The Vikings are 2-0 in exhibition play, and Vikings coach Brad Childress said he is happy with how his team has done so far, adding that he might have to make some difficult calls about his roster when cutdown day arrives.
"Well, you know what, I thought the progress has been good for a football team in two weeks of training camp," he said after Friday's 17-13 victory over the Chiefs at the Metrodome. "Knock on wood, we stayed reasonably healthy. ... [Against Kansas City], I played a lot of guys and I asked those guys to make me make tough decisions. And, there is going to be some tough decisions because there is a lot of good football players on this team."
Naturally, Childress was happy with the performance of Tarvaris Jackson, who was 12-for-15 against Kansas City, throwing for 202 yards and two touchdowns, with a perfect rating of 158.3.
"He was able to create a couple of things with his athleticism, and then obviously you saw his arm strength in throwing that ball [64 yards] to Darius Reynaud, so, he might have just relaxed and played," Childress said of Jackson.
Jackson is now no longer fighting for a starting job with the signing of Brett Favre, but Childress told the 2006 second-round pick to take advantage of his chances to play, adding that he will need to be ready whenever called upon.
Childress added: "[Jackson and I] talked before the game and I said, 'Look, you're going to play with the [first-team] offensive line and the [first-team] wide receivers, make the most of it.' ... So, he did make the most of it.
"You know what, we've used a couple of quarterbacks here -- we've used two in every year and sometimes three [I've been here], so, they whack those guys pretty good, and, you want to have good ones."
Asked what he thought of the performance of fourth-string QB John David Booty, who completed six of eight passes for 61 yards and a 96.4 rating, Childress said: "He did decent. I'll be interested to see who he was in there with and you know, how well they protected him. But it will be interesting to see how he played with those guys."
As for Favre himself, the Vikings obviously didn't get to see much of him, since he was only in for two series. "I thought he had decent zip on the ball, got knocked on his butt a couple of times," Childress said. "Like he says, 'small victories,' the handoffs, center-quarterback exchange -- that kind of thing. ... It's like riding a bike for him [Favre], he'll get right back into it."
Commenting on some of the team's newcomers, Childress said: "I thought [linebacker] Kenny Onatolu made some plays. I thought [rookie linebacker] Jasper Brinkley played decent. I saw some big hits in the kicking game. [Cornerback] Derrick Roberson showed up in the kicking game."
The game ended with a goal-line stand by the deep reserves on the Vikings defense. Kansas City had four cracks from the 1-yard line in the final minute but couldn't score.
"It's great for those guys," Childress said. "We always talk about 'defend this much grass,' and you know, I can't think of a better situation, a payoff for those guys. It's kind of neat. "Jackson in good spot
Jackson can potentially become a free agent after the season. He showed what he is capable of with his performance on Friday night, coming after he had a poor performance in the preseason opener at Indianapolis the week before.
It's obvious that Jackson wasn't happy when Favre was brought in just when he thought he had a chance to be the starting quarterback.
"This week was hard," he said after the game, referring to the signing of Favre. "But I tried to focus on what I do. I tried to separate what I can handle and take one day at a time. I just tried to go out there and have fun."
Now, assuming Jackson remains with the team this year, he doesn't figure to play unless Favre gets hurt or fails to produce. No doubt Jackson isn't going to sign until the end of the year, and if he continues to come close to his performance of Friday night, he will be very much in demand.
And with Favre turning 41 in 2010, nobody knows what the Vikings quarterback situation will be a year from now.Jottings
After completing only one pass in four attempts Friday, Favre was asked if he has a lot of catching up to do. "A little bit, I don't know what you would consider a lot," he said. "I feel pretty confident. My concern is more like, the last play I was in, they blitzed. I thought, first, this wasn't a play that we've practiced, obviously. It's actually a play you don't practice regardless where you are because you don't see zero blitz much. That was an empty blitz, which was a little surprising. But it was a pretty good call against that, and I thought Percy [Harvin] would go inside the safety, and he actually kind of stuck the guy and went over the top, which he had been coached to do. So there is where I have to catch up. ... As far as the terminology and things like that, I am pretty much up to speed on that. I felt pretty confident about that."
Because of the presence of Favre, the Vikings had fewer no-shows than they normally do for a preseason game, as many season-ticket holders often don't come for the two preseason games at the Metrodome. Once Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, was notified that Favre was going to sign, he ordered 5,000 Vikings Favre jerseys from Nike, and most of them were sold.
Running back Adrian Peterson had 10 carries Friday, gaining 44 yards. "Aw, man, if you would have asked Coach Childress, I would have played the third and fourth quarters," he said. "I'm trying to get as many steps as I can and just do my job, just contribute to our win."
Asked what it was like to play with Favre, Peterson said: "It's special. I've been watching this guy since I was in elementary school. To be able to be on the same team with him, and for him to bring that passion that he plays, he is just a good guy, a funny guy. He is a good teammate."
Harvin, the Vikings' first-round draft choice, caught two passes and returned two kickoffs. Asked how he is reacting to all the different things the Vikings have him doing, Harvin said: "I have a lot of positions I' m working on, so I have to stay by Coach whenever they need me. I'm used to that since Florida and my high school days."
The Gophers and the Wild are talking about a outdoor NHL hockey game in the new TCF Bank Stadium in January 2012.