Vikings 2011: Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave

  • Updated: September 9, 2011 - 1:05 AM
New Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave directs a system that prides itself on flexibility, encourages broad input and creates ear-to-ear smiles for the players being asked to execute it.

"I think we're going to have a lot of fun," said receiver Percy Harvin, one of Musgrave's more creative puzzle pieces.

Whether Musgrave's offense is successful remains to be seen. But it's clear the players will have an unfamiliar say in the direction it takes each week.

During the preseason, Musgrave presented each position group with a set of plays for different downs and distances. The players got to choose their two favorite plays. Musgrave then took the input, molded it together and set his play calls accordingly.

"We appreciate the flexibility when coaches take in what players are suggesting a lot of times," receiver Bernard Berrian said. "Bill is really great at doing that."

It's not something most of the players on this year's roster are accustomed to. Former Vikings coach Brad Childress believed that players should adhere to the structure of the West Coast offense. And while quarterback Donovan McNabb is new to Minnesota, he also clashed last year with the more rigid approach under Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Vikings players have pointed to Musgrave's NFL playing experience as a key in helping him as a coordinator. Musgrave backed up Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana, Steve Young and John Elway during a six-year career (1991-96).

"Bill understands the strengths of a lot of players, and he wants to feed into that," McNabb said. "You know when you have [running backs] Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart and Lorenzo Booker, different plays really reflect on the different types of athlete they really are. He gets Percy Harvin into great positions, getting [tight end] Kyle Rudolph into position. Using that strength to the best of our ability."

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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