Page last updated on Sat Nov 28 17:01:58 EST 2015
Wed, 22 Aug 2012 02:30 AM EDT

Jerome Simpson has been making offense easier – and even more fun – since he joined the Vikings in the spring.

They just have to work out how to cope without him for the first 3 weeks of September.

Simply by being a new player at a skill position, Simpson is already under the spotlight. But nobody on the roster is more noticeable than him, given his highlight-worthy catches and moves as well as his joyful, boyish antics on the field.

”He’s an entertainer. He brings life to practice,” RB Toby Gerhart expounded.

He has brought a much-needed alternative for Christian Ponder. Percy Harvin does his thing all over the field and the able tight ends are working in the middle, but a QB cannot be comfortable without a reliably fast receiver to find on a deep pass when all else breaks down.

Gerhart said he’s seen Simpson’s presence bring out the very best in Ponder, letting him to relax a little and build extra confidence.

”My job is easy right now when fellows like Percy Harvin and Jerome Simpson take a 4-yard catch and make it into a 50-yard gain,” Ponder claimed.

The first team offense has been sharp through 2 exhibition games. Simpson helped set up a touchdown on the 1st possession against Buffalo, when he caught a pass underneath the secondary and hurdled over a Bills defender on his way to a 33-yard reception.

That’s the type of athleticism he has, and that’s also the type of unbridled creativity and keenness he has carried himself with here.

Simpson will probably be seen literally skipping onto the practice field or jumping up and down to hold a celebration for a teammate’s big play. Basketball betting lines

Those big plays are exactly why the Vikings (29th AP Pro32 rankings) pursued him.

”That’s what our business is about. You can draw up X’s and O’s all day long, but if you don’t have playmakers, you’re whistling in the wind,” Coach Leslie Frazier recounted, adding: ”We’re looking forward to seeing more of that on Sundays. He’s a guy that Christian has become very confident with.”

Simpson was available, of course, because of that pending suspension. He signed a 1 year, prove-it deal in April after his felony drug conviction for a marijuana shipment to his home last fall.

Simpson never got comfortable in Cincinnati despite those exceptional running and leaping abilities, attempting to learn a complicated NFL offense after coming from Coastal Carolina.

With the legal difficulty as well as the unsatisfied experience with the Bengals now behind him, Simpson’s ease and excitement with his new surroundings have been obvious.

”Last season I just got my 1st opportunity to start and prove myself, and this year it’s even going to be even better as the game is slowing down to me,” Simpson expounded. ”The game is just slowing down to me. I understand it a lot better. I am able to see coverages and see what they’re defense is trying to do to me better, it’s fundamentally just going out there and executing and just being Jerome Simpson.”

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