Tyrell Johnson Live Chat Tomorrow

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 4:25 pm

Join us on tomorrow around 2:00 p.m. as S Tyrell Johnson chats live with fans.

Every Friday afternoon during the regular season we will have a player chatting live with fans. To chat with Tyrell, come back to this page on Friday at about 2 p.m. and make use of the provided interface.

These live chats have been big hits in the past, so we look forward to hearing from you tomorrow afternoon.

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Peterson: Back Injury “Not a Big Deal”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 4:03 pm

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson appeared on Wednesday’s injury report as a limited participant with a “back” listed under the injury column. That development likely caused some uneasiness for Vikings fans as their team prepares to open the home portion of the schedule with a game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

But, Peterson said during his press conference on Thursday that his back injury was “not a big deal.” Those are encouraging words for the Vikings.

Following practice on Thursday, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress did not provide an update on Peterson’s status, or the status of any other players on Wednesday’s injury report, saying an update will come when the team’s daily injury report is released this afternoon.

Today’s injury report has not been filed but we’ll let you know as soon as that happens. The report will be released later than usual each day because the 49ers are obviously practicing on the west coast and won’t wrap up until late afternoon CT.

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Submit Your Mailbag Questions!

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 3:53 pm

Don’t forget to submit your questions/comments to the Mailbag, which will be published ever Friday during the regular season.

You can submit your question/comment to me by sending an email to I can’t post every question/comment, but I’ll answer them all.

You can check out last week’s Mailbag feature by clicking here.

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Frazier, 49ers Head Coach Singletary Remain Close

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 10:03 am

Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary came into the league together as rookie roommates in 1981 and then they won a Super Bowl together as vital pieces to the dominant Bears defense in 1985.

Now they both hold prominent coaching roles with their respective teams. As the Vikings host the 49ers on Sunday, they’ll both be coaching at the Metrodome. But they’ll be apart and on different sidelines.

Though they’re adversaries this week, Singletary explained during a conference call with Twin Cities reporters that their relationship has remained close since their playing days in Chicago concluded.

“Leslie and I go back a long ways,” Singletary said. “He’s one of my best friends. We are very close.”

Singletary said that he speaks with Frazier “at least once a week, if not sometimes a little more, but most of the time once a week or every ten days.”

Both heady and intense players for the Bears in the 80s, Singletary and Frazier have ascended the coaching ranks. Singletary was named the 49ers interim coach in October of 2008 and then was offered the job as San Francisco’s head coach in December. Frazier, meanwhile, joined the Vikings in 2007 as defensive coordinator and had the title of assistant head coach added prior to the 2008 season.

Frazier has interviewed for head coaching positions in the past and his success as the defensive boss in Minnesota will do nothing but make him a more attractive candidate for franchises down the road.

“He is a guy that any organization would be proud to have him,” Singletary said. “He’s got the right mindset; he loves his players, and he loves his family. He is a very hard worker. There is not enough time for me to tell you how much value and how much trust I have in him.”

Singletary cited a love for the Lord, family and football as reasons they’ve remained such close friends over the years. Because of their close relationship, Singletary has gained an insight into Frazier that he says most other people don’t have.

“He seems to be a quiet guy, really calm and reserved, but inside of him is a rage; inside of him is a madman,” Singletary said partially in jest, but also with a tone of sincerity. “He doesn’t let it come out too often, (but) it’s in there.”

Asked when Frazier does let it out, Singletary quipped, “It comes out in his play-calling.”

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Vikings Tour Of Top 2007 Draft Picks Continues

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 8:55 am

An interesting dynamic of the Vikings 2009 schedule is the number of top picks they’ll face from the 2007 NFL Draft. With the #7 pick from that draft – Adrian Peterson – on the Vikings roster, this schedule dynamic has created some interesting matchups.

Peterson and the Vikings began their tour of top 2007 picks in Week 1 when they faced LT Joe Thomas, who was the #3 overall pick from that year. In playing the Browns, the Vikings also faced the #22 pick from the ’07 draft, QB Brady Quinn.

In Week 2, the tour forged on as the Vikings defense was charged with the task of slowing down WR Calvin Johnson, the 2nd overall pick from the ’07 draft.

Now in Week 3, the Vikings will play their 3rd consecutive game against a player picked in the top 11 of the ’07 draft. LB Patrick Willis, who will lead the 49ers defense against Peterson and the Vikings offense, was taken with the 11th overall pick in 2007. In terms of actual matchups with the Vikings, this one is perhaps the most interesting. Peterson is the best RB in the NFL and Willis is becoming the best MLB in the game, and they have mutual respect for one another as fellow Pro Bowlers already in their brief careers.

Lastly, the Vikings travel to Arizona in Week 13 and will face RT Levi Brown, who was taken with the #5 overall pick in 2007.

Three of the players mentioned above – Peterson, Thomas and Willis – have made the Pro Bowl in both of their pro seasons, quite an impressive accomplishment. Another player – Calvin Johnson – will make several Pro Bowl appearances by the time his career is done.

The top picks in the 2007 draft make up an impressive list of players, and Vikings fans will get to see quite a few of them in 2009.

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Favre: Playing In The Metrodome Will Be “Awesome”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 7:43 am

Vikings QB Brett Favre said the “newness” factor has worn off from a chemistry and locker room standpoint.  But one thing that is still new to Favre is playing a regular season home game in the Metrodome as a member of the Vikings.

After opening the season with 2 straight road games, the Vikings have their home opener this week against the San Francisco 49ers and on Wednesday Favre seemed excited to play in front of the home crowd.

“I think it will be awesome,” Favre said. “I am looking forward to it, especially after playing the first two games on the road. It will be nice to get back home. I am looking forward to it.”

Asked if he has any expectations for the type of reception he’ll receive from fans, Favre said his thoughts have been centered around how tough the Metrodome crowd can be on opposing teams.

“I haven’t thought about that,” Favre said. “The expectations are that we go out and win this game. I know our fans, as we come out, will be the 12th man for us because I know what it is like playing in this place as the enemy. So they will make it as tough on the opposing team as possible, but I haven’t thought about what it will be like individually. “

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5 Vikings On Wednesday Injury Report

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 6:22 am

The Vikings and 49ers released their 1st injury reports of Week 3, and a quartet of regular contributors appeared on it for the Vikings in addition to LB Erin Henderson (calf).

Also on the report were LB E.J. Henderson (shoulder), TE Jim Kleinsasser (hand), RB Adrian Peterson (back) and S Madieu Williams (shoulder).

Both Henderson brothers did not participate in practice on Wednesday, while Peterson and Williams were limited participants and Kleinsasser participated fully.

The 49ers had starters listed on their report as well. DE Justin Smith (non injury related) missed practice, while RB Frank Gore (ankle) was a limited participant in practice. Others on the report are G David Baas (ankle – limited), LB Marques Harris (toe – limited), LB Ahmad Brooks (knee – limited) and RB Glenn Coffee (hip – full).

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Can Harvin Go 3 For 3?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 23, 2009 – 4:22 pm

Lost in the coverage of Adrian Peterson’s 180-yard, 3-TD outing in Cleveland, and Brett Favre’s efficient and successful 2-0 debut as QB, and Chad Greenway’s 3-turnover effort against the Lions, is the fact that Vikings 1st round pick Percy Harvin is off to a great start as well.

Through his first 2 regular season games in the NFL, Harvin has 291 all-purpose yards on 18 touches. He also has a receiving TD in each of the Vikings first 2 games. If the explosive rookie can find his way into the endzone on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, he’ll set a team record for most consecutive games with a TD at the start of a rookie season.

The record is currently 2 and was set by Sammy White in 1976.

Here is a breakdown of Harvin’s touches so far in 2009:

8 receptions, 77 yards and 2 TDs
6 kickoff returns for 178 yards (29.7-yd. average)
4 rushes for 36 yards (9.0-yd. average)

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Revisiting the 2008 Offseason

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 23, 2009 – 11:34 am

One of the subplots in this weekend’s Vikings-49ers matchup is the comparison between DEs Jared Allen and Justin Smith. If you remember, there were reports that the Vikings were pursuing Smith – who was a free agent after 7 seasons in Cincinnati – before they completed a trade with Kansas City to land Allen.

Before we go much further on this topic, it’s important to acknowledge that Smith is a different type of player than Allen. Although they both play DE and are both proficient pass rushers, Smith is considered more of a base end, while Allen is characterized as more of a pass-rushing end. Both players, however, are good at playing against both the run and the pass.

Going back to the offseason before the 2008 campaign, the Vikings were on a mission to bolster their defensive line with a pass-rushing presence. After tallying 43.5 sacks in those 7 seasons with the Bengals, Smith was one of the best options at DE on the market.

Smith was scheduled to meet with the 49ers and then reportedly fly to Minnesota to meet with the Vikings. He never got to Minnesota because San Francisco offered him a contract that he didn’t refuse.

Later in the offseason, the Vikings acquired Allen to accomplish their goal of bolstering the defensive line. Since becoming a Viking, Allen has recorded 15.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl after last season, his 1st with the Vikings. Smith has been solid for the 49ers as well, putting up 7.0 sacks and registering 73 tackles for the 49ers as a DE in their 3-4 defensive scheme.

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From Final Tune-Up To Great Matchup

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 23, 2009 – 6:49 am

When the NFL released its 2009 schedule back in April, the Week 3 Vikings-49ers matchup was looked upon by many as a final tune-up for the Vikings before their big Week 4 showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

Thoughts of a pair of 3-0 NFC North division rivals meeting on MNF crept into the collective football fan’s mind.

Now, however, in what illustrates the unpredictable nature of the NFL, this Week 3 matchup has gone from a final tune-up to perhaps the game of the week. And next week’s game between the Vikings and Packers – something the Vikings can’t afford to look forward to with the 49ers coming to town – won’t feature a pair of undefeated teams because Green Bay has already lost.

Vikings vs. 49ers presents a pair of teams with identical records and similar numbers in several significant statistical categories. It is also the NFL’s only Week 3 game between 2 undefeated teams.

The Vikings have more 1st down this season, but San Francisco is average more total offense. The 49ers have been better against the run, but the Vikings are better against the pass. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, but San Francisco can counter with Frank Gore.

While the casual NFL fan may have overlooked this San Francisco 49ers team a few months ago, you can be sure that the Vikings aren’t overlooking them now. San Francisco took down the defending NFC champs Arizona on the road in Week 1 and then took care of Seattle last week at home.

San Francisco’s main threat through 2 games has been Gore. He is the NFL’s 3rd leading rusher, behind Peterson and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson. While the Vikings have continued their impressive string of not allowing a 100-yard rusher, the Lions found a way last week to net 129 yards rushing as a team against the Vikings. With Gore and the 49ers coming to town this weekend, the Vikings realize they need to make corrections on defense and be prepared for a physical team.

“Against a good runner, against a team that emphasizes what they emphasize and their level of physical toughness, you better be about your business that way,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said. “Because I tell you they are not going to come in here like some people do and say ‘geez we’re not going to be able to run the football.’ They are going to try and exert their will physically on you running the football. They are going to do that.”

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