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.


A short week at Winter Park

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings coaches, Brad Childress, Vikings off the field, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, John Sullivan, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: September 27, 2010 - 9:57 AM

The Vikings seemed to have just about the perfect bye week last season. It fell exactly halfway through the 16-game schedule, enabling players to get refreshed for the second half.

They will have no such luxury this year. The Vikings are one of four teams that has the earliest bye, coming after only three games. In the Vikings case, that means their off week also comes after their only victory so far. The run game and defense looked very good but the passing game still needs plenty of work coming off a 24-10 victory over Detroit.

The good news about the bye is that it's going to give guys like Percy Harvin (hip), John Sullivan (calf), Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and Brett Favre (ankle, right elbow) time to get some rest. The bad news is that when the Vikings return to work a week from today they are going to be faced with playing for 13 consecutive weeks.

It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff approaches the bye as well. Favre said Sunday that he planned to stick around through Friday and would be spending time at Winter Park watching film. Not a bad idea considering he is still trying to get on the same page with his receivers.

Brad Childress and his coaches have always used the bye week to do what they call a self-scout. Instead of having to study an upcoming opponent, the Vikings coaches can look at their games on tape and break down what's working and what's not working.

However, with only three games there isn't nearly the volume to look at as there was last year. "We'll do a fair amount [of self-scouting] but we've only played three games," Childress said. "That's not a lot of body of evidence right now. We kind of are who we are. We'll see if we have any tendencies in some of those charitable spots, short-yardage, goal-line, that type of stuff."

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