Offense a 'Work In Progress'

Through three games, the Vikings offense has scored as many touchdowns as its defense and special teams. But coach Brad Childress said fans shouldn't be overly concerned, saying the team is making baby-step improvements each week and that some of the current problems will correct themselves as the team gets more comfortable with the system.

While many fans would have been more than willing to accept a 2-1 record through three games of the 2006 season, there has been growing frustration that the Vikings offense isn't clicking the way it should.

After Sunday's loss, several offensive players expressed their concerns about critical penalties and minus-yardage plays in the red zone, but Brad Childress said Wednesday that the Vikings offense is a work in progress and will improve.

"It's coming (along), Childress said. "Whether it be within the offensive line or a route run, or a landmark, all those things are very close. But you've got to keep pushing, you've got to keep pushing. There's always some new eventuality it seems like every week. As I go back, I'm looking, I know Mike Holmgren's playing the Bears next week and I know he's looking at this West Coast package. I kind of let myself go a little bit and say, 'What's he seeing?' I got a call from Andy Reid (Tuesday). We happened to go through and look at the football team. It feels a lot like it did the first year in Philadelphia. It's not rote. There is a new experience every week, but we're getting there. We're getting there. It's a work in progress."

Perhaps the chance to get a defense that isn't at the level of the Redskins, Panthers or Bears will serve as its own cure for the Vikings' offensive blues.

* When asked about his own tumultuous relationship with Terrell Owens during both of their tenures with the Eagles, Childress sidestepped the question, saying he knew nothing about the specifics of the reported suicide attempt and wouldn't discuss it.
* The Vikings had three players listed on their initial Week 4 injury report – Ben Leber as questionable with a knee injury, Pat Williams questionable with an ankle sprain and Tarvaris Jackson out following meniscus surgery. Williams hasn't missed any practice and is expected to play.
* With Leber ailing, it was initially assumed that backup Jason Glenn would be the logical replacement, but, citing position flexibility, at Wednesday's practice Dontarrious Thomas was taking most of the first-team reps at strongside linebacker.
* Both the Vikings and Raiders could be subject to having to change the date or sites of games in October as both teams share stadiums with the Twins and A's – both of whom have already qualified for the American League baseball playoffs.

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