Notebook: Wade's World

First-year Viking Bobby Wade showed what veteran savvy can do as he led the team with five catches for 85 yards, another steady performance from the team's most consistent receiver. Plus, get updates on several key battles (including the quarterback position) and three Vikings making their first appearances of the season, along with other notes from Saturday night.

The slot receiver is the closest receiver to the quarterback, and Bobby Wade might have shown a portent to the near future with his connections from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

Jackson looked for Wade often Saturday night in a 30-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and Wade responded with an extremely solid outing in just over one half of work. The fifth-year receiver out of Arizona showed exactly what he has all offseason – not blazing speed, not an overpowering body, but just a knack for finding the open spaces and enough wiggle to exploit a bad angle or missed initial tackle.

Wade ended the night with five receptions – more than half of Jackson's completions – for 85 yards. The receiver got involved with the offense on the third drive and caught a pass on the fourth drive as well, but it was on the team's fifth drive of the night that Wade really made his mark. On the first play of the drive, he caught a 35-yard pass from Jackson and, one play later, took a handoff from Jackson, sold the run and then lofted a pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe in the back of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown.

It was a savvy, veteran move that produced the Vikings' only touchdown of the night.

Wade is easily the team's leading receiver this preseason, catching nine passes for 120 yards.

He left the game early in the third quarter with what looked to be a minor ankle injury.


Quarterback Brooks Bollinger was supposed to be in a battle for the starting quarterback job, but it appears that he could be in a battle for the No. 2 spot. Bollinger has looked shaky this preseason, completing 12 of 21 passes for 102 yards.

However, Bollinger has also taken four of the team's six sacks this preseason and threw two interceptions on Saturday night. The second one might have been excused because it was a desperation pass into the end zone on fourth down on the Vikings' final drive of the night, but the first one came on a sideline pass on Bollinger's second drive of the night. That one was easily picked off and returned for a 39-yard touchdown.

According to a source close to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings have already offered a seventh-round draft pick in trade for quarterback Kelly Holcomb, but the Eagles are hoping for a fifth-round pick in exchange for the veteran signal-caller.

Even if the Vikings do acquire a veteran quarterback before the start of the season, it seems unlikely they'd outright release Bollinger until that veteran had a chance to get acclimated to Minnesota's offensive schemes.


The special teams gaffes were chronicled in another notebook on this site, but the Vikings also struggled with presnap penalties on offense.

Right tackle Ryan Cook was flagged for false starts on consecutive drives. He has had the upper hand over Marcus Johnson in their battle for the starting position, but you might remember that Johnson lost his starting job after struggling with false starts. Cook's early motions were the only Vikings penalties of the first half, but the second half didn't start well either.

Shiancoe was guilty of a false start on the team's first drive of the second half on a play that looked like it would yield a converted third down, one they ultimately didn't pick up when the penalty forced a third-and-9 reset.

On the next drive, with the second-team offense in, the Vikings finished off their penalties for the night with back-to-back infractions – offensive pass interference from Sidney Rice on a pick and a holding call on backup left tackle Chase Johnson.


The Vikings special teams coverage was downright dreadful, and the statistics bear it out.

The Seahawks had two punt returns for 70 yards – a 53-yarder by former Viking Nate Burleson and a 17-yarder by Ben Obomanu, who didn't look nearly as good on a 13-yard kickoff return. However, rookie cornerback Josh Wilson looked the part on kickoff returns, gaining 93 yards on three returns with a long of 38 yards.

Conversely, the Vikings were average on kickoff returns, with rookie Aundrae Allison averaging 23.7 yards on three returns and rookie Chandler Williams averaging 22 yards on two returns. Charles Gordon gained two yards on his only punt return attempt of the night.

The Seahawks started in Minnesota territory following two punts, a shank by Chris Kluwe and a long return by Wilson.


Anthony Herrera started the game at right guard for the Vikings, but he and Artis Hicks both saw playing time with the first team.

Hicks played in the two series surrounding halftime and contributed to at least one good play. On the Vikings' first possession of the second half, Hicks pulled from right guard and made a nice seal block on the left edge to spring Adrian Peterson for a 10-yard run.

Herrera had at least one miscue, missing a block on rookie defensive end Baraka Atkins after he ran a stunt. The result was a fourth-quarter sack for Atkins, the only one of the game for either team.


The Vikings had several new players and one returning player making their first appearances in Purple or their first of the season.

Recently signed defensive tackle Fred Evans, returning from his legal troubles in Florida, played in the fourth quarter and made a difference on at least one play. On the Seahawks' next-to-last possession of the game, Evans went to wrap up fullback Leonard Weaver and got his hand on the point of the football to cause a fumble that defensive end Jayme Mitchell recovered.

Wide receiver Robert Ferguson, signed last week, got involved early. Late in the first quarter, on the team's longest drive to that point, Jackson drove the team deep into Seahawks territory and looked Ferguson's way on second-and-15. That pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage and fell incomplete. But on the team's last possession of the first half, Ferguson registered his first catch in Purple, an 11-yard pass play on a slant route. It was his only catch of the day.

Defensive end Erasmus James, getting his first action since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in Week 2 last season, didn't start but was playing already with the first-team defense in the first half. James was in the game a decent amount at right end, but he didn't register any defensive statistics as the Vikings went the entire game without a sack despite the Seahawks missing Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones.


Safety Mike Doss led the Vikings' inactives Saturday night in Seattle. Doss was held out with a calf strain, TE Richard Owens with knee and ankle injuries, CB Mike Hawkins with a rib injury and LB Vinny Ciurciu with a hand injury.

Quarterbacks Tyler Thigpen and Drew Henson also didn't play, and neither did guard Josh Day nor defensive tackle Conrad Bolston.

The Seahawks' inactives: OLT Walter Jones, LB Julian Peterson, WR Courtney Taylor, TE Leonard Stephens, QB Erik Meyer, CB Jordan Babineaux.

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