Keeping it on the down low
CB Antoine Winfield on what the experts say about the 2012 Minnesota Vikings: “We’re flying under the radar. I see on (television) and in every paper, we’re picked to finish last in the NFC North and maybe win three or four games. We like that.”

Reed ready for prime time?
Coach Leslie Frazier is looking for second-year players to step up and contribute this season, and he may have found one in DE D’Aundre Reed: “He seems to be real hungry to get on the field,” said Frazier. “In these (early) practices and what he did back in the spring, he’s showing up quite a bit. He’s a different player than the rookie we had a year ago. He has really come into his own playing with a lot of confidence. He’s showing some good things. He is catching everybody’s eye.”

Allen, the straight shooter
Check out this list of current NFL players who might make good Olympic athletes (including DE Jared Allen as a potential gold medal archer) compiled by Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly:

The Big Move
Charlie Johnson was moved from LT to LG to make room for rookie Matt Kalil, and early on in camp the transition has been smooth. “It’s something I am not a stranger to,” said Johnson. “I have done it before. I am going to approach it with the same mentality of doing what I can to make this team win. It felt good, but it is hard when it is just helmets. You can get all your footwork right, and all that, but it’s different when the bullets start flying, so (this week) I will get a better feel.”

Creative evaluation
Asked about the constraints of the new CBA in regard to hitting at practice, coach Leslie Frazier said he has to get a little more creative in drills and then look to the preseason games to evaluate players.

“The preseason games really become more of a premium from an evaluation standpoint,” said Frazier, “which is one of the reasons you will play some of the young guys a little bit longer, because you have to give them a proper evaluation. You can’t just beat each other up in practice because you have to have bodies to practice with, so it puts a premium on when you do play games, getting guys in the game and letting them have some quality reps in those preseason games.”

Offense likes to hit, too
When the pads were put on at practice Monday, the defense finally got to take its shots at the offense, but RB Toby Gerhart says the offense relishes the opportunity as well:
“I think it’s equal, if not the offense likes it more,” said Gerhart. “It’s tough to do run blocking when you are just in shells and helmets. So once you get pads on, the offensive line can really get moving, put their heads down and try to move guys. So I think they like getting after with pads on.”

For the latest news and reports on the Vikings, follow Joe Oberle @CBSSportsNFLMIN and @joeoberle.