Vikings liking Simpson’s speed

Published 8:21 am Friday, June 8, 2012

EDEN PRAIRIE — Jerome Simpson jogged off the sun-soaked field and playfully performed a pirouette before greeting a group of reporters waiting to ask him about his gravity-defying catch during practice an hour or so earlier.

“Anybody who witnessed that play today, you’re going to get jacked up,” head coach Leslie Frazier said. “That was an incredible play and one of the reasons we get excited about him. We’re hoping to see that on Sunday afternoons, plays like that. That would really help our team, help our quarterback’s confidence, and we need that.”

One head-turning play in one offseason practice is hardly a harbinger of autumn success. But if the Vikings picked one promising moment from drills so far this spring, that sign of improvement from last year’s 3-13 mess they’re searching for, it would probably be Simpson’s catch in Wednesday’s practice.

Email newsletter signup

With Chris Cook covering him closely and a step in front of him along the sideline, Simpson jumped over the 6-foot-2 cornerback to corral a pass from Christian Ponder. Simpson had his elbows all the way in front of Cook’s left shoulder when he caught the ball, before pulling it back toward his body and holding it up to keep it from touching the grass as he twisted and tumbled forward for a roughly 40-yard reception.