Updated: Vikings Tweak Roster – Add WR Perretta

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 29, 2009 – 3:01 pm

UPDATE: WR Vinny Perretta has also been added to the practice squad.

The Vikings on Tuesday made a series of roster moves involving both the 53-man roster and the practice squad.

Here are the moves the Vikings made:

– C Kory Lichtensteiger was waived from the 53-man roster
– C Jon Cooper (by player) and WR Nick Moore (by club) were terminated from the practice squad roster
– Cooper was signed to the 53-man roster
– OT Patrick Brown was signed to the practice squad

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A Word on 3rd Down

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 29, 2009 – 1:05 pm

In a game with as thin a winning margin as there was in Sunday’s Vikings-49ers contest at the Metrodome, there are likely several factors that, if changed even slightly, could’ve resulted in the opposite outcome occurring.

You can’t help but point to 3rd downs as one factor from last Sunday.

The Vikings did not allow San Francisco to convert one 3rd down in the game, forcing the 49ers to go a crippling 0-11. According to Stats, Inc. (and passed along to me by Jeff Anderson of the Vikings PR department), the Vikings hadn’t held an opponent to zero 3rd down conversions since 12/6/98 against Chicago (they did it twice in 1998 – 11/8 vs. New Orleans was the other time). Even more impressive is that since the 2000 season, NFL teams have held opponents to zero 3rd-down conversions just 30 times.

The Vikings offense, meanwhile, converted 10 of 20 third-down tries against San Francisco, increasing their 3rd down conversion rate for the season to 42.2%, which is 9th best in the league.

Since the Vikings ranked just 19th in 3rd down conversion rate in 2008, I thought a quick analysis of the team’s success in that area was in order.

I can’t tell you how many times, after the amazing Brett Favre-to-Greg Lewis-TD to beat San Francisco, I’ve heard someone say “That’s why the Vikings signed Favre.” And I can’t disagree, that play is certainly an example of the magic and “never out of it” style that Favre brings to his team.

But it seems another area where Favre will help improve the Vikings is on 3rd downs. As stated above, the Vikings are already up to 9th in the NFL on 3rd downs after finishing 19th last year. A big reason behind the improvement is Favre, who has a passer rating of 99.2 and 2 TDs on 3rd down. Fittingly, Favre’s game-winning TD strike to Lewis on Sunday came on a 3rd down.

Going even deeper, and as pointed out to me by my buddy and Vikings PR maven Evan Koch, Favre’s favorite targets on 3rd down have been WR Percy Harvin and RB Chester Taylor, who have 8 third-down receptions a piece. Harvin leads the team in receiving yards with 128, and 84 of those receiving yards (72.7%) have come on 3rd down (so has 1 of his 2 TDs). Also, 88.9% of Taylor’s receiving yards this year have come on 3rd down.

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Familiar Opponent With A New Twist

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 29, 2009 – 9:13 am

On Monday night at the Metrodome, a pair of teams who are very familiar with one another will renew their rivalry. For the 7th time since becoming head coach of the Vikings, Brad Childress will face NFC North rival Green Bay.

In the 7 games Childress and Packers coach Mike McCarthy have coached against one another since 2006, each man and his staff has gotten familiar with the opposing personnel. But there’s an added twist for each team in their preparations for this season’s pair of games.

The Packers defense will go to work against a man who led the Green Bay offense for 16 seasons – Brett Favre.

“I’m curious to see what he’s doing, what they’re asking him to do, how he’s playing with the new skill-position players that he’s with,” McCarthy said, according to

On the Vikings side of things, Childress and his offensive staff will have to deal with learning how Green Bay runs their new 3-4 defense. Previously, the Packers employed the 4-3 as their base defense. But with Dom Capers added during the offseason as defensive coordinator, Green Bay made the switch to the 3-4.

Although the Vikings faced 3 preseason opponents who run the 3-4 as well as 2 regular season opponents who also run the scheme (Cleveland and San Francisco), there is still learning to be done because each team runs the 3-4 a little bit differently.

“The most interesting thing is to see how Dom (Capers) is playing his version of the 3-4,” Childress said when addressing his team’s preparation strategy for Monday’s game. “He is a little bit out of the Pittsburgh mold in terms of his fire storm stuff. He and Dick LeBeau worked together before and so he was up close and personal when it first started. I am anxious to get in there and look at it.

“From that standpoint there is no familiarity, just because it is a completely different scheme. The personnel, some are the same. (Aaron) Kampman is playing a different position, playing standing up. You are familiar with the guy, but not what they are asking him to do right now.”

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