Notebook: NFL's best pass rusher?

Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison started out the season Wednesday night by declaring Jason Pierre-Paul "the best pass rusher on the planet." Jared Allen has something to say about that. Plus, the Vikings are low on offensive linemen, Antoine Winfield misses practice and other depth chart and injury updates.

Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison, who spent 15 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, had a bold statement before Wednesday's kickoff game to the NFL season.

Speaking of New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who would be playing in the game Harrison was previewing, Harrison said: "He's the best pass rusher on the planet."

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has something to say about that and included Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware in the conversation.

"More power to him, but my record, my numbers, speak for themselves," Allen said. "I just go out there and try to be the best I can be that day. He's a good player, though. I think DeMarcus Ware might have a leg up on him, though."

Allen was a half sack shy of breaking the single-season record for NFL sacks, 22.5, and went 11 straight games with a sack to set another Vikings team record last year. He is only the second player in NFL history to have three consecutive seasons with 14 or more sacks (2007-09), and that didn't take into account his 2011 season.

Through most of last year, Allen and Ware were right next to each other in the sacks race, but Ware finished with 19.5 and that wasn't even the highest output of his career. In 2008, he had 20 and he has 101.5 over the course of his career, which started in 2005, including two in Wednesday night's game against the Giants – a game in which Pierre-Paul was held to four tackles and no sacks of Cowboys QB Tony Romo (although Pierre-Paul did apply pressure several times).

So Ware already has a two-sack lead on the other two players currently in the conversation – Pierre-Paul and Allen – but Allen still has his Week 1 contest to play. That will come Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have held Allen to 2½ sacks over four career meetings.

For the record, Pierre-Paul has 21 sacks in 33 games, Allen has 105 sacks in eight NFL seasons and Ware has 101½ in seven seasons and one game.

A DEPTH ISSUE

The Vikings have had their starting offensive line set since it became apparent that Geoff Schwartz wouldn't be healed on time to give second-year player Brandon Fusco legitimate competition for the starting spot at right guard, but the depth on the offensive line has to be a bit of a concern for the coaching staff.

Schwartz has played both guard and tackles in 32 career games with the Carolina Panthers, including 19 starts, but this is his first year in the Vikings offense and he missed 20 days of practice after having hernia surgery on Aug. 7.

"He's trying to get back into football shape. He's been working really hard. He's running both our plays and Jacksonville's during the scout team and really trying to get back in terms of a crash course trying to play football," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said.

The Vikings have only eight offensive linemen on the roster. In addition to Schwartz coming back from surgery and waiver claim Mark Alper getting into Minnesota over the weekend, Joe Berger is the only other backup option.

"It's not ideal for the reasons you just mentioned. Geoff missed so much time and this is his first full week of practice with us, but this is where we are right now so we've got to get Geoff ready. We've got to get Joe Berger ready as our backups and make sure if they get into the game they can function and function properly," Frazier said. "This is where we are."

Asper likely won't be active because he would only be in the Vikings' system for eight days after they claimed him off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

"I'm glad that we're not playing today," Musgrave said Thursday.

WINFIELD MISSES PRACTICE

Cornerback Antoine Winfield sat out practice Thursday after being a full participant on Wednesday.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Winfield missed for personal reasons and is expected back at practice Friday.

NOTES

  • LB Marvin Mitchell, S Andrew Sendejo and WR Jarius Wright didn't practice Thursday because of ankle injuries. Frazier wasn't optimistic that any of them would play Sunday.

  • RB Adrian Peterson (knee) and CB Marcus Sherels (ankle) were limited Thursday. S Robert Blanton (hamstring), TE John Carlson (knee), DT Letroy Guion (knee) and Scwhartz were full participants.

  • For the Jaguars, WR Justin Blackmon (ankle) returned to practice in full, as did C Brad Meester and DE Aaron Morgan. DE Austen Lane (foot), DE George Selvie (knee) and LB Daryl Smith (abdomen) didn't participate. CBs Derek Cox and Mike Harris were limited.

  • Josh Robinson and Brandon Burton are both options for playing in the nickel defense. Frazier said he wasn't sure if A.J. Jefferson, acquired in a trade last Friday, would be ready to play in the Vikings' defensive scheme.

  • S Mistral Raymond "looks like he's going to be fine" coming off his back spasms two weeks ago and should be the starting safety, Frazier confirmed.

  • Michael Jenkins is expected to start opposite Percy Harvin, but the Vikings will rotate their available receivers. Jerome Simpson started his three-game suspension this week.


    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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    \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison, who spent 15 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, had a bold statement before Wednesday's kickoff game to the NFL season. Speaking of New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who would be playing in the game Harrison was previewing, Harrison said: \"He's the best pass rusher on the planet.\" Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has something to say about that and included Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware in the conversation. \"More power to him, but my record, my numbers, speak for themselves,\" Allen said. \"I just go out there and try to be the best I can be that day. He's a good player, though. I think DeMarcus Ware might have a leg up on him, though.\" Allen was a half sack shy of breaking the single-season record for NFL sacks, 22.5, and went 11 straight games with a sack to set another Vikings team record last year. He is only the second player in NFL history to have three consecutive seasons with 14 or more sacks (2007-09), and that didn't take into account his 2011 season. Through most of last year, Allen and Ware were right next to each other in the sacks race, but Ware finished with 19.5 and that wasn't even the highest output of his career. In 2008, he had 20 and he has 101.5 over the course of his career, which started in 2005, including two in Wednesday night's game against the Giants – a game in which Pierre-Paul was held to four tackles and no sacks of Cowboys QB Tony Romo (although Pierre-Paul did apply pressure several times). So Ware already has a two-sack lead on the other two players currently in the conversation – Pierre-Paul and Allen – but Allen still has his Week 1 contest to play. That will come Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have held Allen to 2½ sacks over four career meetings. For the record, Pierre-Paul has 21 sacks in 33 games, Allen has 105 sacks in eight NFL seasons and Ware has 101½ in seven seasons and one game. The Vikings have had their starting offensive line set since it became apparent that Geoff Schwartz wouldn't be healed on time to give second-year player Brandon Fusco legitimate competition for the starting spot at right guard, but the depth on the offensive line has to be a bit of a concern for the coaching staff. Schwartz has played both guard and tackles in 32 career games with the Carolina Panthers, including 19 starts, but this is his first year in the Vikings offense and he missed 20 days of practice after having hernia surgery on Aug. 7. \"He's trying to get back into football shape. He's been working really hard. He's running both our plays and Jacksonville's during the scout team and really trying to get back in terms of a crash course trying to play football,\" offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. The Vikings have only eight offensive linemen on the roster. In addition to Schwartz coming back from surgery and waiver claim Mark Alper getting into Minnesota over the weekend, Joe Berger is the only other backup option. \"It's not ideal for the reasons you just mentioned. Geoff missed so much time and this is his first full week of practice with us, but this is where we are right now so we've got to get Geoff ready. We've got to get Joe Berger ready as our backups and make sure if they get into the game they can function and function properly,\" Frazier said. \"This is where we are.\" Asper likely won't be active because he would only be in the Vikings' system for eight days after they claimed him off waivers from the Buffalo Bills. \"I'm glad that we're not playing today,\" Musgrave said Thursday. Cornerback Antoine Winfield sat out practice Thursday after being a full participant on Wednesday. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Winfield missed for personal reasons and is expected back at practice Friday.
  • LB Marvin Mitchell, S Andrew Sendejo and WR Jarius Wright didn't practice Thursday because of ankle injuries. Frazier wasn't optimistic that any of them would play Sunday.
  • RB Adrian Peterson (knee) and CB Marcus Sherels (ankle) were limited Thursday. S Robert Blanton (hamstring), TE John Carlson (knee), DT Letroy Guion (knee) and Scwhartz were full participants.
  • For the Jaguars, WR Justin Blackmon (ankle) returned to practice in full, as did C Brad Meester and DE Aaron Morgan. DE Austen Lane (foot), DE George Selvie (knee) and LB Daryl Smith (abdomen) didn't participate. CBs Derek Cox and Mike Harris were limited.
  • Josh Robinson and Brandon Burton are both options for playing in the nickel defense. Frazier said he wasn't sure if A.J. Jefferson, acquired in a trade last Friday, would be ready to play in the Vikings' defensive scheme.
  • S Mistral Raymond \"looks like he's going to be fine\" coming off his back spasms two weeks ago and should be the starting safety, Frazier confirmed.
  • Michael Jenkins is expected to start opposite Percy Harvin, but the Vikings will rotate their available receivers. Jerome Simpson started his three-game suspension this week.
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