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Favre Returns, Vikings Lose; But Henderson Is The Story

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 23, 2010 – 7:38 am

If you’re a big enough Vikings fan to be on this site and reading this blog, you’re surely aware that the Vikings lost to the San Francisco 49ers last night by a count of 15-10, dropping their 2010 preseason record to 1-1 and also concluding the road trip portion of the preseason schedule.

So you’re also aware that QB Brett Favre made his return, played 1 series, completed a nice pass to Adrian Peterson on the 1st play and then took a smashing hit from LB Patrick Willis on a sack just 2 plays later. That was basically it for Favre…there was a lot of standing around after that for most of the 1st-team players.

But with all of the hype and build-up of Favre’s return to the field, it was actually the return to the field AND performance of another Vikings player that stole the show in my eyes. Middle LB E.J. Henderson was back on the field for the 1st time since injuring his leg in Arizona late last season.

Henderson has aggressively rehabbed his injury all offseason and then looked great in training camp, even drawing rave reviews from Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress. But then he didn’t play in the Vikings 1st preseason game, which caused me to temper my enthusiasm a bit regarding #56.

After watching him play on Sunday night, my enthusiasm is back. Henderson looked like the old E.J., tallying 7 tackles in just 1 quarter. One of those tackles was for a loss, and the play was the exact type of play Henderson made regularly before injuring his leg; he knifed through the backfield and swept his arm across the legs of 49ers RB Anthony Dixon to trip him up before he got back to the line of scrimmage.

I think Henderson’s performance will remain a “below the radar” thing because of the sensationalism of Favre’s return. But I also think that’s how E.J. wants it.

For now.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 65 Comments »

Vikings Tweak Lineup For Tonight’s Game

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 22, 2010 – 4:50 pm

Just got word of a few changes to the starting lineup for the Vikings tonight in their game against the San Francisco 49ers. Here they are…

– Greg Lewis for Percy Harvin
— Jon Cooper for John Sullivan
— Asher Allen for Lito Sheppard at CB
— Jamarca Sanford for Tyrell Johson at S


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 39 Comments »

Vikings Arrive At Candlestick Park

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 22, 2010 – 3:37 pm

We’ve arrived at Candlestick Park and are getting settled in for tonight’s Vikings-49ers preseason game, which is set to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. CT. It looks like weather conditions will be pretty good, with not a cloud in site and temperatures remaining moderate.

Tonight’s game is being televised nationally by NBC and locally by Kare 11. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties, Cris Collinsworth is the game analyst and Andrea Kramer will be the sideline reporter. Stay tuned to the broadcast at halftime because NBC will air a taped interview with QB Brett Favre.

We will be streaming the post-game press conferences live right here on vikings.com, so be sure to log on after the game to catch comments from head coach Brad Childress and others. We’ll also be live chatting during the game on vikings.com.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 11 Comments »

Submit Your Monday Morning Mailbag Questions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 22, 2010 – 10:18 am

A road prime time game on the West coast makes for a long trip home with basically no sleep, but that won’t stop the Monday Morning Mailbag from making its weekly appearance here on the vikings.com Blog. A lot has happened since last week’s mailbag was posted and there will even be another preseason game before tomorrow’s mailbag goes up.

So, if you have a comment/question, submit it/them to the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag by sending an email to me at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town with each email.

We can’t post every comment/question, but I’ll respond to every question.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 38 Comments »

En Route To SF Soon; Vikings-49ers Series Notes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 21, 2010 – 11:13 am

We’ll be in the air traveling to San Francisco for most of Saturday afternoon, rendering us unable to provide you with updates for much of the day. But don’t worry, if anything pops up between now and then we’ll have the latest for you once we get settled into the hotel.

Unless something unexpected arises, all should be quite on the Vikings front until we get closer to kickoff time on Sunday night for preseason game #2.

In the meantime, though, here are a few notes on the Vikings-49ers series to enjoy…

– The Vikings trail the all-time series against the 49ers with a 21-22-1 record.
— Minnesota is 13-9 against the 49ers at home but only 8-13-1 when playing at San Francisco.
— The Vikings have won 4 of the last 5 matchups, with the last loss coming in San Francisco in 2006.
— The last 4 losses at San Francisco came by a total of 38 points.
— The Vikings have played the 49ers just 5 times in the preseason and hold a 3-2 edge in those games.
— The Vikings have played the 49ers 5 times in Divisional Playoff games, with 4 of those games taking place at San Francisco.
— This is the 4th time in 5 seasons the Vikings will meet their counterparts from the NFC West.
— The Vikings have 2 coaches who previously spent time with the 49ers: OL coach Pat Morris (1997-2003) & WRs coach George
Stewart (1996-2002).


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 18 Comments »

Observations After A Week Removed

Posted by cjsiewert on August 20, 2010 – 4:36 pm

It’s been over a week since I’ve been able to observe Vikings training camp, so today was a great day to catch up on the progression of the Vikings players.

After the events that unfolded this week with QB Brett Favre and WR Percy Harvin, it might be easy to think that there has been too many distractions for Vikings players to take on in such a short period of time, but the truth of the matter is that this team is well prepared for any distractions that may come about.

“I think we are the best-conditioned team on distractions,” Vikings WR Bernard Berrian humorously commented to a group of reporters. “It’s just all about how well you can handle it and I think we showed that we can handle it all well last year, so as long as we continue to do things we’re doing this year we’ll be able to handle it now as well.”

Just as Mike pointed out earlier, it was great to see Harvin at practice today walking around with a big smile on his face and interacting with the rest of his teammates. The 2-year veteran’s presence on the sidelines for the beginning of practice was surely a welcomed sight for players and coaches alike.

“It was good to see him,” LB E.J. Henderson said. “The way he left the field yesterday, anytime you see anybody leave in an ambulance. It’s good to see him back in here walking around with a smile on his face.”

On the field today, a few things that stuck out in my mind were WR Logan Payne’s ability to go up and bring down any pass thrown to him that he could get his hands on and CB Asher Allen’s improvement in the secondary. Just as the case was last week at training camp in Mankato, Payne continued to make great catches with his hands rather than his body while running great routes. Allen showcased his abilities in the secondary today by hauling in 2 INTs, 1 off the pass of QB Tarvaris Jackson and the other thrown by rookie QB Joe Webb.

Payne has shown that he is capable of playing at a high level and has a great opportunity to make the final 53-man roster, which will be determined in early September. On the other side of the ball, Allen will be starting at CB this Sunday at San Francisco and will rotate with Lito Sheppard.

Before I end this piece, there is 1 thing that I would like to encourage Vikings fans to act upon. Please visit www.minnesotamomentum.com to take action in finding a stadium solution for your men in purple.

I visited the Metrodome today for a tour of the facilities in preparation for a game day internship with the Vikings public relations department. The simple and brief tour that the group of 10 interns took this afternoon solidified my thoughts on how badly the Vikings need a new stadium. The Metrodome does not provide fans with the proper game day experience as well as members of the media. Oh, and the players also. The concourses are too narrow for the fans, the press boxes are extremely tight for media members and the lockers rooms barely provide enough space for a 53-man roster, let alone a preseason roster that includes an extra 30 players.

Please talk with your state representatives and visit www.minnesotamomentum.com to help find a stadium solution right here in Minnesota for your home town Vikings.


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Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 14 Comments »

Vikings Ticket Sales Continue To Climb

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 20, 2010 – 1:18 pm

Coming off a 12-4 season with 10 Pro Bowlers and an appearance in the NFC title game, the Vikings experienced strong ticket sales and season ticket owner renewal rates this past offseason. Now with QB Brett Favre back in the fold, the Vikings have seen yet another surge in ticket sales.

The Vikings added 800 new season ticket owner accounts in the 48 hours after Favre returned to Minnesota earlier this week, and those numbers supplement the 94% renewal rate the club already had from last year’s season ticket owners. That renewal rate, which comes on the heels of one of the most exciting seasons in the franchise’s 50 years, is the highest the Vikings have seen since the 2001 season.

While the spike in season ticket owner accounts this past week is undoubtedly Favre-related, the Vikings already had strong group and single-game ticket sales since the NFL released its schedule earlier in the offseason. The Vikings home slate of games features NFC North rivals as well as attractive opponents such as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

A limited quantity of single-game tickets remain for sale, with the exception of the team’s home game against the Green Bay Packers, which is already sold out.

Also, season ticket owner sales are likely to end early next week.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 19 Comments »

Favre To Play A Series Or Two; Harvin Won’t Travel

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 20, 2010 – 1:06 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress met with reporters following Friday’s practice and said he is looking forward to playing San Francisco on Sunday night, saying the 49ers have a good team that plays tough defense and also saying it’s always a good test to go and play in a hostile environment.

Childress said QB Brett Favre will play a series or 2, depending on how the 1st series plays out, and that Tarvaris Jackson will follow Favre and will play into the 2nd half; veteran Sage Rosenfels will play after Jackson. On the defensive side, Childress said Asher Allen will start at CB with Lito Sheppard rotating in and alternating with Allen.

WR Percy Harvin, who experienced a migraine episode on Thursday, will not travel with the team to San Francisco. A piece of good news, though, is that Harvin was at Winter Park this morning interacting with players and coaches. Although he wasn’t participating in activity, it was a welcome sight to see the 2nd-year receiver back with his teammates.

Childress was asked several questions about Harvin and you’ll be able to watch his press conference in its entirety soon right here on vikings.com.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 19 Comments »

A Look At The Vikings Depth On Defense

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 20, 2010 – 7:01 am

Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said on Thursday that this year’s Vikings defense has the best depth he’s seen so far during his tenure with the team. In a game as violent as football, depth is essential to sustaining success, so hearing Frazier’s comment about the Vikings depth on defense should be encouraging for Vikings fans.

Let’s take a look at a few players who are currently providing the Vikings with solid depth on defense…

Defensive End
Starters: Jared Allen and Ray Edwards
Key Reserve: Brian Robison
Other Reserves: Everson Griffen, Jayme Mitchell

Robison is an explosive pass rusher who can come off the edge and beat OTs to get to the QB. But he’s also a stout player who can battle inside, which allows the Vikings to play him inside on some 3rd downs. Whether he’s subbing for Allen or Edwards with an outside pass rush or sliding inside on obvious 3rd down passing situations, Robison is a key element to the Vikings defensive line rotation.

Defensive Tackle
Starters: Kevin Williams, Pat Williams
Key Reserves: Letroy Guion, Jimmy Kennedy

The Vikings re-signed Kennedy this past offseason because he provides a solid option in the DT rotation. But the player to watch here is Guion, who’s had a great training camp and then played well last weekend against St. Louis. Guion has been with the Vikings since 2008 as a developmental prospect, but things seem to be clicking for him now. If Guion continues to trend upwards, he and Kennedy help provide the Vikings with a strong rotation at DT.

Click here to read on about the Vikings depth at LB and in the secondary…


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 10 Comments »

Childress Statement On Harvin

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 19, 2010 – 4:10 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has issued a statement to vikings.com regarding WR Percy Harvin.

“Percy appreciates everyone’s concern. He is alert and resting comfortably, but will remain in the hospital overnight.”


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 81 Comments »