Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings coordinator: Phil Loadholt 'sets the tone for our whole offense'

Posted by: Updated: July 27, 2013 - 12:55 PM

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave met the media for the first time at training camp on Saturday and had plenty to share. Here are several highlights from Musgrave’s press conference.

On the continuing development of receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and where the rookie has come the furthest since being drafted …

“I think with his overall knowledge of the system. He’s more confident in the depths of the routes, the formations, even the motions. When we say [he’s] raw, we’re talking about not entirely detailed. He has great athletic ability and he’s been able to dominate at every level which he’s played. What we’re looking for now is the detail, being more specific with the jobs we’re asking him to do.”

On the connection Patterson is developing with new mentor Greg Jennings …

“I think the connection among the wide receivers in that room has been excellent. I know those two have connected. But really among the whole group. They help one another out. Joe Webb is in there and he can add a unique perspective from the quarterback room. So it’s a good dynamic.”

On the progression of right tackle Phil Loadholt …

“Phil is one of our stalwarts there on the front line. He’s a leader who leads by example rather being overly vocal. But everybody looks to Phil to check the climate every day. What’s the weather like? And when he’s into it, which he is every day, it really sets the tone for our whole offense. Phil is the same guy every day. He’s intense, serious and detailed and that’s what a leader has got to be. … The strides [in 2012] took place with Phil being in the system a second year. But also, the emergence of Brandon Fusco. Those guys on the right side are very physical. And that’s what we want to be on offense. That’s our identity.”

On the transition Joe Webb is making from quarterback to receiver …

“He has some details he has to iron out. But I smile when you mention Joe. Because there’s another team player. … We’re chock full of those types of guys. It’s great. Joe is working on his trait which is now as a wide receiver. He’s working on getting in and out of breaks, the depth of routes, being dynamic, being explosive and getting off the line of scrimmage when the corners are up there in his kitchen. So he’s working on it.”

On whether he reviewed any film of Webb at receiver from his college days at Alabama-Birmingham …

“A little bit. It was minimal. Kind of grainy.”

On Webb’s attitude in making the position switch …

“Not one time did I ever get the indication that Joe was thinking about himself before the team. He’s the same guy every day. A little bit like Phil Loadholt. Joe has an aura about him. He’s very positive. He’s willing to work and he’s willing to study.”

On back-up quarterback Matt Cassel …

“Matt brings some experience. He’s a proven guy. And he helps the quarterbacks throughout and will help our entire offense really with his experience and his skills. … Matt does a lot of good things from the pocket. I don’t know that Matt is as fast of foot as Christian is. But he’s made some plays over the years, scrambling out and getting first downs. So we’re going to employ a lot of the same concepts that we do with Christian when Matt is in there too. That helps our team. The other 10 guys have had the time on task with all those concepts. So we don’t want to have two distinctly different guys. And Matt fits that mold where he can step in and we wouldn’t miss a beat.”

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