This is not a repeat of last year, Donovan McNabb insists. Don't make too much of a difficult opening game.
After throwing for only 39 yards in an opening-week loss, McNabb was quick to dispel any notion his perceived struggles from last season in Washington had carried over into this year.
"This is a new season,'' the Vikings quarterback said Wednesday. "I passed for over 3,000 yards [last year], that's pretty decent. It's not one of my best, but from the start of it there can be a lot of assumptions. It's a long season; when this next game ends they will probably be saying this is the guy we expected to see."
McNabb disputed the notion the Vikings' offense was too predictable in Week 1, but also hinted there may be new wrinkles in the game plan this week for Tampa Bay. As for his difficult day coming on a week when the league set a passing yards record?
"It doesn't matter if I pass for 400 or 500 yards and we lose, it's still the same feeling," he said. "That is the way you have to approach it as a quarterback in this league. You have to have short-term memory, you have to be patient and you have to understand it's all about winning in this league. If I pass for 37 yards or 400 and we lost the game it's no different."
What is important is how McNabb and the team react to the loss. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has every confidence in his QB.
"He's a pro," Frazier said. "He's coming off a different type of offseason for everybody, but he knows it's one game out of a 16-game season and you can't put too much into that."
Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, a native Texan, played college ball at Florida State. So he, more than most, took note of the recent cool spell.
"This is January in Tallahassee," Ponder quipped Wednesday. Guess he'll just have to get used to it.
But back to football. Frazier said Ponder would continue working as the No. 2 quarterback behind McNabb.
• Frazier said guard Anthony Herrera and cornerback Cedric Griffin, both coming off knee surgery, looked good after Sunday's game.
• Defensive end Adrian Awasom (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday. Cornerback Asher Allen (toe) took full part, as did wide receiver Michael Jenkins (groin). McNabb, on the injury report last week because of a bruised right wrist, was not on the report this week. For Tampa, wide receiver Sammie Stroughter (foot) is out. Neither tight end Kellen Winslow (not injury related) nor cornerback Myron Lewis (ankle) took part in practice.
• Newly signed offensive lineman Joe Berger will begin working at center behind starter John Sullivan. Berger eventually will also get some reps at guard.
• Percy Harvin said he is under the impression he'll be used more on kickoff returns this week.
• Jamarca Stanford will continue as the starter at strong safety.
• Frazier, when asked if the Vikings might be interested in Benny Sapp, the former Minnesota cornerback who was released by Miami on Tuesday: "We got a good situation" at cornerback right now."