Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Wednesday that part of the reason he’ll rest his starters on Friday night is to give some of the younger players who are fighting to make the 53-man roster a chance to play. But there is at least one veteran who will receive significantly more playing time on Friday night because Favre, an 18-year veteran himself, will be resting.
That player is Sage Rosenfels, who is competing with Tarvaris Jackson for the team’s 2nd-string job. Asked by reporters about the “uncertainty” that seems to exist surrounding his position on the depth chart at this late stage in the preseason, Rosenfels was unphased and was clearly focussed on playing well when his opportunity to play arises.
“I feel certain that I can play well in this league. That’s what I feel certain about,” Rosenfels said. “I feel like if and when this team needs me, I can play at a very high level. I think I’ve played pretty well this preseason, I think I’ve played well since we left Mankato and obviously I think at the end of Mankato I think I’m playing high quality football. My goal is to continue to play at a high pace and continue that.”
Rosenfels is 12 of 16 for 117 yards so far this preseason, and he’ll have an opportunity to add to those numbers on Friday night against the Cowboys. Childress said he has not decided who will start the game, but that didn’t seem to phase Rosenfels, either.
“I don’t know,” Rosenfels said when asked how much he’d play Friday night. “I don’t anything. I just always try to prepare to play as much as the team needs me and try to execute when I’m out there, whether it’s the beginning of the game, end of the game, somewhere in the middle, I just try to execute in all phases.
“I think I’ve done a lot of good things when I’ve been in there. I’ve made very few mistakes and that’s half the battle as a quarterback is to not make mistakes. I’m just trying to execute the offense and I think I’ve done a pretty good job when I’ve been in…we’ve moved the ball for the most part. The key is to just make the most of each play you’re out there.”
As for Jackson, he and Rosenfels split reps during Wednesday’s practice. Jackson has put up solid numbers so far this preseason as well, even registering a perfect passer rating against the Chiefs at the Metrodome on August 21. His totals through 3 games are: 21-32 passing for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns with 0 interceptions.
Tags: Sage Rosenfels
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The Vikings on Tuesday cut 4 players in order to comply with the NFL’s roster limit (75 players) and must make another round of cuts by late Saturday afternoon to further comply with the 53-man roster limit madated by the league.
While coaches and personnel departments across the league are surely anxious to begin another exciting season, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress explained that cutting players was not something anybody enjoys.
“I’ve said from the beginning, this has been a great bunch of eighty, now seventy-five, guys,” Childress said on Wednesday. “It’s a great group to be around. The whittling down process is hard. In some cases, you’re cutting good football players…it’s not the fun part of the job.”
Childress indicated that part of his decision to rest most of the starters in Friday’s preseason finale against the Cowboys is to allow the reserves another chance to prove they belong on the team.
“We’ve got guys that are fighting to make this fifty-three man roster,” Childress said. “This is what some of these guys dream of doing and I want to make sure they can put their best foot forward and give some of the younger guys an opportunity to play.”
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Speaking with reporters following his team’s practice at Winter Park on Wednesday, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said he didn’t plan to play QB Brett Favre on Friday night and also indicated that many of the starters will receive a rest during the team’s preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys.
Childress cited one particular experience he’s had with starters playing in the preseason finale, telling the story of a starting center going down on the final play of the 1st series of the 4th preseason game and then missing the entire season. The Vikings head coach also has a history in Minnesota of resting most of his starters in the final preseason game.
“I think we’ll be able to get enough work out here,” Childress said when asked if Favre would play on Friday night. “Tomorrow we’ll do a couple of things with our starting group and I think through the week next week we’ll be okay. I just don’t see the upside of doing that (playing Favre) any further. I thought he made a nice jump from week one to week two and showed he’s got a good understanding of what we’re doing.”
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No football fan will dispute the importance of the QB position. Football is the ultimate team game, but it’s tough to win in the NFL without an established player at QB. NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan penned an article that discusses this point, and later in the piece he ranks all 32 teams’ current QB grouping.
Kirwan ranked the Vikings QB group in the top 10 of the league, at #7, and had positive things to say about 3 Vikings signal-callers.
“Favre changes everything for the Vikings,” Kirwan writes. “Before he injured his arm last year he was a top-rated quarterback. The Vikings will keep him on limited throws all season. Jackson has already led the team to the playoffs and Rosenfels has won coming off the bench.”
In his analysis of the importance of the QB position, Kirwan also discusses the importance of being deep at QB. His point was best illustrated by this piece of information:
“Only 16 quarterbacks started all 16 regular-season games,” Kirwan wrote. “In other words, half of the teams in the NFL had to go to their second or third quarterbacks at some point because their starter got injured or failed to deliver and had to be replaced. In all, 53 different quarterbacks started a game in 2008, one season removed from an NFL-record 64.
“How important was having a 16-game starter last year? Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs, only one — Minnesota — had multiple starters after Week 1.”
Tags: Pat Kirwan, Sage Rosenfels
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NFL.com has come out with it’s 2009 team-by-team preview, and the bit is quite extensive. They’ve devoted an entire page for each NFL team, and that page includes links to stats, schedules and tickets, as well as “fearless predictions,” analysis on one individual player, videos, a quote from a player, and several other bits of information.
You can view the Vikings page by clicking here.
Three of NFL.com’s contributors forecast a 2nd place finish in the NFC North for the Vikings, while Bucky Brooks predicts a disappointing 3rd place finish and Pat Kirwan sees an 11-5 record to go along with a division championship.
The individual player analysis features LB E.J. Henderson, who is described as a “ferocious headhunter with outstanding instincts who excels at blowing up runs between the tackles.” The analysis also characterizes Henderson as an “unsung hero” in the Vikings defense whose return makes the unit “impenetrable” against the run.
Also included in the team-by-team previews is a video that highlights 5 potential breakout players from each division. For the NFC North, Brooks and NFL.com forecast breakout seasons for 2 Vikings – Henderson and TE Visanthe Shiancoe.
Tags: E.J. Henderson, Visanthe Shiancoe
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