Vets still guiding Vikings 'D' but youth the fuel

By Dave Campbell

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 5 2012 2:40 p.m. MDT

"You get a lot of rookies, they might know their assignment but they don't know what other guys are doing," Sanford said. "And he's one of the guys who really knows what everyone's doing on defense."

That's legitimate leadership, regardless of age.

"I'm doing my job and working to get better every day. That's enough for me right now, and if that evolves into me leading or if people like how I play and kind of see that as leading then so be it," Smith said. "But I'm not going to try to take over the room or anything."

Notes: After sitting out the last two days because of a groin injury, Allen participated fully in Friday's practice. QB Christian Ponder (right knee) and WR Michael Jenkins (rib) did the same. Coach Leslie Frazier said all of them will be "fine" to play in Sunday's game against Tennessee. ... Marvin Mitchell, who has filled in for Erin Henderson at weak side LB, has a strained calf muscle and probably won't be available. Henderson will be back after missing the last two games with a concussion.

Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

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