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.


Favre knows he's pressing

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Darrell Bevell, Vikings offense, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Darrell Bevell, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: September 23, 2010 - 4:35 PM

Anyone who saw Brett Favre's performance in the Vikings' 14-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday could tell the quarterback was pressing.

Three interceptions, no touchdowns, a 44.3 passer rating. Heck, even Favre could see it. On Thursday, he talked about it.

"History has shown with me that when we’re struggling a little bit, I try to press the issue and try to make something happen," Favre said. "I think that’s what’s made me the quarterback I am and has benefitted me throughout my career. But it’s also hurt me."
 
It certainly hurt him against the Dolphins. Favre rarely pressed in 2009 and in doing so had what he calls the best season of his 20-year NFL career: 4,202 yards passing, 33 touchdowns, a career-low seven interceptions.
 
The difference is that last season it took Favre very little time to build chemistry with the rest of the offense despite his late arrival. This included a quick connection with Sidney Rice, who is likely to miss the first half of this season after having hip surgery. This year, Favre has looked (and felt) lost operating an offense that has had little stability at the receiver position.
 
Rice is out. Percy Harvin has missed time because of migraines and a sore hip. Greg Camarillo was a late arrival. Hank Baskett was signed on Tuesday. And then there is Favre, who certainly isn't without blame, considering he again showed up after the real work of training camp was complete.
 
Thus, the Vikings passing game at times has looked as if its operating in the second week of the preseason and not regular season.
 
"If I sat here and told you that I knew exactly what we're doing right now I'd be lying," Favre said in a statement that shouldn't make anyone at Winter Park very happy. "A lot of work is left and it will be an ongoing process until we have our unit how we want to go about things and we’re not there yet.”
 
The question becomes this: How quickly can the Vikings get there? They already are 0-2 and while the offense started a bit slow last season the Vikings able to beat bad teams in Cleveland and Detroit. It was at that point the offense got on track.
 
Could that happen again? Sure. But to think that's going to be the case with a snap of the finger isn't realistic -- especially with the current receiving corps.
 
"It’s hard to be patient and try to get this puzzle pieced together, because we’re doing it as we play," said Favre, who was limited in a practice for the first time this season on Thursday because of soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle. "Next week, it could be different. The following week, it could be different. Who knows? We need to score points. We can’t keep putting our defense in the position we’re putting them in. But don’t make it worse than it is. So I can play a lot better."
 
Among Favre's most interesting comments was one about the fact offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has to help the quarterback out with his play calls because there are times he knows Favre might force a ball if given the opportunity. 
 
"I take it into account a ton," Bevell said when asked about this topic. "It's something that I'm always conscious of, something that the offensive staff, we talk about. We throw things out all the time. I have those conversations with coach [Brad Childress] about, 'How do you manage him? How do you make sure that we put him in the best situation.'
 
"He's always got the one guy on this side telling him what to do and I try to be the guy on the other side to settle him down and continue to remind him that this is not one man vs. 11. He's got those other guys out there that he's got to let them do their jobs. For us, he doesn't need to get out of the box, he doesn't need to have out of body experiences. Just trust the system and we'll make sure that guy on the other end is making the plays for him."

Etc.

  • Tight end Mickey Shuler was claimed off waivers by the Dolphins on Thursday. The Vikings placed him on waivers Wednesday after signing wide receiver Hank Baskett. The Giants and Colts also put in claims for Shuler, who will be added to Miami's 53-man roster. Shuler was a seventh-round pick of the Vikings in April and is the second member of the 2010 draft class to depart. Linebacker Nate Triplett was waived coming out of training camp. Fullback Ryan D'Imperio also was wavied but was re-signed to the practice squad.

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