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Larry Fitzgerald’s Summer Camp

July 7, 2010

Whether you’re interested in the Vikings, the Packers, or simply the NFL, there is a little of something for everyone at Larry Fitzgerald’s football camp. Fitzgerald, who grew up in Minnesota and graduated from Holy Angels Academy in Richfield, hosts NFL players at the University of Minnesota for a pre-training camp workout session. The attendees consist of old, new, and future NFL stars, and the camp is pretty informal as players drop by for a daily session or come back for as many days as they like. Per Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of StarTribune.com, 24 players showed up for Tuesday’s workout including a handful of players with Minnesota and Wisconsin ties:

Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and Denver wide receiver Eric Decker

Tarvaris Jackson admitted he enjoyed a “long 4th of July weekend” and Fitzgerald’s camp will “make [training] camp a little easier.” The workouts aren’t exactly a walk in the park – Jackson admitted he became sick to the stomach during the session. In other words, his breakfast made an appearance on the practice field.

Another big name was on hand to provide advice and encouragement to the participants on Tuesday. Former Cowboys’ wide receiver Michael Irvin made an appearance. Irvin, who has never shied away from speaking his mind, had opinions regarding two Vikings players not at the event, Brett Favre and Sidney Rice. Irvin doesn’t think Favre will retire, and he added that Favre should play as long as he can:

The unity of walking onto a football field with 52 other guys, you have one purpose, one goal and one heartbeat. Wow, what a feeling. You make them drag you off the field. You … make … them … drag … you … off … the … field. You will never have this again in your life.

The Hall of Famer also shared his vision for fellow receiver Sidney Rice:

But [Rice] still has to be the main man. Here lies the problem. Nobody cares, nobody wants to hear that the safety is rolling over on you. They want to know, why are you not making the same plays? ‘Well, I’m getting double teamed.’ No, we don’t want to hear that.

Sidney Rice was a participant in last year’s camp and is expected to join Fitzgerald “at some point” for the workouts.

Another story line that developed from the camp was Tarvaris Jackson’s thoughts revolving around the quarterback directly in front of him on the depth chart.

If he doesn’t show up to Mankato, sign the same time he did last year, that’s fine, that’s more reps for me, Sage [Rosenfels] and Joe [Webb]. We just basically try to take advantage of it. When he comes backs, be ready mentally and just know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s going to be a long season.

As Mike Haldorson of Vikings Gab notes, Tarvaris is part of a growing list of Vikings players that expect Favre back but don’t seem to care when he returns.

For you Packers fans out there, I couldn’t find much news about Jermichael Finley. The only thing I have heard read is what Larry Fitzgerald tweeted in response to how Finley looked at the camp:

Smooth. He’s a very good athlete.

I’d say that’s a pretty good compliment from one of the league’s best receivers.

Finally, these athletes work hard, but we shouldn’t kid ourselves, they enjoy life’s little luxuries as well. I’ll leave you with one of yesterday’s tweets from Jermichael Finley:

How’s everyone day going so far?? Me I’m at the # SPA having a #SpaDay..

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