Favre, receivers not in sync

Brett Favre threw three interceptions, two of them with Bernard Berrian as the target. The way the two talked about the same play, it's clear they had different ideas about what should happen. And now that Percy Harvin is hurting again, it makes it all the more likely the team is looking west to San Diego for help.

Brett Favre didn't think it would be this difficult. His communication with receivers isn't making it any easier.

In the season opener, Favre's wide receivers caught only four passes – one apiece. It didn't get much better Sunday in the second game, especially after Percy Harvin was sidelined.

Favre's first five completions went to Harvin, but once he was rendered a non-factor when he re-injured his hip in the second quarter, Favre and the rest of the receiving crew couldn't find a rhythm.

"It's always going to hurt when one of your best players isn't in," said wide receiver Bernard Berrian. "I think with the game plan that we went with, we started to run the ball anyways. It still gives defenses a chance to clue in a little bit because he's not out there. It's something they don't have to prepare for."

The Vikings still found success in the running game – Adrian Peterson ran the ball 28 times for 145 yards (a 5.2-yard average) – but it was the timing between Berrian and Favre that seemed off and their reaction after the game confirmed it.

Trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, the Vikings drove the ball into the red zone and finally appeared poised to score after previous missed opportunities, but on second-and-8 Favre tried a back-shoulder throw that backfired instead.

"Had that ball been complete you would be saying that was pretty good throw. I put it where I wanted it, let's put it that way," Favre said. "(Cornerback Jason Allen) made a play. I was trying to make a back-shoulder throw. We didn't have much end zone. Now I look at the picture on the sidelines and (Visanthe) Shiancoe is wide open."

Berrian wasn't wide open on the play, but he also wasn't expecting a back-shoulder throw. Berrian said the back-shoulder throw was "definitely intentional," but it wasn't the way the wide receiver read the option.

"It's all on the quarterback (when to throw to the back shoulder). I'm always expecting the ball in the back of the end zone, in the corner of the end zone for a fade," Berrian said. "But when you look back and you see usually a big corner side by side with you, you're probably going to get a back-shoulder throw."

Berrian just thought he might have had a step to get the ball over the top of the defender. "That's what I was hoping for," he said. "That's what I was looking for, but he made the play so I was just trying to make a play on the ball."

When asked if Favre was forcing the football after three interceptions, Childress referenced two throws to Berrian that were picked off. He said the back-shoulder to Berrian had been successful in the past.

"He was not throwing it out in front. You saw Bernard catch the back-shoulder throw right on our boundary and that was a driven throw as well," Childress said. "Those guys have talked about that, they've worked at it. The defender made a hell of a play on that."

Favre also credited Allen with making two interceptions while covering Berrian, the second one coming three drives later when Berrian was running a deep post and Favre underthrew the ball.

Favre said he still has confidence in Berrian.

"I think Bernard's heart is in the right place. I believe in my mind he did all he could do," Favre said. "If I felt otherwise I wouldn't throw it to him. We go to bat with who we got, me included. That's the way it is. I'm not going to look out my left or look out to my right and say ‘I'm not going to throw it over there'. I'm not going to play that way."


With another lackluster performance from the receivers, with the exception of the early contributions from Harvin, the speculation on potentially trading for Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is gaining steam and there is little doubt about the legitimacy of the rumors now.

The Vikings were reportedly getting ready to meet either Sunday night or Monday about the possibility of adding Chargers receiver Jackson, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

"A team source said Vikings owner Zygi Wilf will be the final authority on a possible trade because Jackson wants a contract that will average $9.5 million per year and contain $30 million in guaranteed money," Mortensen reported. "If the Vikings are willing to pay that amount, the Chargers are expected to ask for two draft picks, one of them at least a second-rounder for the Pro Bowl wideout, who is a restricted free agent."

But if the Vikings are only willing to give Jackson a one-year deal between $4 million and $6 million, there is a possibility the Chargers would be willing to accept only a third-round pick.

The Vikings' decision will come down to two factors: How much confidence do they have that Sidney Rice can return at all this season and how much confidence do they have that Jackson can stay out of trouble and not be a locker-room distraction after two DUIs that led to his three-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Childress said after Sunday's performance that he still thinks his current group of receivers can be successful.

"I do. They did some good things today, along with the tight end and running back. You always want to be able to mix the ball around," he said. "You always want to be able to spread it to all the tools that you have. I think they'll continue to get better and better."

Favre said he didn't know if Jackson would be acquired and wouldn't say if he would support that move.

"It's not for me to decide. I've heard the talk just like everyone else," Favre said. "I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone else: You know as much as I know. We got to play Detroit this week. All I know is we got to get better with the guys we have in the room. I can't speak for other guys that are not here."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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