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.


Jennings: `It's exciting to see what [Freeman] can do'

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: October 18, 2013 - 4:43 PM

Count receiver Greg Jennings among those interested in seeing what quarterback Josh Freeman's arm strength will do for the Vikings' offense against the Giants on Monday night.

Asked to explain the difference between Freeman and the team's other two QBs -- Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel -- Jennings said, "He throws kind of a windup and it’s a heavier ball. There’s a lot more velocity. That’s really good. It sneaks up on you. It honestly does. But it’s one of those balls that when you turn around, the ball’s right there."

Asked if that means the Vikings might actually be able to extend the field vertically, Jennings said, "Absolutely. You guys see the arm strength. It’s like a flick of the wrist and the ball is 50 yards in the air, no problem. It’s exciting to see what he can do. It’s just all about us putting him to use on Monday night and showcasing him."

Some other highlights from Jennings:

On how quickly Freeman is picking up the offense: "Smart quarterback. Nothing different from the other guys. He’s very smart. He’s learning the system. He’s picking it up really, really quick. He’s in the building day and night. You like to see that in a quarterback.

"I think he’s done a phenomenal job. It’s been two weeks. First week actually getting some reps with the 1s. Last week was just a full week of retaining the verbiage and getting the calls down and just comprehending the system. He’s done a phenomenal job of recalling what he’s heard and what he’s saw on tape and what we have in our game plan and be able to spit it out and go through progressions and make plays. I’m awed by it, honestly. But he’s one of those guys you see it in his work ethic. He’s here early, he’s here late. Much later than me. He doesn’t have kids. You like to see that in a quarterback."

On receiver Joe Webb -- yes, Joe Webb -- talking to the team this week: "Joe Webb did a great job speaking to the team. He talked about the coaches have the recipe and we bring the ingredient. They have the recipe. That’s our game plan. We have to bring the ingredients. That means we have to execute it and cook it up on Monday night. ... Joe is the man. Joe's a great guy. I love Joe. Joe did an outstanding job just sharing some of his feelings with the team. It was great."

On whether he thought he'd end up playing with three QBs in six weeks: "If somebody would have told me that, I don’t know if I would have came." (Pause) "No. … A little humor. A little humor."

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