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.


Childress: There's a clamoring for throws down field

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: September 21, 2009 - 1:53 PM

Vikings coach Brad Childress has never made a secret of the fact he reads what's written about his team.

So as Childress scanned the accounts of the Vikings' 27-13 victory over Detroit on Monday morning, he found a common theme: His team might be 2-0 but quarterback Brett Favre isn't taking enough deep shots. Favre's longest completion Sunday went for only 13 yards.

"I know just from reading the clips there's a clamoring for the throws down field," Childress said. "There's a taste for it right now. There's an appetite for it."

Childress seemed more amused than annoyed by this as he addressed reporters at Winter Park. Asked if the Vikings' short passing game was simply the West Coast offense at work, Childress made it clear this system does have the ability to go up the field. However ...

"If you could describe [the West Coast offense], it would be a high completion percentage, low interception percentage [system]," Childress said. "And it is typically a run-after-the-catch offense. It used to be termed extended handoff and extended sweep. ... You're typically looking to see, are they going to give you something up the field and then you are bringing it down to the intermediate check down."

Favre has been doing an excellent job of this in his first two games with the Vikings. The NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes and interceptions, ranks first in the league in completion percentage (77.1) and second in passer rating (110.2) through Sunday. He has thrown three touchdown passes and no interceptions. Of course, his 265 passing yards rank 30th in the league and the Vikings are dead last in passing offense, averaging 119 yards in two games.

"I think he's playing within the confines [of this offense] if you will, if it is confining, if that's the right word," Childress said. "He is playing the way we need him to play to win. Are we looking for balls up the field? We are, we just haven't had that many yet. We've had throws up the field, but those throws are long foul balls until they are completed down the field. So he's being efficient with it. I guess you could talk to him about where he's at. But he's being very efficient within the scope of things."

Childress said Favre's left (non-throwing) hand, which he appeared to injure late in Sunday's game, was fine and that the veteran bent his finger nail.

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