Vikings coach Brad Childress addressed a host of topics in formal and informal interviews Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Vikings coach Brad Childress isn't backing down from his statements about a quarterback being one of the positions on his radar to upgrade the roster.
Childress said he will have Tarvaris Jackson
and Brooks Bollinger
competing for the starting position, but he said Jackson has been told there will be competition for the starting job.
"He's game," said Childress, who met with Jackson at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. "One thing about those guys, they compete for a living."
Childress said he has not named a starter and didn't think the Vikings would be interested in a veteran to add to the stable, as he considers Bollinger a veteran in the league and of the system.
Should Notre Dame
quarterback Brady Quinn
drop to the Vikings with the seventh pick in the draft, he would be a consideration, Childress said.
"It's more about the talent that's available," he said.
Childress indicated it is just a matter of timing with Brad Johnson
's release from team, but he said at the end of the year that he'd welcome Johnson back in a mentor role if the veteran quarterback wanted to return in that capacity. Johnson said at the end of the season that he wanted a chance to compete for a starting spot.
Childress said he would talk to Brady Quinn this week at the Combine.
"That position has gotta be a rock solid position, the quarterback position," Childress said.
Childress said improving the pass defense was a combination of factors. "You always want to get better in coverage and in the rush," he said, adding that he doesn't pin all the problems on the defensive backfield.
Chad Greenway will be ready for organized team activities this spring after recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in the preseason.
The news was not as good for defensive end Erasmus James, who had a "follow-up procedure" with surgeon Richard Steadman in Colorado. Childress doesn't expect James to be ready for minicamps but thought he'd be ready in some capacity in training camp.
Childress said he doubted there would be a rash of poison pills floating around this year, saying that the reaction last year to the Vikings' poison pill in their offer to Steve Hutchinson created a negative reaction around the league.
If the Vikings don't re-sign Napoleon Harris, E.J. Henderson would likely move to the middle linebacker spot, but Childress said Dontarrious Thomas was a potential candidate to help the linebacker corps.
The Vikings have at least 60 interviews scheduled with players at the Combine and talked to about 90 players at the Senior Bowl.
Childress has a plan for improving Troy Williamson this offseason, but he declined to divulge that plan for at least a few more weeks.
Dwight Smith is set as a starter for the Vikings despite their re-signing Tank Williams.
Regarding Fred Smoot's future with the team, Childress said they talked recently, but he wouldn't outline Smoot's future with the team. "I don't have a crystal ball. I'm not going to paint it either way," Childress said.