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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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7 Responses to “Childress: Backup LB Battle “Neck and Neck””

  1. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 26, 2009 | Reply

    Farwell has a spot on the team as a special teamer even if he doesn’t win the battle. I hope that they hang on to the rookie Brinkley too, you always want to give draft picks the benefit of the doubt. My gut instinct is that Herron is the next best man, but maybe Henderson will start showing that skill runs in the family this year. Time will tell.

    For QB, I’d give Booty the day off and urge on the battle between Sage and Tarvaris, giving them each a quarter. Jackson appears to be the odd man out right now, but we should give them both equal chances yet as anything can happen.

  2. By CA Norwegian on Aug 26, 2009 | Reply

    Whoever is D keepers and whoever plays, I just hope they do some barking out there when we play the Eagles. Get into their heads! Booty is such a big long legged guy, he should spend time working on punting. It may sound stupid, but what a better name for a punter, ‘Booty.’ He may not kick as far as an NFL punter, but on 4th down with a potent QB threat, it would have to eat into the settup of returns because a fake has a much higher chance of success than with an NFL punter only. A ‘naked’ runner might get the ball smacked loose more. Out kicking the coverage, not a problem anymore. Plus I hope they can keep Booty, and this could be a way.

  3. By CajunViking on Aug 26, 2009 | Reply

    I was impressed by Onatolu’s play, granted it was against 3rd & 4th stringers.

  4. By HornedHelm on Aug 26, 2009 | Reply

    I think they will keep Booty, he has a lot of football smarts. If we could take his head and put it on TJ we wuld have no need for Favre! But I am glas the old man is in the house. It is going ot be a great year! Go Vikings!!

  5. By blacknblue on Aug 26, 2009 | Reply

    Didn’t take long for Brett to bring the division from New York to the Vikes locker room. This isn’t good, whether or not he said a word or did a thing.

  6. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 27, 2009 | Reply

    Go back and look at the story a little clos’er BnB. It says that the “divison” in the locker room was nothing more than a split opinion amongst the players about who should be the starter at QB. It also states that this division existed long before the signing of Favre. The biggest news in that entire story is that Favre has the least number of teammates saying that he deserves the starting position. From a player’s perspective, this is no surprise. They go in and bust their bakcs during all of preseason working with Sage and Jackson. They know and respect these two guys. Then a former enemy walks on and is handed the starting position without any of that ball-busting preseason work. We’re only a week into it, and most people are going to take longer than that accept a change like this. Even more people than that will take longer to accurately evaluate the change.

    Maybe he’s not the best choice as a starter. But fans have been screaming for someone with a reputation at QB for years. Now that we’ve finally brought one in, let’s give him a little more time to see if he can live up to it.

  7. By Brownicus on Aug 27, 2009 | Reply

    well one thing you have to keep in mind is which LB position they play. Farwell is a lock. MLB is most likely between Herron and Brinkley, my guess is Brinkley will win the job. Erin Henderson and Kenny Onatolu could be battling for the other spot, both have played well and I like both. With EJ back, I only expect 6 LBs to make the roster this season, but this also depends on special teams and possibly how many back-up secondary the vikings decide to keep.

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