Revamped Vikings receiving corps helping Stephen Burton's development
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings receiver Stephen Burton stretched out to nab a Christian Ponder pass 30 yards downfield in between cornerback Josh Robinson and reserve safety Robert Blanton during Monday's practice.
During the first full-pad outing, Burton took advantage of extra passes thrown his way and didn't falter as he caught deep balls and touchdowns from both Ponder and backup quarterback Matt Cassel.
Burton, coach Leslie Frazier and his staff all joined the Vikings in the 2011 offseason and the young receiver said he's benefited from not only the continuity, but the revamped receiving corps this season.
"Greg Jennings is really intelligent with the game of football, his route running. It's great just to be around him and pick his brain," Burton said. "I'm a visual learner sometimes and it's great to watch what he does."
"[Joe Webb] coming from the quarterback, showing us what he's reading and how [quarterbacks] go through their looks, it helps a lot. I'm sure every receiver wonders why the ball wasn't thrown to them, but with [Webb] out there you get to hear why."
On a redzone touchdown catch, Burton took a shot in the back and came up holding it as he yelled in pain.
Afterwards he said it would be a little sore, but nothing to worry about.
With four receivers [Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright and Cordarrelle Patterson] likely to make the team, the remaining eight receivers including guys like Webb and Burton are left to fight for the one or two remaining spots.
Burton remained humble when asked if he'd surprise anyone this year.
"I really don't know what to say," Burton said. "I'm just here to play football I guess. Whether people see me or don't see me, it's just about what the coaches see."