We hear it every year about this time; it’s the word “vanilla” and it’s used to describe the types of schemes NFL teams use in the preseason. Rather than spending several days preparing a detailed game plan filled with complex ideas and adjustments, teams typically strip the playbook down to basics in the preseason.
One reason for this is teams don’t want to give away any tendencies or secrets in exhibition games; they want to save that for the season. But another side-effect of the vanilla strategy is that it allows coaches and scouts to evaluate their players more effectively.
“We are going to intentionally make it as vanilla as it can be because you can say what you want, but guys that may be playing for the first time in the NFL, [they] are going to be excitable,” Childress explained to reporters after Wednesday afternoon’s practice. “So, hopefully there’s not a ton of thinking involved.
“Now, do they have to make checks? Do they have to convert routes? Yeah, they have to do that in our offense. Vanilla, and then with a premium on guys playing fast, so you don’t see a lot of thinking and gears grinding. They can just play football and if they’re making a mistake they’re making a full speed mistake but you can see their football prowess.”
The Vikings will practice 2 more times in Mankato and they’ll likely have a walk-through on Friday morning as they prepare for the 1st preseason game against the St. Louis Rams, which will kickoff at 7:00 p.m. CT on Saturday evening in St. Louis. Wednesday afternoon’s practice was held inside Blakeslee Stadium and it was steamy, with temperatures and humidity at high levels.
Here are a few other notes from Childress’ meeting with reporters…
Childress on WR Logan Payne: “He’s getting more than maybe he expected, for a guy that we signed late in the process. He made a roster, then got knocked off that roster because they had another need. But yeah he’s benefited by his turns and he’s shown that he can make plays when called to.”
Childress said QB Tarvaris Jackson will play with the 1st-team offense on Saturday evening and that he and the 1st team offense will leave the game “pretty quick.”
Childress was asked about WR Percy Harvin, who has yet to return to the team after his Grandmother passed away and after Childress said his migraines have resurfaced. Asked if he’s communicated with the 2009 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, Childress said that he did on Wednesday morning and that there is no timetable for his return.
“I will say this,” Childress said, “just as you guys saw him in our very first minicamp (in 2009), he has an A football IQ, he did a bunch of those things at Florida, so it wasn’t completely foreign to him and every game plan that we have we have plays that may be his where he’s touching the football. So it’s not as if they’re not going to be re-installed. I’m happy he’s been around the block one time so he knows some of the types of things that we’re trying to do.”
Tags: Logan Payne, Percy Harvin, Ryan Moats
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