VikingBuzz BLOG: 9/27

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Shiancoe ready for expanded role?

It would appear that tight end Visanthe Shiancoe faces a favorable matchup this Sunday against the Packers.

Despite beating the Chargers last week, San Diego tight end Antonio Gates caught 11 passes for 113 yards as he often matched up with either linebacker A.J. Hawk or nickel-corner Jarrett Bush.

Shiancoe had a more prominent role in the game plan last week compared to the first two games.  It would make sense for that to continue this week, where the 6-4 ½, 250-pound tight end could create mismatches in the passing game.

“He is coming along,” Childress said about Shaincoe.  “There is always those looks designated in the game plan that we are trying to get a look at him, but sometimes the ball has got to go elsewhere.  It’s no secret that tight ends are an important factor whether they are in protection, as they are there and they are here, or whether they are to look down the field in the middle of the field.”

The Packer safeties are largely inexperienced in Atari Bigby (5-11, 211) and Nick Collins (5-11, 200) and present significant size deficiencies with the much taller Shiancoe.

Winfield on Driver not quite that simple?

Cornerback Antoine Winfield wants to shadow Green Bay’s top receiver, Donald Driver, this week.  But according to Childress it isn’t quite that simple.

“It’s really kind of more in-depth than that,” Childress said.  “He going certainly to see Donald Driver by virtue of the fact that he plays his corner position and he also plays in the nickel.  If we do that then that means he has got to follow him off the field when Driver comes off the field, and I don’t necessarily want that to happen.”

I’m not sure why Winfield would have to “follow him off the field when Driver comes off the field,” but it would seem logical to put the Vikings’ best defender on the Packers’ best receiver as often as possible.

You get the sense that Winfield is getting frustrated that opposing teams have been virtually ignoring him so far this season.

Taylor will start again when healthy

Head coach Brad Childress has made it clear that veteran running back Chester Taylor will still start again when he’s fit .  As with Erasmus James on defense, the coaches have made it clear that an existing starter isn’t going to lose his job because of an injury.

Don’t worry, though.  Rookie Adrian Peterson will still get plenty of action.  In fact, in the intense heat against Kansas City last week, Peterson had to take himself out a few times.  It would have been nice to have had Taylor so the coaches could have rotated them in and out more proactively.

But you do get the sense that Childress wants Taylor to prove in practice that he’s 100 percent before he brings him back, especially with a bye week coming up after the Green Bay game, offering an extra week off for anyone coming back from injuries.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Childress told the media on Wednesday.  “Again, he went through some stuff this morning.  You always trust your eyes in terms of watching guys on the practice field.  Then we talk with those guys and see how they feel and have they opened it up and have they let it go all the way.  He plays a wide-open style so we want him to be able to practice that way.  You don’t want it to be on-the-job training on Sunday.”

Childress remains rather evasive about the short-term, but he’s more clear about the long-term balance of roles between Taylor and Peterson.

“Just like we started at the beginning of the year,” he said.  “Chester is the starter and he’ll come back and start.  Just like you saw Adrian get in, it’s not going to be any different than I had originally intended.  But you know the best laid plans sometimes go awry.”

Packers coach shows respect for Jackson

Despite his uneven performance since becoming the starter for the Vikings, Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn’t going to say anything that ends up on the bulletin board at Winter Park as it pertains to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

“I was very impressed with him physically,” McCarthy said.  “I know he played in the nasty game we had here last year in the rain.  I think he is a talented young man and I think he’s a young quarterback that is going through his progression as an NFL starter.  He cannot get enough reps.  He definitely has the ability to make all the throws and seems to be decisive when it’s clean for him as far as in the passing game.  I think he is a young man with a bright future.”

With the bye week coming, it still makes the most sense to rest Jackson one more week to get him fully recovered, although Childress at least continues to be as vague as possible on Jackson for this week.

“I’m going to be able to see when we get out here this afternoon and watch him practice,” Childress said Wednesday.  “I know he has come a long way since last Monday, and we’ll just have to see exactly where he is at when he gets out there with a ball in his hand.  I know he threw some balls here and took a couple of drops here today.”

Pretty non-committal.

Other stories:

>OL is big key to improvement for Vikings
>Winfield getting cranky again?
>Peterson welcomes heavy workload
>Vikings are truly offensive
>Jackson still limited by groin injury
>Theismann hearts Jackson
>Vikings DL out to disrupt Favre
>Vikes hope to force Favre to set different record
>Favre makes Sunday’s game hottest ticket in town
>Ex-Viking OL Whittle on IR with Bills
>Former Viking Goldberg entrenched as starter with Rams

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