VikingBuzz BLOG: 9/7

The VikingBuzz BLOG is your daily source for the latest news, information, commentary and analysis on the Minnesota Vikings

Childress keeping opponents guessing

As the Vikings enter their regular-season opener against the Falcons on Sunday, coach Brad Childress is doing everything he can to keep as many things under wraps as possible.

We (the media) hate that any “meaty” portions of Vikings practices are closed, but it is clear that Childress & Co. work on new looks and strategies during such sessions.

Childress is also keeping as many other cards as possible close to the vest for the regular-season opener.  He only gets one chance to “launch” his real-season personnel and strategy, and he’s doing everything he can to save it for the Atlanta Falcons.

One can speculate on what to expect, but wherever possible, Childress has been careful not to commit.

Who will be his No. 2 quarterback, behind Tarvaris JacksonBrooks Bollinger or Kelly Holcomb?  In the long run, it will be Holcomb, but this week it could be Bollinger still.

What role will Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor have on offense?  Who will start?  Who will get the bulk of the carries?  Will they both play together?  Childress has a specific plan here but it is wait-and-see for fans and the Falcons.

Troy Williamson and Bobby Wade are listed as the starters at wide receiver, but how significant will be their role in the game plan?  And what about Sidney Rice, Robert Ferguson and Aundrae Allision?

There are six roster spots occupied by fullbacks/tight ends.  What role will players at those positions play?  Who will be up (active) and who won’t?

Who will start at right tackle and right guard?  It appears Ryan Cook will get the call at right tackle, but it remains unclear if it will be Artis Hicks or Anthony Herrera at right guard.  At this point, the Falcons have to game plan for both.

On defense, who will be involved in the defensive line rotation on Week One?  Pat Williams and Kevin Williams will get most of the snaps inside, but will someone else like Fred Evans actually have some meaningful reps there too?  Kenechi Udeze and Ray Edwards will start at defensive end, but how much of a role will rookie Brian Robison, Darrion Scott, Erasmus James or Jayme Mitchell have, if any?

Given the wide-open, spread offense the Falcons often deploy, will strong-side linebacker Ben Leber even see much action, or will the role of No. 3 cornerback Marcus McCauley be more critical?

In general, how different will the defense be under new defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier?  Will they blitz more?  What other surprises does he have in mind?

On special teams, who in the heck is going to make for an improved kick coverage unit?  Who will returns kickoffs?  Allison?  Bobby Wade?  Mewelde Moore?  How about punts?  Moore?  Wade?  Charles Gordon?

Injuries will dictate who is inactive in some cases, but what about others?  Who else will sit?

There are always a few questions like these heading into any game each week, but Week One offers a little more intrigue than usual.

Owens works out for Seahawks

Former Vikings tight end Richard Owens worked out for the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.  Owens originally made the Vikings team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Louisville in 2004 and spent three full seasons with Minnesota, including playing in every game the past two years.  Owens was released on the final roster cutdown last week.

Interest in recent ex-Vikings telling

It really is telling the amount of interest former Vikings players have generated by other teams in the league; especially compared with recent history when being cut by the Vikings usually meant the end of the line.

Since being released by the Vikings, the following players have drawn interest elsewhere:  QB Tyler Thigpen (Chiefs roster), RB Artose Pinner (Falcons roster), LB David Herron (Patriots roster), CB Dovonte Edwards (Giants roster), DE Khreem Smith (Chiefs practice squad), WR Jason Carter (Panthers practice squad), WR Chandler Williams (Dolphins practice squad), C Kyle Cook (Bengals practice squad), C Norm Katnik (tryout with Broncos) and Owens (tryout with Seahawks).

The Vikings essentially had 57 NFL players in training camp with them this summer and a total of 10 players who have drawn interest from another team since being release by Minnesota.

That says a lot about the overall improvement in the level of competition the Vikings brought with them to Mankato this summer and the improved depth they’ve built up recently.

Other stories:

>Vikings:  A two-headed monster?
>Peterson and OL more comfortable together
>Frazier hoping running game can give defense a rest
>Williams chooses to stay
>Williams happy with his new deal
>Williams at home with Vikings
>Kleinsasser quietly goes about his role
>Season Preview:  Part 3
>Childress ready for the challenge
>Who says it’s all downhill for the Purple?
>Extension for ticket sales extended
>Vikings hope to sell out by Friday afternoon
>Packers admire what Vikings have done with interior DL
>Mid-October to mid-November key to schedule
>Another 6-10 season predicted for Vikings
>Stadium issue on back burner?
>Staying power surprises Vikings’ golden oldies
>McKinnie checks in at No. 89 overall
>Breaking down the Lions’ division opponents

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