Scrimmage One: Mixed Personnel, Mixed Results

The Vikings held out quite a few of their starters and injured players Friday night, resulting in a mixed bag of production and mistakes on offense. See what QB Tarvaris Jackson and head coach Brad Childress had to say, along with 20 notes from the sidelines of the Vikings' first scrimmage with Kansas City.

Adrian Peterson was among the many starters that were held out of Friday night's scrimmage against the Kansas City Chiefs in Mankato, and it might be a good thing for the Minnesota Vikings' offensive confidence that he might be returning to action Saturday night in River Falls, Wis., the training-camp home of the Chiefs.

Peterson suffered a hip pointer in Thursday morning's practice and was held out of the afternoon practice and Friday's first scrimmage, but that didn't stop him from yielding to fans and signing numerous autographs. During that time, he said there was some pain in the hip, but he's "just sore, just getting the muscles loose."

Second-year quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was also getting his muscles loose, but it appeared he used his legs almost as much as his right arm during the live portions of Friday's workout against the Chiefs.

Without Peterson, Chester Taylor and Troy Williamson in pads, Jackson at times struggled to find an open receiver and ended up scrambling for positive yardage several times.

"I just didn't want to hold the ball too long in the pocket because guys were coming," he said. "There are times they were playing certain defenses that it was on me to make a play."

Although there wasn't regular tackling to the ground, Jackson was scrambling early in the full-team portion. He connected on a short pass to fullback Tony Richardson, then scrambled on his second play. He found tight end Jim Kleinsasser on the next play, but it looked like a miscommunication with wide receiver Martin Nance brought down the Vikings' first offensive forge.

"They took care of the football and that's always key," Childress said.

All but quarterback Drew Henson anyway, who received a ribbing from Vikings fans when he threw two straight interceptions. He had previously fumbled the first snap he took.

Second-string quarterback Brooks Bollinger looked better early, hitting WR Bobby Wade, taking off for a sizable gain on a scramble, and then connecting with WRs Sidney Rice and Chandler Williams on consecutive passes.

During another full-team session for the offense, Jackson started a series with another scramble, then was sacked before finding Wade on about a 10-yard gain along the right sideline.

"I'm learning from my mistakes now instead of watching and learning (from others)," Jackson said. "I want to execute the offense the way (Brad Childress) wants it executed. We're going to keep it very vanilla.

"Just to come out here and read the coverages like it's going to be in the game, it's a lot different and it helps a lot."

It didn't start well for Jackson, who had a miscommunication with running back Mewelde Moore on the first snap of 9-on-7 work when the quarterback and running back ran into each other. On the next play, Moore went to bounce a run off right tackle and was blown back 5 yards by Kansas City safety Greg Wesley.

Moore ended up rebounding and found a few creases later in the passing game.

While the running game didn't start well early with no Peterson and no Taylor, it actually picked up when the second-team offense faced the Chiefs' second-team defense and Artose Pinner and Ciatrick Fason started to find some holes for rushes of about 5 yards.

The anticipated return of Peterson could add a whole new dimension.

"I'd like to see Peterson go tomorrow," Childress said. "He ran out here and we'll see how he gets up in the morning."


  • Besides Peterson, Taylor and Williamson, the Vikings held out a number of other veterans, including DE Erasmus James, WR Billy McMullen, CB Ronyell Whitaker, LB Ben Leber, and WR Aundrae Allison with injuries. Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and Antoine Winfield were also held out of full-team action.

    "They don't need a ton of this stuff, they just need to go when we ask them to go," Childress said of sitting the veterans who could have played.

    Williamson had an infection and had some antibiotics taken through IV. He might play Saturday, Childress said.

    WR Chandler Williams suffered a concussion and DE Khreem Smith was "hobbling around a little bit," Childress said. OL Dan Mozes was taken off the field on a cart with a knee injury.

  • Proceeds from Friday night's tickets will be donated to the recovery efforts following the collapse of the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi River. Tickets cost $10 apiece and one eyeball estimate had the crowd at about 6,500 people, with a little more than one-third of them Chiefs fans. A moment of silence was observed for the victims and their families before the full-team live workouts.

  • HBO had a film crew with extra access putting the Chiefs on tape for its "Hard Knocks" show.

  • Bobby Wade and Mewelde Moore fielded punts from the Chiefs' Dustin Colquitt. Moore dropped one that he quickly recovered. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe had two punts of 60 yards and one that went 65 yards. All of his half-dozen or so punts were hit well. Alex Reyes' first punt was a shank to the right.

  • Mike Doss and Tank Williams lined up as the starting safeties for a live portion, most likely as part of an injury prevention program for usual starting safeties Darren Sharper and Dwight Smith.

  • During at least one session, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was calling in plays through his headset.

  • Fullback Naufahu Tahi and Pinner had long runs on back-to-back plays during the 9-on-7 portion. Fason later ripped off another big run and so did Tahi.

  • Before his concussion, WR Chandler Williams had a nice diving catch on a Jackson pass during individual drills.

  • Wide receiver Justin Surrency had a diving catch on a deep ball.

  • Of the undrafted rookie offensive linemen, Chase Johnson and Dan Mozes (before he was hurt) looked good on several one-on-one battles against second-team defensive linemen from the Chiefs.

  • CB Charles Gordon had an interception off of Kansas City QB Damon Huard.

  • Linebacker John Kerr had an interception on a pass he tipped and turned around to locate.

  • DE Khreem Smith and Chiefs OT Ramiro Pruneda got into a scuffle before Herm Edwards broke it up.

  • G Steve Hutchinson had a great blitz pickup on one play where he chipped the blitzer off course and then engaged his defensive linemen. That allowed Bollinger time to connect with Wade.

  • With a mix of starters and second-teamers on the Vikings defense, Chiefs starting QB Brodie Croyle looked sharp most of his session.

    "You're looking for guys to play the details of our defense. We make a defensive call and we're looking for precise technique, decisions, being true to their reads and so we get a lot out of it," Childress said. "Each of them has a responsibility."

  • CB Marcus McCauley made another good play on the ball and deflected a Huard pass away from Chiefs rookie WR Maurice Price.

  • S Greg Blue ended one session with a big sideline hit on Chiefs RB Derrick Ross, followed by a chorus of "Blue" from Vikings fans in the stands.

  • TE Stephen Spach had a couple of nice plays, catching a mid-range pass from Bollinger while the QB was rolling out and later drawing pass interference on a Chiefs defender.

  • Rookie LB Rufus Alexander had a strong hit on a Chiefs running back after penetrating through the traffic at the line of scrimmage.

  • Saturday's scrimmage in River Falls is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

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