From the moment the Vikings drafted Tarvaris Jackson, the feeling was that he would be the third string quarterback in 2006. That sentiment may be changing.
Over the past couple of practices, Jackson has been spending more time working with the second-unit offense – not an uncommon practice for the third-string QB, but a potential change in philosophy for the Vikings. Jackson has taken to the West Coast Offense and its complex terminology faster than many thought he would, causing rise to speculation that he could unseat Mike McMahon as the No. 2 QB.
For his part, head coach Brad Childress did nothing to dispel that notion, saying Jackson has been strong in camp, giving the following assessment of his progress.
"I would say above average," said Childress when asked about the quality of Jackson's training camp experience. "I was asked the other day about the volume, and that's the thing that probably he's done the best with. A lot of times when you're thinking, it doesn't let your God-given athletic skills come out. I haven't seen that. I haven't seen him slow down in what he can do physically because he's strapped with what we're asking him to do mentally."
Childress won't announce until Sunday what his playing-time plans are for his players, both starters and reserves, for Monday's preseason opener with Oakland.
* Center Jason Whittle left Thursday's morning practice after experiencing a rapid heartbeat. The incident wasn't viewed as being serious.
* There has been something of a stir concerning the Vikings policy of still and video photographers filming players who are injured during practice. Childress has implemented a policy that forbids injured players from being filmed. As it turns out, one local Twin Cities TV station had footage of Tank Williams at the time he was injured and aired the footage, while another station violated the protocol by filming Williams after he was down on the ground in pain and ran that footage.
* For the second time this week, Childress cut a practice session short to give players some additional rest.
* Billy McMullen has increased his chance of making the team, since the team has already released Dez White and frontrunners Koren Robinson and Marcus Robinson have both been sidelined with injuries.
* Darren Sharper has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and he is a question mark for Monday's game.
* CB Charles Gordon was on the sidelines Thursday after having arthroscopic surgery earlier in the week. He expects to be back in action in about two weeks.
* Ryan Longwell has been nine-for-nine kicking field goals in live action at training camp this week.
* Former Viking Daunte Culpepper has defied medical logic by being named the starter in the Dolphins preseason opener.
* The Vikings kickoff gala will be held Sept. 5. Tickets are $100 each and are available by calling 612-33-VIKES.
Who's No. 2?
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