Jennings clearly clicks with one Vikings quarterback

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 3, 2013 - 6:38 AM

With Matt Cassel under center, the wideout has played a larger role.

 

Greg Jennings purposely sidestepped a quarterback question in a victorious postgame locker room Sunday afternoon. But given his production with Matt Cassel under center, Jennings might benefit from yet another quarterback change.

“That’s up to the coaches,” the veteran wide receiver said after the Vikings’ 23-20 overtime victory against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier declined to announce his intentions at quarterback Monday after Cassel engineered a comeback in relief of Christian Ponder, who suffered a concussion late in the first half.

Ponder must pass the NFL’s concussion protocol before being cleared to play Sunday at Baltimore, so Frazier felt no need to rush his decision.

“There’s no reason at this point on Monday at 12:40 [p.m.] that we have to make a decision,” he said. “We can talk it through and do what’s best.”

The offense clicked with Cassel at the helm to erase a 10-point fourth quarter deficit. Cassel completed 20 of 33 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown after halftime. His one interception came on a pass that ricocheted off tight end Rhett Ellison near the goal line.

“Can’t speak enough high regards to what he did,” Jennings said. “I’ve said this in the past [but] he approaches every week as though he’s the starter. So when it is his opportunity to step up and make plays, he’s ready. He prepares like a pro should every week. I can’t say enough about him. He’s a great guy to have in your back pocket.”

Cassel continued to look in sync with Jennings, in particular, in a way that has been absent with Ponder. In 2 ½ games with Cassel at quarterback, Jennings has 15 receptions for 202 yards and three touchdowns.

In 8 ½ games with either Ponder or Josh Freeman, Jennings has caught only 28 passes for 315 yards and no touchdowns.

Jennings, who signed a five-year contract worth $47.5 million this past offseason, just looks more comfortable and productive with Cassel throwing him passes.

“There’s definitely a trust factor there, and Greg is an excellent route runner,” Frazier said. “I would think maybe the veteran experience. Those guys hit it off early on back in the spring, and he really trusts Greg to be where he’s supposed to be. Not that other guys aren’t, but the fact that they are both veterans, they kind of talk a little bit off the field as well as on the field. They have a connection that sometimes happens between certain quarterbacks and certain receivers.”

In the three games that he has played with Cassel, Jennings has been targeted 23 times. Cassel threw seven passes to Jennings in the second half Sunday, including an 8-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that cut Chicago’s lead to 20-17.

Cassel noted the relationship he has formed with Jennings off the field in analyzing why those two have clicked between the lines.

“Greg and I hit it off since we got here, both coming here as free agents,” he said. “He’s such a tremendous man, he works hard, he’s a very smart football player. It’s been great for me to be around a guy like that. We just have a great relationship. We love talking football. We both have families, small children. I was just at his daughter’s birthday party [Saturday], so it’s just a lot of fun.”

Cassel has the highest passer rating (84.6) of the three Vikings quarterbacks, and he also has played in all three of their victories this season — one start, two in relief of Ponder. Cassel also is their only quarterback to pass for 240 yards in a game this season, and he’s done so three times.

Frazier noted that Cassel did a “terrific job” on Sunday, but he stopped short of naming him the starter against the Ravens. He didn’t even rule out Freeman as a possibility, though that would be surprising considering he has not played in a game since Oct. 21.

Frazier acknowledged that he has had several private discussions with Cassel about his role this season. Cassel has handled any frustration in a professional manner and resisted complaining publicly.

  • Vikings week 14

    Up next: Noon Sunday at Baltimore • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close