Coach Brad Childress made another news item official on a busy Monday at Winter Park: Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will be the Vikings' primary playcaller when the regular season begins Sept. 9 against Atlanta.
Bevell has worked in that capacity throughout the summer, and Childress said, "I'm pretty comfortable with it right now."
Childress called plays last season while Bevell provided in-game observations and suggestions. The operation essentially will reverse this season, with Bevell making most of the calls from the coaches' box.
Bevell typically calls plays in to quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, who then relays them to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.
Childress and Bevell have been associated for more than 18 years. Bevell has said the two have stylistic differences but maintained the offense will not change.
The biggest benefit, Childress said, is that he has been able to "look at the game differently" during the preseason when not encumbered by playcalling.
"You just see how [opponents] are playing you," Childress said. "We're running this scheme, [and I can see] what they're doing to take it away. Not that Darrell's not looking at it that way, but as a playcaller you're thinking about what's next. I'm just looking at more of the broad-based [issues], like how they are playing you."
Udeze to start
Kenechi Udeze has beaten out Darrion Scott in the battle for the starting spot at left defensive end.
"Right now if you look at our roster, KU is the guy," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. "I don't foresee that changing between now and [the Vikings' season opener]."
Scott will still get time at left end, as well as inside in passing situations.
Receiver Todd Lowber, who had never played football before signing with the Vikings in the spring, was among eight players cut Monday. Also jettisoned: quarterback Drew Henson; defensive tackles Joe Bradley and Alex Guerrero; guard Josh Day; linebacker John Kerr; punter Alex Reyes; and cornerback Jerron Wishom. Tight end Braden Jones (thigh) was waived/injured, meaning he won't count against the roster total.
Rosters must be cut to 75 by 3 p.m. today and to the regular-season limit of 53 by Saturday afternoon. The Vikings have 79 players, but guard Seppo Evwaraye has an exemption because he's part of the NFL's International Development practice squad program. Lowber also is a practice squad candidate.
Starters will play for one series in Thursday's preseason finale vs. Dallas.
Childress said his decision to start Anthony Herrera at right guard Saturday in Seattle instead of Artis Hicks was so the staff could get a look at Herrera with the first unit. "I'm still letting those guys play it out," Childress said.
Scott and safety Tank Williams did not practice Monday. Childress would only say the two were "nicked up a little bit." Also out were receiver Bobby Wade (ankle); safety Mike Doss (calf); cornerback Mike Hawkins (ribs); and linebackers Vinny Ciurciu (finger) and Cameron Siskowic (neck). Tight end Richard Owens (knee/ankle) returned to practice.