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.
Brett Favre made a brief appearance in the Vikings' locker room today but declined to get into any specifics of how he was feeling. Favre then went into the trainer's room to get treatment on the sprained sternoclavicular joint he suffered in his throwing shoulder on Sunday against Buffalo.
Asked about the MRI he had, Favre joked, "What MRI?" Coach Leslie Frazier said that the MRI confirmed Favre has a sprain but there was no degree put on it. "They didn’t give me a degree, other than the fact that it’s an SC sprain and it’s more the neck area, along with in the sternum also," Frazier said.
Frazier said this will be a day-to-day situation, which is nothing new this season when it comes to Favre. Don't look for Favre to do much work if any in practice this week as the Vikings prepare for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
FIRST OFF SOME NEWS: Brad Childress said wide receiver Sidney Rice (hip surgery) would begin practicing today. The Vikings now have three weeks to make a decision on whether to place Rice on the 53-man roster or hold him out for the season.
NOW THE REST OF THE STORY:
Brad Childress admitted Wednesday that the Vikings made a "poor decision" in acquiring Randy Moss and called putting him on waivers "probably the most unemotional decision I've made in this job here." Other than that, the Vikings coach was unwilling to explain why the organization decided to give up on the recalcitrant wide receiver after only four games.
In a press conference that lasted 13 minutes, 20 seconds, Childress, in his first comments since the news broke on Monday, fielded almost all Moss-related questions but would not say whether he bypassed ownership in making the move or get into any of the thinking that has left much of his team's fan base irate. Moss officially was waived on Tuesday.
"It didn't workout," Childress said in his opening statement. "I'm not going to get into any particulars. We have an internal process that we go through. I can understand that all of you have questions and I appreciate everybody's passion in knowing why. You hope all your personnel decisions workout for the best. Whether you talk about the Allen's or the Hutchinson's or the Shiancoe's or the Chester Taylor's or the Percy Harvin's.
"Some work out and some don't work out. And some end up being short term and some end up being long term. This didn't work out. Nobody is more disappointed than I am that it didn't work out. But it didn't work out. So we're casting our gaze forward here and I do wish Randy the best of luck in whatever the future holds for him down the line in football."
Asked why he took the podium on Monday afternoon and acted as if Moss was still very much part of the team when all he had to do was delay his press conference, Childress said: “Because that’s when I usually have my 12:30 press conference. That’s from your standpoint, I get that. I’m going to get questions regardless whether they are on point or not on point. I can’t control that. I have a 1 o’clock meeting with my group so that’s what I end up going to.”
Shortly after talking to the media, Childress told his players that Moss would be waived. When pressed on why he wouldn't be more up front with the fan base, Childress said: “I think as long as the right people are contacted in the right order I think that that’s important. Obviously, it wouldn’t have served a purpose to come out here and tell you guys and have you go running with it before the dominoes start to go down.”
Here are some more of Childress' answers:
Q. What exactly didn't work out?
A. "I'm not going to get into a lot of the particulars. I'm not going to do that. It's done. It's over with. It was a decision that you don't take lightly, but it was a decision that I had to make and it's over."
Q. You asked the fans to embrace this guy. Why don't you think the fans deserve more?
A. "Because I wished and hoped that it would have worked out as well. But it was a programmatic non-fit, and it didn't work out. When things don't work out, you need to move quickly to take steps."
Q. Did you have the support of ownership?
A. "Without getting into all the internal dialogue we have a process that we kind of hold to here and I'm not going give you chapter and verse on the process. But I told my team right after I finished with you folks here. I thought it was important to paint a landscape of what Tuesday was going to be like for them, what the rest of the day was going to be like so that they didn't have to come back here Wednesday and deal with that. I owe that to those guys. We're at 52 right now pending any roster move that may occur, but I have faith and confidence in the games remaining and we're the only guys that are going to fix this thing right now."
Q. Why make players answer for your decision as Ben Leber had to do Monday afternoon?
A. "That's not why I put them in that situation, to have to answer for my decisions. I have to answer for my decisions. In the long run with ownership, obviously, my name is affixed to wins and losses in this program here. So, it's not an attempt to deceive, it's just a matter of letting the people know that need to know. And when we came out with the statement, that's when all that had been done. That's why he didn't show up on the waiver wire that day, just because there is a process that's involved."
Q. Did you see the same process in this decision? Did you notify ownership in the same way?
A. "I go through about the same process about all the time. I talk with Rick [Spielman, vice president of player personnel]. I talk with Rob [Brzezinski, vice president of football operations]. I let the owners know. But the thing happened here. I talked to the team, then you let everybody else know what's going on. Actually, Rick was in a meeting."
Q. So you told the players before ownership?
A. "No, that's not the case. I'm not going to get into all the process stuff."
Q. Did you investigate Moss' background before trading for him?
A. "I feel like I do a decent job of looking into guys' backgrounds. People coming off the waiver wire, you attempt to be able to create pieces of the puzzle that you need to know. I think I talked to you guys about all the back channels, the conversations that end up happening in this league. And I'm grateful that we have an organization that has those type of back-channel conversations in place, because there are some that don't have those in place. Yeah, it was a poor decision. I've got to stand up and I have to make it right. When it's not right, you need to make it right."
Q. Does the Moss decision affect your job security?
A. "I wouldn't know that. I'd say that's up to everybody else to look at. I know that basically it's usually tied to how many wins you have and how many losses you have."
Q. Was the move made out of desperation?
A. "This is probably the most unemotional decision I've made in this job here. Just the matter of fact of what had to happen occurred."
Q. So how did you get duped?
A. "You know what, It's not worth getting into the particulars. I'm not going there"
Q. When did you talk with Moss?
A. "I didn't end up talking to Randy. I made a number of phone calls that went unanswered, I texted him a few times to get back in touch. In the end, Rick ended up finally getting a conversation with him."
Q. Why did you say he would be back here when you talked to us on Monday?
A. "Because that was my intent. That was the plan for him to come back Tuesday night or Wednesday. Actually it was going to be Tuesday night. We talked about that, how he was traveling, how he was getting back."
Q. So you decided in between the press conference and the team meeting to cut him?
A. "No, I can't say that's when I decided. The wheels were in motion in my brain for what had to happen."
Q. Are you in danger of losing the team?
A. "I don't even know what that means. I really don't. Losing that football team. They're all in there. They're all to a man standing there this morning ready to shake the cobwebs off and get this thing right. That would be a better question to answer by them, not by me. But I'm not even sure what that means: Lose your football team. The Minnesota Vikings are in that locker room and we need to play better and I need to coach better."
Q. How are you doing through all of this?
A. "I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm really at peace. The decisions I make are for the best welfare of the Minnesota Vikings. I can look myself in mirror every night when I go to bed and know that in my heart of hearts."
Vikings rookie cornerback Chris Cook hopes to play Sunday against Green Bay after missing two games following knee surgery, but he admitted it might be a challenge to play the entire game because of his conditioning.
Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson just held a conference call with Twin Cities media and naturally the most popular subject was the Vikings trade for Randy Moss. Our colleague Mark Craig has that reaction on his blog but Tomlinson joked that he wishes the trade would have happened a week later.
Tomlinson also was asked about his decision to sign with the Jets instead of the Vikings after visiting both teams in March as a free agent. Tomlinson admitted a big factor was that the Jets offered him a more significant role in the offense.
Tomlinson would have served as Adrian Peterson's backup and third-down specialist with the Vikings. The Jets had Shonn Greene, but Tomlinson realized the potential for a more important role in that offense.
"I'm not going to lie, that was also a factor," Tomlinson said. "I knew that I would have a bigger role here because you've got a stud like Adrian Peterson in the backfield there in Minnesota. My sense was when I came there that they needed more for a Chester Taylor-type role. When I came here for the Jets [visit] it seemed to me that they needed me in a bigger role. Obviously that was a no-brainer for me."
Tomlinson said another factor was that the Jets system is similar to what he played in at San Diego for nine seasons. He has never played in the West Coast offense so he would have faced a bigger adjustment had he signed with the Vikings.
"I just felt I knew this offense," he said. "I felt like going to Minnesota would put me behind the eight-ball a little bit because I would have to learn that offense. So that pretty much came to my decision. One place I had been in the offense for nine years and the other place I would have been learning the offense for the first time."
Tomlinson also was familiar with Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who served as the quarterbacks coach in San Diego previously.
"I knew him very well," he said. "I knew his philosophies. I knew what he wanted to get accomplished with this offense and I knew kind of how he would use me. That was very important."
Brett Favre gave a quote to Vikings.com about the Moss trade. Here is the link and what he said.
"This is an exciting move, I think everybody feels that in the locker room," Favre said. "It’s rare you get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career speaks for itself. I’ve admired him from a distance for a long time and you can’t help but be impressed by the guy. I’ve seen him light our teams up plenty of times in those Vikings-Packers games and I’m excited to be on the same team now.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- The best thing about the Vikings' 15-10 preseason loss Sunday night to the 49ers is that it means the third exhibition game soon will be played.
Coach Brad Childress confirmed he plans to handle that game as he usually does, meaning most of the Vikings starters are likely to play into the third quater on Saturday night against Seattle at the Metrodome. That includes quarterback Brett Favre and running back Adrian Peterson.
The Vikings are going to need to use that tune-up to sharpen things up as they prepare for their Sept. 9 regular-season opener in New Orleans. (Keep in mind, starters don't play in the final preseason game so Saturday night will be of real importance.)
Here are a few observations and notes from tonight. I'm not going to go heavy on Favre because he's a big part of the daily coverage in the Monday paper.
|Vikings (3915)||People (1)|
|AFC (93)||Bears (481)|
|Ex-Vikings (50)||Football on TV (53)|
|Lions (371)||NFC (1394)|
|NFL draft (293)||NFL post-season (28)|
|Packers (527)||Super Bowl (285)|
|Vikings coaches (83)||Vikings defense (260)|
|Vikings fans (119)||Vikings injury report (293)|
|Vikings management (31)||Vikings off the field (282)|
|Vikings offense (369)||Vikings quarterbacks (262)|
|Vikings road games (77)||Vikings rookies (38)|
|Vikings roster moves (41)||Vikings special teams (40)|
|Vikings training camp (136)||Injury report (347)|
|Off the field (145)||On the road (88)|
|Quarterbacks (366)||Rookies (93)|
|Roster moves (19)||Vikings draft (275)|
|Vikings trade talk (2)||Vikings players (813)|
|Adrian Peterson (996)||Anthony Herrera (161)|
|Antoine Winfield (412)||Ben Leber (97)|
|Bernard Berrian (213)||Bobby Wade (16)|
|Brad Childress (643)||Brett Favre (812)|
|Brian Robison (177)||Bryant McKinnie (107)|
|Cedric Griffin (194)||Chad Greenway (219)|
|Chester Taylor (79)||Chris Kluwe (125)|
|Darrell Bevell (120)||E.J. Henderson (184)|
|Heath Farwell (50)||Jared Allen (425)|
|John Sullivan (214)||Kevin Williams (243)|
|Leslie Frazier (940)||Madieu Williams (78)|
|Pat Williams (156)||Percy Harvin (684)|
|Phil Loadholt (168)||Ray Edwards (173)|
|Ryan Longwell (145)||Sage Rosenfels (102)|
|Sidney Rice (273)||Steve Hutchinson (192)|
|Tarvaris Jackson (173)||Tyrell Johnson (152)|
|Visanthe Shiancoe (216)||Brad Childress (647)|
|Darrell Bevell (121)||Leslie Frazier (949)|