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.


Big game? What big game?

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Packers, Brad Childress, Brad Childress, Brett Favre Updated: September 28, 2009 - 2:42 PM

Let the hype begin.

The Vikings won't play host to Green Bay until next Monday night but this is still Packer Week at Winter Park and that means plenty of excitement. Especially with Brett Favre going against his old team. Right?

Not if Brad Childress can help it.

"It won't be crazy in here," the Vikings coach said Monday when asked about his team's next game during his news conference at Winter Park. "The place won't be vibrating or anything like that. We just kind of go about our business and see what they are doing schematically and they play off of. I'm sure they are going to do the very same thing. Playing somebody in your division, you know those games count like two, and then we're going to see them here in a short period of time in another month [on Nov. 1 at Lambeau Field]. All the rivarly stuff, that will take care of itelf. I know there are some mitigating circumstances but for us it will be a good week of preparation."

Childress, of course, is referencing the fact that for the first time Favre will be playing against the Packers. That is certainly going to be odd, considering Favre had been a hero in Wisconsin and was the Vikings' arch-rival. Childress admitted he isn't going to ignore this issue when talking to his players.

"We'll probably talk about it," he said. "We'll just see how it builds. They don't live in a vacuum. But they'll be more interested coming in here about seeing the tape from [Sunday's victory over San Francisco]. There's already been a bunch of them through the building, currently in the building, getting treatment. [They] have looked at the tape on their own but we kind of go through it step-by-step then put it behind and get out there and practice regarding Green Bay."

The group of players at the facility on Monday included Favre, who took a beating in Sunday's victory. He took shots to both knees and was driven to the turf on his last-second touchdown pass to Greg Lewis that lifted the Vikings over San Francisco. "He's in here right now," Childress said of Favre. "I plan on getting in there and seeing how he's feeling."

This marks the first time the Vikings have been 3-0 since Childress took over as coach in 2006. Despite this fact, he knows there is plenty of room for improvement. The Vikings have trailed at halftime in each of their games this season and only got past San Francisco on Sunday because of the heroics of Favre and Lewis.

"All of us are aware at 3-0 they don't crown any champions at the end of September," Childress said. "Everything is a work in progress and our guys have a great resolve. Did we plan to be here [at 3-0]? Yeah, we did. But there are no guarantees. There's a ton of things that we need to clean up offensively, defensively and special-teams wise. Our guys are amenable to that, it's a long season but they want to get it right. As long as they have that mentality, we're going to remain a good football team."

Asked what needs to be fixed, Childress said: "There's just a number of things that you can clean up that you thought you had clean. It's about going back and repping them and doing them over and doing them the way we expect them to be seen. Whether it's a route run or a defense played or how we're approaching kick coverage. The positives outweigh the negatives by far. It's a good thing to be 3-0 but it's also important that we have perspective and that's my job as a coach. To keep perspective."

As for the hamstring injury to punt returner Darius Reynaud, Childress did not have an update.

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