Report: Quinn To Start For Browns On Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2009 – 3:36 pm

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Brady Quinn will start for the Browns against the Vikings on Sunday. The Browns have not confirmed this development and nothing about Quinn winning the job is posted on their official website.

Quinn competed with Derek Anderson for the starting job all offseason and training camp. Heading into this week, neither player was declared the starter. Eventually, Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini said he made a decision but would not share it publicly. Even as late as this morning, Mangini didn’t give any hints as to who he had chosen to start.

“I’m not saying it’s necessarily going to be the difference in the outcome,” Mangini said to Twin Cities reporters earlier this morning via conference call. “But when you prepare, you try to be as thorough as you possibly can. And if you have two guys to get ready for and look at, that adds some more time to the preparation.”

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First Injury Report Released

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2009 – 3:15 pm

The Vikings wrapped up practice this afternoon and Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress released his team’s 1st injury report of 2009.

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, teams are required to list players who are dealing with injuries and what that injury is, along with the players’ level of participation during that day’s practice. On Fridays only, one of 4 designations must be applied to each player regarding the likelihood of that player participating in the upcoming game. Those 4 designations are: out (0% chance of playing), doubtful (25% chance of playing), questionable (50% chance of playing) and probable (virtual certainty).

Three players appear on the Vikings injury report for today. Bernard Berrian (hamstring) and Jim Kleinsasser (hand) are listed as limited participants and Erin Henderson (calf) did not participate.

For the Browns, 8 players appeared on the injury report. OL Rex Hadnot (knee) is already listed as out for Sunday’s game. RB Cedric Peerman (thigh) did not participate. Listed as limited participants were LB David Bowens (knee), RB Jerome Harrison (knee), DT Shaun Rogers (foot) and DB Eric Wright (knee). Full participants were LB Alex Hall (shoulder) and Minnesota native TE Steve Heiden (knee).

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Facing a Disruptive Beast

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2009 – 1:40 pm

The Vikings play an unfamiliar opponent to open the season on Sunday. In fact, the Vikings and Browns have met just twice since 1995 and only 13 times in their history. But Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress and his squad will see a familiar face lining up against them in Cleveland.

DT Shaun Rogers, who was a member of the Lions from 2001 to 2007 and is a 3-time Pro Bowler, is now with the Browns and has been just as disruptive for opposing AFC offenses as he was for the Vikings and the rest of the NFC. At 6-4, 350 pounds, Rogers would fit in quite well between the likes of Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. The problem for the Vikings is that he won’t be between the Williams Wall; he’ll be lining up against 1st-year starter John Sullivan.

During his press conference today, Childress acknowledged Rogers’ dominating presence on the Browns defense and said that even though he hasn’t played in the preseason this year, the Vikings still have their mind on the powerful DT.

“What we know is that obviously he can be a powerful man inside there and be very, very disruptive, particularly for a first-time starting center,” Childress said. “He knows, we know. [We] just have to be able to deal with it. I would say this: it’s a good thing to be able to block a guy like Pat Williams every day in practice. It’s not like we’re blocking a piece of paper in there every day for a guy like John Sullivan.”

Going against Rogers will be a new experience for Sullivan, who will take over for Matt Birk as the Vikings starter at center. But RG Anthony Herrera has played against Rogers and has recently watched film of the former Lion.

“He is still a dominant player,” Herrera declared with conviction. “What makes him a dominant player is his combination of size, speed and strength. The man is just a big beast. He hasn’t played this preseason because he’s had some injuries. But he’ll be ready for us. It’s the first game of the season, it’s the Vikings, a team he loves to play against. He’s going to be ready.”

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Some (Comical) Insight On LTs From Jared Allen

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2009 – 1:19 pm

Vikings DE Jared Allen has established himself as one of the best players at his position in the entire league. So when he shares his thoughts on the abilities of the men he lines up against every week - left tackles - everyone should take note.

A group of reporters gathered around Allen at his locker today before the Vikings practiced to gauge his thoughts on Joe Thomas, the dominant LT who will line up across from Allen on Sunday. Thomas was taken 3rd overall by the Browns in the 2007 draft and has more than legitimatized his billing as top 3 draft pick.

“He’s a good player. He’s athletic,” Allen acknowledged.

But while being asked about Thomas, Allen respectfully turned his focus away from the opponent and instead concentrated on what he needs to do to prepare.

“But I don’t worry about that,” Allen continued. “If I play my game, then I’ll be alright. I like to think about the challenges I pose for other people, not the vice versa. He’s good. I’d rather play a good player. We’ll have a nice little battle and see who wins.

“I know my strengths and I work off of those. But each game has a different game plan. No two players are the same. You know, we’re a bunch of zebras running around out there. No one has the same stripes, right? Everybody’s technique is a little different so you adjust your technique to that person. You might highlight a certain thing to be a certain guy a different way. But at the end of the day it comes down to my technique versus his technique; whose is better, who prepared better.”

The conversation about LTs continued when Allen was asked about some of the best players at the position that he’s faced. He named Green Bay’s Chad Clifton as one, and also spoke about teammate Bryant McKinnie, whom he battled after coming off a 2-game suspension during 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I hate to say it, but I kinda gave it to him,” Allen said laughing while peering at McKinnie’s locker, which is just a few stalls down. “But he’s good and he’s gotten a lot better from when I played against him in Kansas City. Big Mac can be one of the best tackles in this league. He’s such a beast; he’s so athletic. I’ll tell ya what, that game I was so fired up to come back there was no one stopping me that game.”

Ultimately, though, Allen said the best LT he’s faced to this point in his career is former Baltimore Raven Jonathan Ogden.

“I’ll never forget the game I played against Jonathon Ogden,” Allen said. “That dude was big. I remember every three-step drop I just kept hitting him as hard as I could, hoping one day he was gonna fall down. But he didn’t.”

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MVC: 2009-10 Costumes

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on September 9, 2009 – 1:15 pm

We unveiled our new costume, which we refer to as “Violet” in August, during pre-season.

I thought you might be interested to know what goes into preparing a new costume for the team.

I work alongside Deb Erickson from The Line Up to first create a drawing of the design we are looking to make.  I have always liked a V neckline on our costumes so that is were we begin.  (V is for Vikings!)

Deb will draw up a few mocks based on elements I have recommended and we begin to narrow down the selections for waistline, back, skirt, under brief, straps, seams, etc.  Once we have the design concept finished we select fabric.  The choices here are unending, but finding the right purple can be tricky.  Deb, and her wonderful staff then create a proto-type for us to use for sizing the team and testing the pattern and fit.  Once everyone is perfectly measured the waiting begins.  The production team at the Line Up work quickly to finish our new garments, including embellishing them with beautiful rhinestones and detailing.  I love the look of the wide waistband and V “belt buckle” we selected this year.  Then comes the grand unveiling!  The 2009 MVC loved the selection and we hope you the fans will enjoy the design as well!   I think it turned out pretty good and would sure look great in Super Bowl photos from Miami this year, don’t you agree?  GO VIKES!!

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More From Mangini On Sunday’s QBs

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2009 – 11:03 am

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini, who earlier this week said he’s decided on a starting QB but will not announce it, chatted with Twin Cities reporters today via conference call and didn’t give any hints as to who he’d be starting. The decision is between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.

Asked “Who is going to start at quarterback for you,” Mangini replied with a laugh, “It’ll be one of those two guys.”

Click here to listen to the audio file of Mangini’s conference call.

Though he’s been perceived to be uncooperative at times with the media, Mangini was loquacious today with reporters, especially with respect to the QB situation that both the Browns and Vikings face.

“They’ve been great throughout the process and I’ve been really impressed with the way they’ve handled it,” Mangini said of Anderson and Quinn. “Their competitiveness, their intensity, the way that they’ve helped each other and supported each other throughout it and they’ve helped and supported the team throughout the process has been outstanding. I really have confidence in both guys.”

Asked about the advantage to be gained from keeping the identity of his starting QB a mystery, Mangini explained: ““I’m not saying it’s necessarily going to be the difference in the outcome. But when you prepare, you try to be as thorough as you possibly can. And if you have two guys to get ready for and look at, that adds some more time to the preparation. You’re always working as hard as you can to give the guys the best possible plan based on the information that you have. That’s what we all try to do. The better the information, the more pointed the research can be.”

Aside from his own QB situation, Mangini was also asked about the Vikings starting QB. Both Mangini and Brett Favre were with the New York Jets last year, and Mangini had nothing but positive things to say for his former signal-caller.

“I thought he was able to develop a rhythm very quickly (in New York with a new offense),” the Browns coach said. “The great thing about Brett is he is equal opportunity. If you’re open, he’s going to throw you the ball.

“The other thing is, you’re always alive on any play. He can go to the front side, he can go to the back side, he can keep plays alive. I think that’s always exciting for receivers.”

It was interesting to gain Mangini’s perspective on how Favre would affect the Vikings offense because A) he’s a defensive coach at heart, having worked in New England under Bill Belichick, and B) he coached Favre last year in New York. Mangini thinks Favre will have a dynamic impact, both on the field and off it, on the offense but also on specific players in the Vikings offense.

“I know with Bernard Berrian, he’s already an explosive, big-play guy,” Mangini said. “Brett Favre’s arm strength and the things that he can do, that’s only going to help someone like him (Berrian). I think there are a lot of other players that are really going to benefit from having him around, not just from his physical ability, but how he is as a teammate, how he approaches the game.

“He definitely has fun, but he does it in the right context. I was impressed with how humble he was and how he approached things coming into a new environment. I can’t say enough good things about him in my experience with him.”

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Full Speed Ahead At Winter Park

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 9, 2009 – 7:33 am

After a players day off (many of them came in to workout anyway) and plenty of game-planning by the coaches on Tuesday, Vikings players are back at Winter Park on Wednesday and the team is now full speed ahead as they begin to narrow their focus in preparation for the season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

We’ll have comprehensive coverage right here on today. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress will have his normal regular season Wednesday press conference. Players will be speaking to the media in the locker room later this morning. And we’ll even hear from Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini and running back Jamal Lewis as they meet with the Twin Cities media via conference call. will have all of that covered, plus more, today. So, thanks for being here and we hope you stay all day, or at least check back several times today. And tomorrow. And the rest of the week.

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