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NFL.com’s Kirwan Ranks Vikings QB Group Among Top 10

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 2, 2009 – 10:31 am

No football fan will dispute the importance of the QB position. Football is the ultimate team game, but it’s tough to win in the NFL without an established player at QB. NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan penned an article that discusses this point, and later in the piece he ranks all 32 teams’ current QB grouping.

Kirwan ranked the Vikings QB group in the top 10 of the league, at #7, and had positive things to say about 3 Vikings signal-callers.

“Favre changes everything for the Vikings,” Kirwan writes. “Before he injured his arm last year he was a top-rated quarterback. The Vikings will keep him on limited throws all season. Jackson has already led the team to the playoffs and Rosenfels has won coming off the bench.”

In his analysis of the importance of the QB position, Kirwan also discusses the importance of being deep at QB. His point was best illustrated by this piece of information:

“Only 16 quarterbacks started all 16 regular-season games,” Kirwan wrote. “In other words, half of the teams in the NFL had to go to their second or third quarterbacks at some point because their starter got injured or failed to deliver and had to be replaced. In all, 53 different quarterbacks started a game in 2008, one season removed from an NFL-record 64.

“How important was having a 16-game starter last year? Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs, only one — Minnesota — had multiple starters after Week 1.”


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Childress on Jackson: Deliberate and Confident

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 24, 2009 – 4:15 pm

Part of the difficulty in evaluating players against each other during preseason action is that the playing field is not always equal. This situation is perhaps best illustrated at the QB position, where one player will enjoy the opportunity of playing with mostly 1st teamers while the competing player will be surrounded by 2nd team players.

This was the case for the Vikings in their 1st preseason game, when QB Sage Rosenfels got the start and looked impressive while going 10-13 for 91 yards and leading the Vikings to 10 points in 2 possessions. His fellow QB, Tarvaris Jackson, took the field later in the game and was an unremarkable 7 of 15 for 39 yards.

But then in the team’s 2nd preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday night, Jackson received the opportunity to play with 1st teamers and looked the part of an NFL starter, attaining a perfect passer rating by going 12 of 15 for 202 yards and 2 TDs.

“I would say when you’re playing with the first group of offensive lineman, backs, and receivers it bodes better for your chance to have success,” Childress said. “With guys in the right spot, running the right routes, and running the place you’re looking. You can say the quarterback doesn’t look good, but you have heard me say in the past, you have to play around the quarterback. Whether it’s the protection game or wiggling open against man-to-man.”

Although Childress acknowledged that Jackson was surrounded by better players against the Chiefs, he also remarked that the 4th-year signal caller displayed poise.

“I’m not going to take anything away from what he did; I thought he was very deliberate in what he was doing and confident in what he was doing.”


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QB Rosenfels Not Suited Up; DE Allen Is

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 21, 2009 – 6:51 pm

Vikings QB Sage Rosenfels was not in uniform for pregame warmups, leading to the obvious conclusion that he won’t see the field tonight. DE Jared Allen, whom many speculated would not suit up tonight, was in uniform during pregame warmups.


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Vikings Defeat Colts 13-3

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 14, 2009 – 9:13 pm

The Vikings defeated Indianapolis tonight by a count of 13-3, moving their preseason record to 1-0 and dropping the Colts to 0-1. The Viking scored all 13 of their points in the 1st half and put on a stellar defensive effort to smoother the Indianapolis offense all night.

QB Sage Rosenfels got the start and drove the Vikings 72 yards on 11 plays during the 1st series, resulting in a 5-yard Chester Taylor TD run and an early 7-0 lead. Colts QB Peyton Manning was sacked 3 times on his 1st drive and didn’t come back out for a 2nd series.

We’ll have more coverage on vikings.com tonight and into tomorrow.


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Rosenfels Will Start

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 14, 2009 – 9:57 am

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress told Vikings Radio Network play-by-play ace Paul Allen during his daily 9-12 show on AM 1130 KFAN that Sage Rosenfels will start tonight’s preseason game against the Colts.

Childress also said Tarvaris Jackson would play after Rosenfels, perhaps playing into the 3rd quarter. John David Booty will then play for the duration of the game.

Tonight’s game begins at 6:30 p.m. CT.


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Playing Time on Friday Still Undetermined For QBs, Other Starters

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 12, 2009 – 12:10 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Wednesday that he and his staff have yet to determine the amount of playing time the starters, as well as QBs Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, will get on Friday in Indianapolis.

Most eyes will be on the QB position, where Jackson and Rosenfels have been splitting reps with the 1st team during offseason activities and training camp. Childress mentioned earlier in the week that whoever starts Friday’s game in Indianapolis will not start the team’s 2nd preseason game next week.

“I’d like the first two (Jackson and Rosenfels) to be equal in a perfect world,” Childress said when asked how much he’d like to see his QBs play on Friday. “The minute you pencil it in and say ‘well this guy’s going to play a quarter,’ you have one of those left-handed quarters where the offense is on the field for six plays and something happens and the defense plays thirty (play).”

Childress indicated he would feel it out with his coaches in determining when a certain player has played enough on Friday.

“To set it by quarters, you don’t really want to do that,” the head coach said. “I’ll know when I’ve seen enough from these guys without hamstringing myself with a number or a quarter.”


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Spectacular Fireworks Display Concludes Night Practice

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 9:58 pm

The Vikings were under the lights and in full pads on Friday evening at Blakeslee Field to conclude their 1st full week of training camp in Mankato. Following the practice, an extended and spectacular fireworks display was put on for fans who attended and stuck around afterwards.

In the full team parts of practice, the Vikings worked on 3rd-and-long situations and what Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress termed “backed up” situations, where the offense was either trying to get away from its own goal line or was trying to pick up a couple of 1st downs and run out the clock in a 4-minute situation.

Given those circumstances, you’d certainly expect the defense to win more than their fair share of periods. And they did. But both Childress and QB Sage Rosenfels acknowledged that those situations favor the defense.

“The third-and-long is a tough situation,” Childress said. “You expect defenses to win 99 and 9/10ths percent of the time you put yourself in a third-and-11 or 12. But you’ve got to practice those situations.”

As for the QB competition, Childress hesitated to make any finite judgments.

“I’m not slapping a grade on it,” Childress said. “Obviously, he (Tarvaris Jackson) had missed time so it wouldn’t be fair to sit there and say, ‘This guy is ahead by virtue of the fact he had five more practices.’ It’s a good competition and it’s all headed toward a cumulative work here during practice and then I want watch them compete with the lights on.”

As for Jackson, he told reporters after practice that it was nice to put the pads on and play under the lights. Jackson was injured and unable to participate the last time the Vikings were in full pads and played inside of Blakeslee Stadium.

Eric Frampton had a nice interception near the middle of practice. He leaped and grabbed the ball deep in the secondary. Percy Harvin also hauled in a few more long passes, wowing the crowd several times.

Once again, the stands were packed. The Vikings have enjoyed great crowds all week long and are crushing attendance numbers from last year.


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Vikings Conclude Day 2 of Practices

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 1, 2009 – 10:40 pm

The Vikings concluded Day 2 of practices on Saturday by practicing under the lights in Blakeslee Stadium with a healthy crowd in attendance to watch. The environment was a family-friendly one because the Vikings put on junior cheerleading and junior football clinics prior to the team’s 7:00 practice.

Following the practice, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said that QB Tarvaris Jackson, who left Saturday morning’s practice with a leg injury, will be “just fine.” He also had no update on the Percy Harvin situation. Harvin has yet to sign his rookie contract and cannot report to Mankato until he does so.

In Jackson’s absence, Sage Rosenfels took the majority of the 1st team snaps but 2nd-year player John David Booty also saw work with the 1st and 2nd teams.

Rosenfels connected on deep passes with speedy WR Bernard Berrian on a couple of occasions, prompting the crowd to erupt in excitement. On one play, Berrian slipped past CB Karl Paymah at the line of scrimmage, immediately waived his hand in the air to signal he was going to be open, and Rosenfels stepped into the pass and hit Berrian deep down the right sideline. Later in the practice, Rosenfels hit Berrian with another deep pass, this time down the right sideline.

WR Sidney Rice also made an impressive catch during practice, hauling in a pass from Sage Rosenfels in the middle of the field on a ball that he didn’t see until it was almost to his body.

The team won’t practice tomorrow morning and will be back on the field in the afternoon for a 3:00-4:55 practice. Following that practice, Childress will be made available to the media and we’ll have complete coverage right here on vikings.com.


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Childress Says QB Jackson Will Be “Just Fine”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 1, 2009 – 9:56 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress met with reporters immediately following his team’s evening practice on Saturday under the lights at Blakeslee Field. QB Tarvaris Jackson, who left the morning practice with a leg injury, did not participate in Saturday night’s practice and reporters were eager to ask about the QB’s status.

“Looks like he’ll be just fine,” Childress said.

Childress also said that he does not plan to bring in another QB to take a spot in the rotation, adding that the additional work for Sage Rosenfels and John David Booty will be productive.

“It’s good work for the other guys,” Childress explained. “We’ll be mindful of dead arms and stuff, but you can’t put a price on the elevated snaps they’re getting.”


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Day 2 Underway

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 1, 2009 – 11:52 am

The Vikings hit the field at 9:00 again this morning for practice #3 as they kicked off Day 2 of training camp. While the conditions where nearly ideal yesterday, the wind was wipping and temperatures were just barely above 60 degrees this morning. The Vikings will practice under the lights inside of Blakeslee Stadium tonight from 7-9:15, so hopefully weather conditions improve.

The main story coming out of this morning’s practice is QB Tarvaris Jackson, who was injured (leg) during an 11-on-11 activity when DT Letroy Guion fell into him. Jackson was on the groud for a moment being looked at by the trainer and doctor, and then he got up and walked off the field under his own power. There is no update on his condition, but as soon as there is official word from the team, we’ll let you know.

There was plenty of action before and after Jackson’s injury, though. The one observation I had from today’s action is that the defense looks very live so far in camp. I mentioned yesterday on the blog that LBs Jasper Brinkley and Heath Farwell flashed during the 9-on-7 inside running drill, and it was a handful of defensive players who shined again today.

Brinkley put a good, clean hit on WR Aundrae Allison at one point, causing an ovataion from his defensive teammates. LB David Herron also gave TE Visanthe Shiancoe a little business during 7-on-7 drills. CBs Marcus McCauley and Benny Sapp both had nice pass break ups and then there was a pretty good collision between Shiancoe and a few defenders, also during 7-on-7 work.

Given the early juncture of camp and also the fact that teams are trying to avoid injuries, Vikings defenders aren’t being irresponsible while making these plays. They are just good football plays that are going to happen when 22 professional athletes put on a bunch of pads and helmets and play the sport they love.

But today’s practice wasn’t a wash at all for the offense. While it’s typcial for offenses to come along a little slower than defenses in training camp, the Vikings offense did regroup in the 2nd half of practice this morning and perform well during the “special categories” portion of practice.

From what I could glean today, the special category was 3rd downs. There were plenty of instances where the offense picked up 1st downs in 3rd-and-medium situations, including a couple of nice catches by WR Bobby Wade from Sage Rosenfels. WR Darius Reynaud also was able to haul in a few 1st-down receptions.

Prior to Jackson leaving practice, I can report that the 1st team reps have truly been split evenly between #7 and Rosenfels. There are times when Jackson has taken 1st team reps in offense-only drills or position drills, but then Rosenfels usually takes the 1st team reps in 11-on-11 work. And that scenario has also been flipped, where Jackson has been with the 1st team in 11-on-11 work and Rosenfels had the 1st team snaps in positional drills and offense-only work.

Both defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell spoke to the media after practice, so we’ll have several more updates later right here on the vikings.com Blog. Be sure to keep checking back here to stay current on all Vikings training camp news.


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