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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Musgrave vows team will take more shots down the field

Posted by: Mark Craig under Injury report, Vikings, NFC, Vikings fans, Bernard Berrian, E.J. Henderson, John Sullivan, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: September 15, 2011 - 1:33 PM

Vikings fans will be happy to hear that offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave also believes that one shot down the field isn't nearly enough over the course of 60 minutes.

Asked today if he thinks it's important to take more shots down the field, Musgrave not only said it is, but vowed it will happen.

"It is important," Musgrave said. "That's what we're based on is running the ball, featuring Adrian [Peterson] but at the same time getting our quarterback in a rhythm, both down the field and also possession and control-type passes. That's what we want to be and that's what we will be."

It's been a long week for Musgrave as he's had to digest a performance that saw the offense generate 187 total yards, including 26 in the second half of Sunday's 24-17 loss at San Diego. Sunday can't come quickly enough, he said.

"We're really looking forward to this week, as you guys can imagine," Musgrave said. "Champing at the bit to get back out there on the field, especially at home, Mall of America Field, and get after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"We sure envisioned things going differently than they did in the second half. I think we've done a good job this week of leaving no stone unturned, not only as coaches but as players to get that corrected in the future."

Musgrave was asked if quarterback Donovan McNabb passed up any called deep passes on Sunday.

"Thinking back on it, it seems like it was a long time ago because we're focused on Tampa," Musgrave said. "But there may have been a couple. There may have been one to [tight end Visanthe Shiancoe] in the first quarter that the safety came down and covered him a little bit and Donovan did a good job of moving on in the progression."

Some other Musgrave highlights:

  • On whether Bernard Berrian tried hard enough to come back and catch the one deep ball. "It looked like Double-B tried to do that. I think he made a good effort to try and get back to the football."
  • On McNabb this week: "What we see out of Donovan is true professionalism. The guys who withstand the test of time at this level are the guys that don't get too high when they have a triumph or too low when they stub their toe."
  • On the offensive line giving up so much pressure on McNabb: "I think our pass protection is quite good. Our guys have done a good job bonding together. We're happy with Charlie [Johnson] at left tackle. We got our older guys, or I should say our experienced guys, at the guard positions. [Center John Sullivan] has had a super offseason, and we know we feel good about Phil [Loadholt] at right tackle. Our protection is doing well and we're looking forward to showing that with production from here on out, unlike we did on Sunday."

Practice note: E.J. Henderson was not at the small portion of practice open to the media. We'll get an update on his situation after practice. Backup defensive end Adrian Awasom (knee) is not in pads and won't practice today. Henderson was not on Wednesday's injury report. Today's injury report doesn't come out until after practice.



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