's a group that's inside the building taking care of some of their strength needs and after-the-season needs."
Some noteworthy items from the day ...
WEBB AT QB
Sixth-round draft pick Joe Webb was at quarterback -- not receiver -- and apparently will stay there for the forseeable future.
"He has an aptitude to be a quarterback," Childress said. "We went and drafted him as an athlete, but if you go back and look at the UAB numbers ... he put up outstanding numbers. So, he knows what he's doing back there as a quarterback. We worked him out on the Sunday of the rookie minicamp just to kind of watch his arm and watch him move. But he processes very quickly.
"I don't know long-term in three practices, but we're going to continue on with repping him at quarterback. ... It's not like he's going to play quarterback one play and go out and play wide receiver on the next play. Try to get him immersed in the system."
Webb -- who was careful with his words about the position switch during rookie camp -- said "it feels great" to be back at his natural position.
"I guess they liked the way I threw," he said.
Childress confirmed he's gotten no clarification from Brett Favre on whether the veteran quarterback will undergo ankle surgery and said they haven't spoken recently. "Haven't talked to him in a little bit," Childress said. "Texted back and forth, but texting is not talking."
* Webb rotated in at quarterback along with the other three quarterbacks present: Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and fellow rookie R.J. Archer. Take these numbers with a big grain of salt, since they're compiled with and against second stringers in the spring's second OTA practice: in two team periods, Jackson was 5-for-7 passing, Rosenfels 1-for-3, Archer 2-for-5 and Webb 5-for-6.
* The Vikings have talked about working fifth-round pick Chris DeGeare at tackle, but for now, he's a guard. "Typically, those offensive linemen are swimming right now," Childress said. "But he's done some good things in the one-on-ones stuff. He's got to communicate with people on both sides with him and learn a whole new system, but physically, he can stand in there and do what he needs to do. It's just a matter of getting it roped so he doesn't have to think, he can play."
* Childress said he's had no discussion with the NFL about staggering the possible suspensions of DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. He also indicated he's inclined, if the suspensions are enforced, to stick with the players on the roster rather than exploring outside options. "We've always been about that," he said. "Next man up."
* Childress acknowledged the team has talked to the agent for free-agent guard Chester Pitts, who is recovering from microfracture knee surgery, but said he was unaware of Pitts' reported workout on July 15. "We're always inquiring," Childress said. "I think we talked to his agent. I don't think anyone in the organization has talked to Chester Pitts. Maybe Sage Rosenfels, because they're former teammates."