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.


Run-oriented Vikings talk about bucking NFL trend

Posted by: Mark Craig under Injury report, Quarterbacks, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, John Sullivan, Leslie Frazier Updated: September 14, 2011 - 3:42 PM

Fourteen NFL quarterbacks threw for more than 300 yards on Sunday and Monday. Two days later, the Vikings talked about staying committed to a run-oriented approach in a pass-happy era.

"We got the best running back in the National Football League and we're grateful for that and we like the way our offense is structured," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We just got to keep working to get a ryhthm and find the balance that we need. But I like our situation. I like the fact we got No. 28 in our backfield."

Frazier said he's actually surprised more quarterbacks didn't throw for more than 300 yards on Week 1.

"When you consider there were a record number of passers last year who threw for over 300 yards, it's become a trend," Frazier said. "That's the new NFL. ... That's the way the league seems to be going."

Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb threw for only 39 yards, including 2 in the second half of Sunday's 24-17 loss at San Diego. He said the performance hasn't shaken him.

"I'm a pro," he said. "I've been at this for a long period of time. It doesn't matter if I pass for 400 or 500 yards and we lost, it's still the same feeling. As a quarterback, you have to have short-term memory and be patient. It's all about winning in this game. If I pass for 37 yards or 400 yards, we lost the game."

Asked if he was disappointed in not being able to join the 300- , 400- and 500-yard clubs that came out of Week 1, McNabb said:

"I'm not here competing with any other quarterbacks. I'm here to win ballgames. If I threw for 3, 4, 500 yards and still lose the game, you're still 0-1. You can look at QB ratings and everybody else's numbers and stats. But it's about being 1-0, and that's what's disappointing."

Frazier said the team's commitment to Peterson will pay off eventually.

"Everything that we do is based on getting [running back Peterson] going because it opens up so many things for our offense," he said. "But there has to be balance. We understand that. But because of so much attention being paid to adrian, it opens up so many opportunities for other players on our offense. I don't think that's going to change. People have to pay attention to Adrian Peterson."

McNABB: Offense not predictable

McNabb was asked if the Vikings' offense is predictable.

"No, no," he said. "I don't think we're predictable by any means. I mean everyone expects us to hand the ball off to adrian. But there are plays in this offense and things we can do and will do that will answer a lot of the questions people have."

Other highlights:

  • All 53 players were participating in the short portion of practice open to reporters. That includes CB Asher Allen, who hasn't played since the first preseason game because of a toe injury.
  • Frazier said offensive lineman Joe Berger, who was signed on Monday, will start out working at center behind John Sullivan. Berger can also play guard, Frazier said.
  • Christian Ponder will remain the No. 2 QB, while Joe Webb will stay No. 3.
  • Jamarca Sanford will start again at strong safety.
  • Frazier was asked about the team's interest in former Vikings cornerback Benny Sapp, who was released by the Dolphins on Tuesday. Although Frazier said "you never know," he later said, "We got a good situation" at cornerback right now.
  • DE Adrian Awasom (knee) is a surprise addition to the injury report. He didn't practice. CB Asher Allen (toe) and WR Michael Jenkins (groin) are on the injury report but had full participation. For the Bucs, WR Sammie Stroughter (foot) is out. TE Kellen Winslow (no injury) and CB Myron Lewis (ankle) did not participate in practice. 

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