WR Berrian Active; Jackson To Backup Favre

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 13, 2009 – 10:38 am

The Vikings have announced the active/inactive players for today’s season opener in Chicago Cleveland and WR Bernard Berrian, who has been battling a hamstring injury and whose status for today’s game was in question, is among the 45 active players for the Vikings.

Inactive for the Vikings today will be: QB Sage Rosenfels, WR Jaymar Johnson, WR Greg Lewis, S Jamarca Sanford, LB Erin Henderson, C Kory Lichtensteiger and DT Fred Evans. Rosenfels will be the 3rd (emergency) QB today and Tarvaris Jackson will backup Brett Favre.

It’s interesting that both WRs Jaymar Johnson and Greg Lewis are inactive. That leaves the Vikings with 4 receivers active for today, indicating that Berrian isn’t expected to be hampered by the injury. Berrian was listed as questionable in the Vikings injury report on Friday.

It’s also interesting that Evans is inactive. Looks like Letroy Guion, a 5th round draft choice last year by the Vikings, will get a chance to play significant minutes today behind Kevin Williams and Pat Williams.

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5 Things To Watch Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 13, 2009 – 9:53 am

Earlier this week we identified 3 key matchups to today’s game in Cleveland. But while you’re keeping an eye on those individual matchups, here are 5 other elements of the game to pay particular attention to that will go a long way toward determining the outcome of the game.

1. Penalties – The Vikings had penalty issues during the preseason – 40 penalties were enforced against the Purple for 286 yards. You can bet this was addressed by head coach Brad Childress as he and his team prepared for Week 1. Also keep in mind that holding calls are a point of emphasis for NFL officials this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how rookie Phil Loadholt and 1st-year starter John Sullivan fare in Game 1.

2. Adversity – One team has to deal with adversity first, and it’ll be interesting to see how that team responds. Either the Vikings will encounter it early as a road team playing in a hostile environment, or the Browns will face it with a young Brady Quinn at the helm and the league’s top run defense lining up on the other side.

3. The Vikings Secondary – Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson form the Vikings new starting safety tandem. It goes somewhat unnoticed, but the starting safeties must play off of each other and complement one another well. It’ll be interesting to see how Williams and Johnson perform for an entire game in the regular season. We’ve seen them in the preseason and there didn’t appear to be any major issues, but now the bullets are live and the games really count. Veteran Darren Sharper became expendable this season because Johnson was in the fold, but now he must perform well on the field and show the coaching staff and personnel staff that he is worth the 2nd-round billing.

4. The Browns 3-4 Defense – Cleveland uses the 3-4 alignment as their base defense, something the Vikings have tried to familiarize themselves with over the preseason. The tricky part about this defense is that there are only 3 down linemen, but on most plays there will be more than 3 defenders attacking the line of scrimmage. The offensive line and QB Brett Favre need to identify the attacking players and assign the proper blocking strategy. This is important in both the run game and the passing attack. Remember, Adrian Peterson set the NFL single-game rushing record against the San Diego Chargers, a 3-4 defense.

5. 3 Key Matchups – There’s a reason the 3 matchups we pointed out are key; they will help determine the outcome of this game. DE Jared Allen vs. LT Joe Thomas and C John Sullivan vs. DT Shaun Rogers are vital matchups in this game, and both happen to be along the line of scrimmage. Something tells me this game is going to be very, very physical.

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Vikings Weekly and Vikings GamePlan Kick Off Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 13, 2009 – 8:05 am

Your pregame fix on Sunday’s can officially be satisfied 1 hour earlier this year because both Vikings Weekly and Vikings GamePlan have moved to Sunday mornings in 2009. Weekly will air at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays and GamePlan will air immediately after, at 10:30 a.m.

Weekly and GamePlan will be broadcast on KMSP FOX 9 and also simultaneously on FSNorth, leading into the FOX national pregame broadcast. Both shows and both show hosts – Ann Carroll (Weekly) and Paul Allen (GamePlan) have been nominated for Upper Midwest Emmy Awards – which will be handed out on Saturday, September 26th.

Jared Allen has a new segment on Vikings Weekly called “Jaredwalking,” in which the boisterous DE interacts with people while out and about around town. GamePlan also has a new segment in which fans can submit questions to and then  Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress will answer a selected question in the program.

GamePlan also features a new segment that looks back on the 1969 NFL Championship season – a different topic from that season will be featured each week. Segments back again this year from last season’s broadcast include Film Study with Childress, where Allen and the coach review film of the upcoming opponent exclusive from inside Childress’ office.

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