Vikings' Frerotte Doubtful Against Cardinals - 12/12/2008
Source: Associated Press
Vikings' QB Gus Frerotte is unlikely to play Saturday as the Vikes look to maintain their one game lead over the Bears in the NFC North. Tarvaris Jackson, his likely replacement, was benched earlier in the season in favor of Frerotte, but played well after subbing for an injured Frerotte last week.
Fantasy Impact: If you spent any amount of this season counting on Jackson or Frerotte as your starting quarterback, chances are your fantasy football season is already over.
Rookie QB Jackson struggles with taking over for Johnson - 12/19/2006
Source: National Football League News Wire
There's a part of Tarvaris Jackson
that was thrilled to see the first extensive action of his career
for the Minnesota Vikings, a part that can't wait to get out there
and do it again.
The rookie quarterback sprinted onto the field when he got the
call late in the third quarter of a 26-13 loss to the Jets on
Sunday and delighted in throwing his first career touchdown pass
later in the game.
"I haven't played in a meaningful game, really, since
college," Jackson said with a smile after the game. "It was
However, another part of him was crushed after watching veteran
starter Brad Johnson, who has been a mentor, friend and confidante
to Jackson in his first season, get booed off the field while the
crowd chanted Jackson's name.
"He's a leader of the team and he's still going to lead the
team," Jackson said. "It's hard for me to just hear the fans do
him like that."
This is not your garden variety quarterback controversy in
It's no "Any Given Sunday," Oliver Stone's football movie in
which Willie Beamen, a young, ambitious black quarterback butts
heads with Cap Rooney, the savvy, veteran white QB who perhaps has
seen better days.
Jackson is in no hurry to unseat Johnson as the team's starting
quarterback. Instead, he has shown a fierce loyalty to the player
who has arguably taught him more about football in the last five
months than he learned in his entire playing career.
Ps-s-s-t: Jackson starting, pass it on - 12/19/2006
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Behind the castle walls, a starting quarterback stepped onto the practice field. Vikings staff members guarded the doors, ready to raise the drawbridge. Archers stood on the roof. Catapults were wheeled into place.
Although they had only 100 hours to prepare for Thursday's game at Green Bay, the Vikings took all precautions Monday -- real and imagined -- to conceal their decision to start rookie Tarvaris Jackson against the Packers. Coach Brad Childress skipped his regular Monday news conference, both Jackson and Brad Johnson were missing from the locker room during the media access period and reporters were dismissed from practice after watching six minutes of stretching.
During his contracted appearance Monday night on KFAN-1130, Childress said he was still "mulling" the decision. But two people with knowledge of the situation said Childress already had informed the team that Jackson would start, following up by having Jackson take the first-team repetitions during the closed portion of Monday's practice.
Barring an injury to Jackson, the decision means Johnson almost certainly has thrown his final pass for the Vikings. He is under contract through the 2008 season, but Childress has benched him in three games this season and never has seemed entirely comfortable with Johnson as the starter. Johnson, who was unavailable Monday, said Sunday that he and Childress "never talk."
Jackson, a second-round draft pick from Alabama State, entered Sunday's 26-13 loss for the final play of the third quarter and completed 14 of 23 passes for 177 yards, throwing one touchdown and one interception. He has a stronger arm and is more mobile than Johnson, but he has limited experience in running the Vikings' complicated offense.
As the No. 3 quarterback, Jackson exclusively ran the scout team in practice until he was elevated to the No. 2 position earlier this month. But assuming Jackson also starts the Dec. 31 season finale against St. Louis, the Vikings will have two full games to evaluate him before determining whether he can open the 2007 season as their unquestioned starter.
That move seemed logical enough that Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy appeared convinced the Packers would face Jackson, speaking at length about facing a quarterback with Jackson's skills.
"It's a challenge any time you play a new quarterback," McCarthy said, "definitely when they're physically, diversely different from the [previous] starter. I mean, that's a challenge in itself. Yes, he's young, inexperienced, but he's also got a very strong arm. He's athletic. So that's a challenge because it does affect the way you may set your edges and things like that when you get into defensive game-planning."
Childress attempted a similar charade two weeks ago when he refused to identify Johnson as the starter for the Dec. 10 game at Detroit, even after multiple sources confirmed the move. Monday night, Childress claimed he had not made a decision when in fact he had revealed it privately at Winter Park several hours earlier.
Asked if Jackson would start, Childress said: "You know what? We're still mulling that over right now. We just went through some preliminary practice today. We'll see how we go."
Jackson or Johnson? - 12/07/2006
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
The Vikings are sticking with Brad Johnson as their starting quarterback for Sunday's game at Detroit. They just aren't talking about it.
On a day when coach Brad Childress declined to announce a starter, the closest thing to an official confirmation Wednesday came from rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson when asked about his status.
"Same as before," Jackson said. "Brad is the starting quarterback, and I'm doing like I do every week, trying to get ready for the game like I'm a starter and just trying to get better each day."
Johnson indicated he worked with the first-team offense, as usual, during Wednesday's practice but stopped short of saying he would start.
"I'm doing like I've always done," he said. "Just prepare to work and get ready to go for Sunday. Things haven't changed much for me."
Childress said earlier that he had decided on a starter and informed the player but wasn't ready to announce it publicly.
Johnson declined to say if he's been told he will start, but from a preparation standpoint, he said everything remains status quo.
"I'm preparing like I always have done," he said. "I don't see any difference. Coaches' decisions are coaches' decisions. … My schedule has been the same. Everything has been the same for me."
Childress seemed to suggest that the decision might go the other way when asked how Johnson has handled this week's uncertainty after being benched late in the third quarter of Sunday's 23-13 loss at Chicago.
"Brad is a pro," Childress said. "You guys know that who deal with him. In 15 years, he has seen a number of different things go on. He doesn't always like things that go on. He doesn't like the way that he played, but I know that he's a competitor. I know his heart is in the right spot. Whatever his role is, I know that he's going to compete his tail off."
Johnson, who threw four interceptions in the loss to the Bears, said he didn't want to speculate on why Childress hasn't publicly committed to him as the starter.
"I can't get into what he wants to do," he said. "I just know that regardless of whatever the situation is, I'm going to prepare and work hard and get ready to go. I can't get caught up in what is said by whom or what's written. All I can do is play."
Which QB? It's a toss-up - 12/05/2006
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Will the Vikings' starting quarterback keep his job because of an injury to the backup? That scenario seemed possible Monday at Winter Park, where coach Brad Childress brushed off questions about Brad Johnson's immediate future and indicated he will not name a starter for Sunday's game at Detroit until later this week.
Childress' refusal to immediately support Johnson, who threw four interceptions in a 23-13 loss Sunday to Chicago, suggested he preferred a change. But Childress' options are limited; backup Brooks Bollinger's left arm was in a sling Monday, courtesy a second-degree sprain of his left shoulder, and rookie Tarvaris Jackson continued to express reservations about stepping into the lineup.
Childress admitted he did not know when Bollinger would return to practice but insisted, "I have a few different options." Childress said he will decide based on who "give[s] us the best chance to win in the fourth quarter."We'll just look at that and see who we feel like that is," Childress added before cutting off reporters' questions on the situation.
Johnson, who has thrown 14 interceptions, was not available for comment Monday. But Childress has benched the 15-year veteran twice for throwing multiple interceptions, and coaches often look to replace starters after a second sitdown. Childress, for one, offered no evidence to the contrary Monday.
"We've got a lot of things that we have to clean up on offense," he said, "primarily number one, taking care of the football."
To that end, Childress seems willing to delay his decision until he can rule out Bollinger from a physical standpoint. According to Childress, Bollinger sprained the acromio-clavicular (AC) joint in his nonthrowing shoulder when Adewale Ogunleye sacked him during the fourth quarter Sunday. A second- degree sprain in essence means Bollinger slightly separated his shoulder.
QB controversies steeped in tradition - 11/10/2006
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
Brad Johnson or Tarvaris Jackson?
This type of question is a franchise tradition, just like oddball head coaches and playoff flops. Tommy Kramer or Wade Wilson? Rich Gannon or Sean Salisbury? Jeff George or Randall Cunningham? Daunte Culpepper or Todd Bouman... or Gus Frerotte... or Brad Johnson?
And the circle of life continues.
It's a rare year when the peanut gallery isn't screaming for the backup quarterback. Sometimes it is legit. Sometimes it isn't. Former Vikings coach Mike Tice, who is looking a lot smarter the longer he is away, put it best when he once said: "The backup quarterback is always the most popular guy on the team."
Meanwhile, Vikings coaches go out of their way to avoid acknowledging any quarterback issues.
"There is no quarterback controversy, and there shouldn't be."
— Jerry Burns, knee deep in the Kramer-Wilson controversy, in 1989.
"We've never had a problem with that. Everybody knows what their role is."
— Dennis Green, who didn't seem at all sure whether to go with Cunningham, just back from an injury, or the red-hot George, in 1999.
"That's how it is in every city. It's always been like that."
— Tice, on whether he heard the clamor to replace the struggling Culpepper with Frerotte, in 2003.
"Not in my mind, no."
— Brad Childress, when asked last week if there were any doubt as to which quarterback would start Sunday.
Coaches prefer order, or course, while fans always advocate something radical. In 1993 the Vikings headed into camp with five quarterbacks. The Pioneer Press conducted a poll to see which one the fans preferred.
This was in the dark days before the Internet. So in order to vote, people actually had to pick up the telephone, dial some numbers, then follow voice instructions. The voting took place over three days, and more than 5,000 people made their voices heard — even though one night we had a malfunction and sent all callers to the automated weather line.
Johnson tries to move on after Monday's fiasco - 11/02/2006
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
The way Brad Johnson figures it, amnesia will be his best ally this week. It should help him forget three interceptions, a benching on national television and his coach publicly reminding him that turnovers are bad.
Johnson was in full isolation mode Wednesday as the Vikings began preparing for Sunday's game at San Francisco. As coach Brad Childress fended off questions about the future of the position, Johnson said he plans to "move on fast" from his performance in the Vikings' 31-7 loss to New England -- using a golf analogy to indicate his plans for the 49ers game.
"I kind of look at it as when Tiger Woods makes a bogey," Johnson said. "You come back, make a par [and] make a birdie the next hole. Get that out of the way and move on fast."
The Vikings were defeated soundly in all areas Monday night, but Johnson has absorbed censure not only from Childress but also fans who are eager to see rookie Tarvaris Jackson play.
Childress said Wednesday he does not foresee Jackson moving up the depth chart, but the coach reiterated he won't tolerate many high-turnover games from Johnson or anyone else.
"I think [Johnson] is doing a good job of orchestrating," Childress said, "getting the plays in, moving people back and forth. He's taking a decent look at the plays that we give him. But I'm just going to tell you, he can't throw it to [the opponent]. We know that. I'm kind of on the record about that. ... Brad will improve. He's a prideful guy, as are any of our guys that make some mistakes. He'll get it corrected."
Vikings think silent snap counts may counteract noise - 10/19/2006
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Vikings are dusting off their silent snap count, but they will stop short of simulating Seattle's noisy Qwest Field this week at Winter Park as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
Coach Brad Childress said that piping in crowd noise during practice usually causes as many problems as it solves.
"Most of the time it ends with coaches [having] a headache and players with a headache and bad vocal chords and the whole deal," Childress said. "You have to work on the silent count. ... [And] it's amazing if you make something happen, how things tend to settle down a little bit."
Seattle has won 24 of its past 27 games at Qwest Field, dating to the 2002 season, and the building has emerged as the NFL's loudest outdoor stadium. The New York Giants committed 11 false-start penalties in a game there last year, prompting General Manager Ernie Accorsi to lodge a complaint with the league office.
The Vikings have been called for 12 pre-snap penalties this season (either false starts or defensive encroachment), including eight in their two road games. They used a silent count for parts of a 19-16 victory Sept. 11 at Washington, but a game-opening 80-yard drive for a touchdown probably had more to do with keeping the FedEx Field crowd of 90,608 in check.
Qwest Field holds 67,000 fans but its partial roof helps keep crowd noise close to the field. Earlier this season, on-field volume exceeded 110 decibels -- roughly akin to sitting near the speakers at a rock concert.
The Vikings' experience playing at the Metrodome won't help much Sunday; typically, home crowds keep quiet for their team's offense.
"Seattle is a little bit different scenario," quarterback Brad Johnson said. "I think the Rolling Stones were there, and they said the games are little bit louder than the Rolling Stones. So we'll have to deal with that."
Childress says Jackson must learn to battle through some injuries - 10/10/2006
Source: Star Tribune
Brad Childress seemed to be sending a not-so-subtle message to rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson on Monday.
The Vikings coach was asked if Jackson would start practicing full-speed next week when the Vikings return from their bye. Jackson underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee late last month.
"Part of this thing for Tarvaris in terms of being a quarterback as you move down the road is somewhere you've got to fight through these injuries," Childress said.
Jackson, who was injured in a Sept. 21 practice, did not suit up for two games but was back in uniform as the emergency quarterback Sunday in a 26-17 victory over Detroit. He has done limited work in practice since getting hurt.
Childress pointed to linebacker Ben Leber as a player who fought through an injury that might be more serious than Jackson's. Leber sprained his left knee Sept. 24 against Chicago but returned to the game; the coaching staff held him out the following week at Buffalo, despite the fact Leber protested, but he returned Sunday wearing a protective brace.
"You watch those guys push," Childress said. "Tarvaris is able to look at that and see how you have to push. Not put yourself out there hurt, but there will be a point somewhere in his career where he is going to get nicked and he's going to have to push and guys are going to trust in the fact that he's getting back there. This is unfortunately a hard learning experience but something he has to go through. But it's real now. He's going to get knocked around in the pocket at some point in the future."
Leber has practiced, may be ready to play - 09/30/2006
Source: Pioneer Press
Vikings linebacker Ben Leber backed up his optimism by practicing in full pads for the first time this week.
This week, Leber has aggressively rested and treated his left knee, which he sprained in the first quarter Sunday against the Chicago Bears. But Leber finished the game, and he has only one more hurdle to clear before Sunday's game in Buffalo.
"This is the first real strenuous thing I've done on it for the last few days," Leber said. "It will be interesting to see how it responds."
Leber said he was satisfied with the stability of his knee, and he hopes it only improves before game time. He is listed as questionable, which means there is a 50-50 chance he will play.
"I don't think it's going to be right down to the wire," he said. "The way it felt today, if the game had to be played today, I think I could do it."
If he can't play, backup middle linebacker Dontarrious Thomas probably would replace him, with veteran Jason Glenn also playing in certain situations.
In other injury news, defensive tackle Pat Williams (ankle) was upgraded to probable, and running back Chester Taylor (ankle) also remains probable, which is defined as a "virtual certainty" that the player can play. Rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was downgraded to out after undergoing a scope on his right knee Monday.
For the Buffalo Bills, Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes missed a portion of practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday's game. He has been inactive the past two games because of a hamstring injury.
Henson sees practice team as fresh start - 09/28/2006
Once considered the future franchise quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Henson accepted a far more modest role Wednesday with the Vikings.
While rookie Tarvaris Jackson recovers from minor knee surgery, Henson joined the Vikings' practice squad to ease the burden on starter Brad Johnson and backup Brooks Bollinger.
"I can't really explain the situation in Dallas," Henson said. "It didn't work out, and I'm happy to move on. I moved somewhere where they wanted to bring you in and want you to be a part of what they're trying to do."
The question is for how long.
Jackson is expected to need only a few weeks to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. But Henson hopes he can make enough of an impression running the opposing team's offense in practice that he can stick even after Jackson regains his health.
Former Michigan star Henson signed as No. 3 QB - 09/28/2006
Source: Star Tribune
The Vikings found a high-profile name to serve as their scout-team quarterback Wednesday, signing former Michigan star and New York Yankees farmhand Drew Henson to their practice squad.
Henson worked out at Winter Park late Tuesday night, his fourth workout since the Dallas Cowboys released him Aug. 24. Earlier Tuesday, Henson threw for coaches in Miami; in the end, he accepted the Vikings' offer to be their third arm while rookie Tarvaris Jackson recovers from surgery on his right knee.
Henson's tenure likely will be timed to Jackson's rehabilitation, expected to last about a month. But Henson said, "You're not trying to just be a holdover."
Knee surgery set for rookie Jackson - 09/23/2006
Rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is expected to miss about a month after damaging cartilage in his right knee during Thursday's practice. He will undergo arthroscopic surgery Monday to "clean up his knee," according to coach Brad Childress.
Childress divulged the information Friday following the Vikings' final practice of the week in preparation for Sunday's game against Chicago. Jackson, a second-round pick who was impressive during training camp, was not on the field at the team's indoor facility.
Childress compared the injury to the one suffered by rookie cornerback Charles Gordon in training camp. Gordon's knee locked up during an Aug. 3 practice; he had surgery to repair damaged cartilage and returned Aug. 28. Gordon is now on the Vikings practice squad.
Jackson likely out 2-4 weeks - 09/23/2006
Source: Pioneer Press
Perhaps inspired by kicker Ryan Longwell, Vikings safety Darren Sharper lobbied to be the third quarterback for Sunday's game after rookie Tarvaris Jackson suffered a minor knee injury.
"I should be the emergency backup. That," Sharper said of playing quarterback, "was my dream when I was young.
"Hopefully, I don't get a chance."
That could be a nightmare.
Jackson, who was expected to be the third quarterback Sunday against the Chicago Bears, "tweaked" his right knee running the scout team late in practice Thursday. Vikings coach Brad Childress said Jackson has cartilage damage that likely will be fixed Monday. Jackson likely will undergo an arthroscopy, a surgical procedure that involves inserting a small camera into the knee joint.
Childress wouldn't specify a timetable. But Jackson is expected to miss two to four weeks.
Backup QBs take a pass on miserly Vikings - 08/30/2006
Source: Star Tribune
The Vikings fell on their hands and knees Wednesday morning, begging A.J. Feeley to rescue them from a self-inflicted crisis. Though they never would admit it, the Vikings were offering Feeley the opportunity to sign a contract and take over as their No. 2 quarterback for the Sept. 11 season opener at Washington.
Fantasy Impact: There's a lot of pressure on Brad Johnson to stay healthy. It seems like if worse comes to worst, Jackson will be at the helm, overtaking veteran McMahon whose performance has been far from stellar in the preseason.
McMahon to sit out against Dallas - 08/29/2006
Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress said struggling backup quarterback Mike McMahon will not play in Thursday night's preseason finale at Dallas so the coach can get a better look at J.T. O'Sullivan.
Fantasy Impact: Childress says this isn't a sign that McMahon won't make the roster. However Jackson's playing well and with San Diego releasing A.J. Feely, Minnesota might pick him up to fill the role of experienced veteran McMahon was supposed to fill.
McMahon to sit, Feely in plans? - 08/28/2006
Source: Star Tribune
Coach Brad Childress quarterback rotation for the Vikings preseason finale on Thursday at Dallas does not include Mike McMahon. Childress said this afternoon that Johnson will play the entire first half the result of the lengthy layoff before the regular-season opener on Sept. 11 and be followed by rookie Tarvaris Jackson and J.T. OSullivan.
Fantasy Impact: San Diego's releasing A.J. Feely has a lot of backup QBs in the league worried a bit. Childress saw Feely in Philadelphia, and may want to bring him in with McMahon not looking good in the preseason.
Johnson to start - 08/24/2006
Source: star tribune
Vikings coach Brad Childress said this morning that quarterback Brad Johnson will start Friday against Baltimore. But Childress said no decision has been made about who else might quarterback during the game.
Fantasy Impact: The performance of the backups in this game might shed light into who will win the #2 QB role
High passing efficiency part of Vikings plan - 08/22/2006
The days of Randy Moss racing down the field in Minnesota are long gone. These Vikings are a bit more bland.
Efficiency is the name of the game now, and they've been just that so far this preseason while passing the ball.
Fantasy Impact: Expect more receptions for less yards. Brad Johnson's completions will go up and the chance of an interception decreases.
Vikings trade for Bollinger - 01/31/1907
Source: Star Tribune
With A.J. Feeley having elected to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings acquired Brooks Bollinger on Thursday from the Jets to serve as their backup quarterback.
The Vikings sent second-year defensive tackle C.J. Mosley and an undisclosed draft choice to New York in exchange for the former University of Wisconsin quarterback. Both players must pass physicals before the trade becomes official.
Fantasy Impact: Bollinger will likely come in as the 3rd string QB. Should something happen to Johnson though, Tarvaris Jackson's position as backup is now less secured. McMahon may be dropped at some point this weekend.