Childress: Backup LB Battle “Neck and Neck”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 26, 2009 – 2:42 pm

We mentioned yesterday in this space that the 3rd CB/nickel back position battle is still up in the air. Another position battle that’s been hotly contested since OTAs and through both training camp and the preseason is the backup LB position.

Reserves Jasper Brinkley, Heath Farwell, Erin Henderson, David Herron and Kenny Onatolu are the candidates to backup starters Chad Greenway, E.J. Henderson and Ben Leber, and at this point Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress characterized the position battle as “neck and neck.”

“It’s a hell of a battle; it’s neck and neck,” Childress said after preactice on Wednesday. “That’s what makes you a good football team. We’ve got guys striving at the linebacker position and striving at the special teams positions. It makes you better.”

As Childress mentioned, a big factor in determining who makes the final 53-man roster heading into Week 1 of the regular season will be special teams and which of the candidates can best display their ability to contribute in multiple phases of the game.

Childress also said on Wednesday that he has yet to decide on a 2nd-half QB rotation for Monday night’s game at Houston; he already said earlier in the week that Brett Favre will play the 1st half.

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Just Like Iverson? Peterson’s Interesting Favre Analogy

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 26, 2009 – 2:11 pm

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson tends to run wild on opposing defenses. But it was his imagination that was running wild on reporters when he met with them after practice on Wednesday.

Asked what he’s noticed about Brett Favre in the short amount of time he’s been able to play with him, Peterson provided an interesting analogy.

“When Brett is under the center,” Peterson said, “you’ve got to look at it like it’s Allen Iverson on the basketball court. You never know when it can come and you’ve got to be prepared for it.”

At first it may seem silly to compare Favre and the NBA’s Iverson, but upon further review you can see where Peterson is coming from. Both players developed into crafty veterans and Iverson, like Favre, has an element of improvisation to his game that serves as somewhat of a trademark but has also led to plenty of success.

But Peterson also kept his analysis at a football level.

“You can see he’s been throwing the ball for a long time,” Peterson said. “He definitely knows how to get the ball wherever it needs to go.”

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SI’s King Ranks Harvin Most Impressive Rookie

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 26, 2009 – 8:18 am

In his weekly Monday Morning QB – Tuesday Edition column, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King was asked about some of the most impressive rookies he’s seen in the preseason and he ranked Vikings WR Percy Harvin #1 on his list.

In his explanation for ranking Harvin 1st, King says: “Impact player beginning opening day.”

Also in his list of the 10 most impressive rookies in the preseason, King lists former Wayzata High School star James Laurinaitis 3rd. Laurinaitis was drafted this past April by the St. Louis Rams, and King said in his explanation for ranking him 3rd that he “[T]ook over starting mike ‘backer job after three pro practices.”

Laurinaitis’ position coach in St. Louis is Paul Ferraro, who was the Vikings special teams coordinator for 3 seasons (2006-2008).

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