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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Laquon Treadwell proved he can scrap, now he must prove he can play


A good old training camp scuffle broke out yesterday between second-year WR Laquon Treadwell and fourth-year DB Antone Exum. It was actually pretty entertaining as these things go. Video of the incident can be seen below. Treadwell beats Exum for a catch in the end zone during a drill, then some trash-talking I guess breaks out, then Exum goes after Treadwell. Initially Adam Thielen tries to get between the two, but Exum won't be denied. The two men are going at it on the ground by the time it's over, surrounded by a huddle of teammates. Thankfully no one gets injured.
Afterwards Exum insisted there's no bad blood between him and his friend Treadwell (via Scout.com):

 “I just think it’s something that happens in training camp. There are guys that are going to compete. He’s one of them,” Exum said of Treadwell. “We’re friends, so it’s not like we have any beef towards each other or anything like that. I want the best for him, he wants the best for me and we just get out there and try to make each other better. The physicality part happens sometimes.”

The positive takeaway from all this? Treadwell actually beat a DB to make a catch in the end zone. True it was in a training camp drill and the guy he beat is barely hanging on to a roster spot, but still, progress!

Apologies for the sarcasm concerning Laquon Treadwell, but sarcasm just occurs naturally when one discusses the former first-round pick. It's hard to not be skeptical about Treadwell after his awful rookie season which saw him catch just one pass all year. Excuses flung out on behalf of Treadwell include the classics: he was hurt all year; he was still learning; the offensive upheaval hampered his development. Maybe those things are even partially true. Perhaps Laquon Treadwell was behind the 8-ball last year for a bunch of reasons and is now ready to take a huge leap and prove himself worthy of the first-round pick Rick Spielman spent on him and his supposed talents. I'm waiting to see the evidence.

After yesterday's scrum, I know Laquon Treadwell can scrap, but now I need to see some proof that he can play. In an actual regular season NFL game against NFL defensive backs. I'm pulling for Treadwell to prove me and all the other doubters wrong. If Treadwell can get it together and contribute, the Vikings' offense immediately becomes more dangerous. With Diggs, Thielen, a productive Treadwell, Michael Floyd eventually giving you something, Rudolph and Dalvin Cook and Sam Bradford as the trigger man...there are pieces in place. Let's hope Treadwell does some special things this season and shakes off the "potential bust" label. It's not great that the most exciting thing I've seen him do on a field as a Viking is get in a fight with Antone Exum. You don't want that to be your whole highlight reel.

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