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.


Vikings-Seattle: What to watch for tonight

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Anthony Herrera, Bernard Berrian, Cedric Griffin, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Tarvaris Jackson, Tyrell Johnson Updated: August 20, 2011 - 6:58 PM

SEATTLE -- Just arrived at CenturyLink Field where the Vikings will face the Seahawks tonight in their second preseason game.

The Vikings are still looking to score their first offensive touchdown of the preseason after losing 14-3 at Tennessee last Saturday. Only a few players are on the field warming up in shorts and T-shirts at this point with kickoff not until 7 p.m. here (9 p.m. in the Twin Cities).

A few things to keep an eye on tonight:

McNabb and the offense: Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said this week that he has a set number of players he would like see quarterback Donovan McNabb get in this game and indicated he could play a quarter to a quarter-and-a-half. It sounds as if Tarvaris Jackson and the Seahawks starters will play the entire first half. Ordinarily that type of playing time is reserved for the third preseason game but with the lockout having wiped out the offseason time is now of the essence.

Getting their chance: Wide receivers Percy Harvin (ribs) and Greg Camarillo (groin) aren't expected to play. That would give a golden opportunity for Jaymar Johnson, Devin Aromashodu and Emmanuel Arceneaux (among others) to show what they can do. Keep an eye on how the receivers perform on special teams, too, because whomever wins that No. 5 spot is going to have to contribute on special teams in a big way. Frazier said a few of the wide receiver spots remain an open competition but I'm convinced that Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Michael Jenkins and Camarillo are in very good shape when it comes to making this roster.

Left tackle situation: I know, I know. This is getting tiring. But every opportunity we get to see Charlie Johnson play left tackle is important for the Vikings. Johnson again did not look all that impressive in practice last week. He actually looked OK against the Titans last week and as long as he continues to perform in game situations the Vikings should be pleased.

Johnson vs. Sanford: Tyrell Johnson will start at strong safety after Jamarca Sanford got the nod last Saturday at Tennessee. I think Sanford has the upper hand at this point, but Johnson is going to get his chance to impress tonight. He needs to take advantage of it. Also, safety Mistral Raymond is expected to return after missing last weekend's game because of a hamstring injury.

Griffin's return: While right guard Anthony Herrera is expected to be held out, the Vikings are planning to use Cedric Griffin at right cornerback tonight for at least a series. That will be a major accomplishment. Griffin won't say it -- for some reason he enjoys giving terrible quotes these days -- but the reality is this guy returned from a torn ACL last season, blew out his other ACL and now will return again. Impressive.

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT