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Frazier Says QB Rodgers Is More Pocket Savvy

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 2, 2009 – 5:48 pm

Earlier this week Vikings DT Kevin Williams pointed out that in last year’s Week 1 meeting between the Vikings and Packers, QB Aaron Rodgers surprised the Vikings with his ability to escape the pocket and create plays with his feet. Indeed, Rodgers had 8 carries for 35 yards and 1 TD during that game and he managed to escape a number of sacks.

But Williams also mentioned that the Vikings buttoned things up in meeting #2 last year after noting his ability to elude the rush. In the 2nd game last year, Rodgers was sacked 4 times and the Vikings also recorded 2 safeties.

On Friday during his weekly press conference, Frazier was asked if he’s seen any differences in the Rodgers of this year.

“He seems to be a little more pocket savvy,” Frazier explained. “He always has had that escapeability; the ability to avoid the rush and so on, but he seems to have a little more pocket presence and he is making some excellent decision at the quarterback position. That’s probably the thing I have noticed the most in those first three games, his pocket presence and then his ability to make good decisions.”

I haven’t been privy to watching as much film as Frazier, but the numbers certainly back up what he’s saying. In 3 games so far this season, Rodgers has compiled a passer rating of 97.2 and has thrown zero interceptions. Both of those stats clearly demonstrate sound decision making.

While he’s become more pocket savvy, Rodgers has also maintained the ability to make plays with his feet. He has gained 88 yards on 15 rushing attempts. The flip side of that, though, is that Rodgers has also been sacked a league-high12 times. Maybe Rodgers high number of rushing attempts are more a function of being forced from the pocket than of trying to make plays with his feat.

Either way, the battle between Rodgers making sound decisions/escaping the pass rush and the Vikings containing Rodgers/pressuring him to make bad decisions will be paramount in Monday night’s game.


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Vikings Add Live Sports Radio To Game-Day Experience

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 2, 2009 – 4:11 pm

There’s nothing like actually being inside the stadium when Adrian Peterson rips off a long run or Jared Allen chases down an opposing QB. But it’s also exciting to hear Vikings Radio Network play-by-play voice Paul Allen passionately call an exciting play from the booth.

Well now Vikings fans attending games at Mall of America Field at the HHH Metrodome can get the best of both worlds. Beginning at this Monday night’s epic Vikings-Packers game, fans can purchase small, light-weight portable radio devices that will allow them to hear the Vikings Radio Network’s broadcast of the game in real time with no delay.

The devices, manufactured by a company called Live Sports Radio, Inc., are Vikings-branded and simply placed over one ear so you can hear the broadcast and still hear the immediate surroundings.

The Live Sports Radios will be sold at several locations inside and outside of Mall of America Field on game days, including outside of each gate, on the Miller Lite Plaza and at 2 kiosks in both upper and lower levels of Mall of America Field.

The devices sell for $20 and are good at every home game this season, and also serve as portable FM radios away from the stadium. For example, fans can purchase the devices and then use them to listen to the pregame broadcast on KTLK while tailgating.

Fans who attended the PGA Championship at Hazeltine this summer will recognize the devices because they are the same devices patrons were carrying on the course. To get a close look at these devices and learn more about them, click here.


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Berrian Makes For Interesting Subplot

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 2, 2009 – 1:31 pm

Obviously the main story surrounding Monday night’s Vikings-Packers game is QB Brett Favre facing his former team. But there are several other interesting subplots to pay attention to as well.

Bernard Berrian is the subject of one of those storylines. We 1st mentioned this in today’s “Key Matchups” feature, which you can read by clicking here.

Berrian is now in his 2nd year with the Vikings, so he’s getting a taste of the rivalry that exists between the Vikings and Packers. But Berrian also spent the first 4 years of his career with Chicago, who calls the Packers their biggest rival as well. Suffice it to say, Berrian has just as much reason and passion for beating the Bears as anyone.

In 8 career games against Green Bay, Berrian has 16 catches for 306 yards and 1 TD. Those aren’t exactly startling numbers, so perhaps Berrian is due for a big game against the Pack. On Monday night, he’ll get his 1st of 2 regular season chances in 2009 to pick up the production against the Vikings rival.


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Childress: “Everyone Is Necessary”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 2, 2009 – 8:59 am

A larger than usual crowd of cameras and reporters gathered inside the Winter Park field house on Thursday to speak with Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress as he prepares for a game that features QB Brett Favre facing his former team.

But in his introductory comments yesterday to begin the press conference, Childress said that in light of the build-up surrounding Favre, he was struck by the total team effort that’s contributed to the Vikings 3-0 start.

“I point out to you in that game Sunday (against the 49ers), in our explosive plays there were six different guys that had hands on the football,” Childress explained. “Everyone is necessary. Everyone doing their job is necessary. Everyone is useful and before it’s over everybody on that 53-man roster, and then some, will end up contributing.”

Explosive plays are runs of 12+ yards and receptions of 16+ yards, and Childress was indeed correct when he said that each of the Vikings 6 explosive plays last Sunday came from different players. Defeating Green Bay on Monday night won’t be an easy task, but one important factor in the outcome of the game will be explosive plays.

With so much external hype building and nearly 100% of it focused on Favre facing his former team, Childress said he was pleased with the collective attitude among his players.

“I just think it’s a good attitude in that locker room and everybody’s got a stake in the action,” Childress said. “They’re all putting forth the work that goes with everybody contributing.”


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