Reporters had their first chance to ask offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave why Percy Harvin was on the field for only four of the nine first-quarter red-zone snaps in last Sunday's 38-26 loss at Washington. The Vikings settled for field goals each time.
Asked if perhaps Harvin was nicked up and couldn't play, Musgrave at least got an `A' for honesty.
"No," he said. "That was just the way the personnel groups went. That was part of our plan, which we're not proud of."
It's puzzling that Harvin would be on the field for only four of those snaps, never mind the fact that he also didn't touch the ball in the four plays that he did participate in.
"[Washington] did a good job [defending Harvin]," Musgrave said. "We matched him up on a linebacker one time and we just didn't have the protection to throw it to him there on the first drive. We're hoping to use him down there both run game and play-action when he's in the backfield. We just want to make those plays work better the next time or call them at the right time."
The Vikings went into the game ranked ninth in red-zone offense. They had seven trips to the red zone and scored just two touchdowns at Washington.
Asked how he feels about the team's red-zone offense, which now ranks 17th (11 touchdowns in 22 trips), Musgrave said: "Not good. We don't feel good about it. Especially this past week. We didn't get enough bang out of our buck. For all the work that it takes to get down into the red area seven times and not come away with sevens. We're anxious to get back on the field starting with this week and be so much better.
"A lot of things went wrong, both conceptually and also execution-wise. So we've really doubled our efforts. We always like to work hard and leave no stone unturned, but this week it's definitely a point of emphasis."