Notebook: One of Two Goals Met

The Vikings have two main goals for the preseason and both of them revolve around the passing game. On Friday night, they met one of those two goals. See what the head coach and players had to say about that and other topics after the game.

Vikings coach Brad Childress said earlier this week that he had two main areas he wanted to see improvement in during the preseason: the passing offense and the passing defense. Tally it one out of two after the first preseason game, a 34-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

First, the good news. The Vikings' top two quarterbacks, Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte, were efficient, decisive and played well during their first half of action, and rookie John David Booty was relatively solid for his first time playing in the NFL.

"We wanted to throw the ball around a little bit and I think we did a successful job," said new Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian, who caught two passes for 43 yards.

The Vikings came into their first preseason game looking to establish the pass. Childress let his players know on Thursday night that at least the first 10 plays would be designed as passing plays and he held true to his word. The Vikings didn't run the ball until the second quarter.

"We knew we had a running game already so we wanted to work on the passing game," Berrian said. "We have some new guys here. We needed to see what we can do and what can get in."

The results had to be satisfying for Jackson, whose every throw will come under the critical eyes of coaches, players and fans who are waiting to see how much progress he has made since last season. The results for him: 8 of 11 passing for 118 yards, one touchdown and a 137.7 pass rating.

"He had good eyes in the pocket," Childress said. "He saw where he was supposed to go with the football. I can't remember his three misses. Once again, I thought he delivered (the ball) on time and did a good job with it."

Jackson played three series for the Vikings. The first was cut short by a Visanthe Shiancoe fumble, but Jackson led Minnesota on touchdown drives in each of his next two series. On the second drive, he connected on passes of 24 and 19 yards to his new No. 1 receiver, Berrian.

"I just felt real comfortable," Jackson said. "I was seeing things clear. It is the preseason, so we weren't doing a lot, but I still felt real comfortable out there. I felt like I was on the same page as everyone."

POROUS AGAINST THE PASS

The bad news: If the Vikings were looking to find out how improved their pass defense would be compared to the 2007 season, they wouldn't like the results of how Seattle moved up and down the field on both the first- and second-team Minnesota defenses.

"We didn't do all of the little things right," defensive end Jared Allen said. "We'll watch the film, we'll grow from it and we'll make the corrections. It's the little things, and we'll work on those this weekend. You'll see a much prouder defense come out next week."

The Seahawks passing offense was a good measure for Minnesota's revamped defense, even if the first-team offense didn't stay in the game long. Seattle, led by Matt Hasselbeck, had the eighth-ranked passing offense in the game last season with 247.8 net passing yards per game.

On Friday, the Seahawks' three quarterbacks combined for 257 yards passing and four touchdowns. Several Minnesota defenders pointed out how quickly the Seahawks got rid of the ball, not giving the pass rush time to apply pressure.

"We see the quick game a good bit," said Childress. "It's a staple of the West Coast offense. Mike (Holmgren) has done that for years. I don't think people are going to stand there and nurse (the ball). As a quarterback, nothing good happens when you hold onto the football in this league."

Whether it was Hasselbeck or backup Seneca Wallace, the Seahawks' top two quarterbacks seemed to have little difficulty finding openings in the Vikings back seven.

It started early with Hasselbeck, who completed four of his first five passes against mostly the Vikings' starters, sans Pat Williams and safety Madieu Williams. But even without top receiver Deion Branch, Hasselbeck was able to find Bobby Engram twice and Nate Burleson once on the opening drive before throwing an 18-yard strike to Jordan Kent.

The second series was nearly as effective for Hasselbeck, who went 3-for-3 in leading the Seahawks to a field goal before he exited with 7:14 still left in the first quarter.

After Hasselbeck, Wallace didn't just continue the ease of passing, he did even better than Hasselbeck, completing 15 of 20 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns against the Vikings' second-team defense.

"It is hard to play a perfect game," Wallace said. "There is always room for improvement."

TURNOVER POOR

The Seahawks in 2007 were also where the Vikings might aspire to be in turnover ratio, as Seattle finished the season at plus-10, fifth in the league. The Vikings were plus-1, 13th in the league.

The Vikings took an early preseason deficit, losing the ball five times (four fumbles and one interception).

"Guys who handle the football, we talk about it all the time – treat it like a sack of gold. We didn't do very good with that," Childress said.

NO USC CODE

While Booty had a solid first showing, he suffered the indignity of being sacked by a former USC teammate, Seahawks defensive end Lawrence Jackson, who caused a fumble on the play.

"I came out here and did what I had to do," Jackson said. "We kind of joked about it before the game. (Booty said), ‘If you get me, try to take it easy on me.' You know, some things are bigger than friendship."

GAME STAR

Former Vikings defensive tackle Howard Green, who never made it to the regular season with the Vikings, shined in the first preseason game of 2008 for the Seahawks. Green had two sacks and an improbable interception off a deflected Booty pass at the end of the game.

"It was good to get out there and contribute to the team and help out the best I can, be a dominate factor," said Green, who kept the ball he intercepted, the first of his career.

NEXT UP

The Baltimore Ravens have already announced that QB Troy Smith will be the starter for next Saturday night's game against the Vikings. Kyle Boller got the start for the Ravens in a victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday night and completed 11 of 15 passes. Smith completed only 5 of 12 passes, but the Ravens are trying to find their starter for the regular season among Boller, Smith and rookie Joe Flacco. Flacco went 0-for-3, fumbled a snap and was sacked twice.

NOTES

  • Charles Gordon was the cornerback off the bench for the nickel defense. The other leading candidate for a that position is Marcus McCauley, who was held out of Friday's game with a knee injury. Like last year, LB Ben Leber came out when the Vikings went into the nickel defense.

  • With Madieu Williams suffering neck spasms, rookie Tyrell Johnson made the start at safety opposite Darren Sharper.

  • The game featured a number of familiar players:

    Seahawks WR Nate Burleson was a third-round pick of the Vikings in 2003 and played three years in Minnesota. He had two catches for 20 yards.

    Safety Brian Russell also played three seasons with the Vikings (2002-04). He had one tackle for the Seahawks.

    Former Vikings WR Joel Filani was among 15 Seahawks to catch at least one pass. He had three catches for 17 yards.



  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n","mobileBody":"Vikings coach Brad Childress said earlier this week that he had two main areas he wanted to see improvement in during the preseason: the passing offense and the passing defense. Tally it one out of two after the first preseason game, a 34-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

    First, the good news. The Vikings' top two quarterbacks, Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte, were efficient, decisive and played well during their first half of action, and rookie John David Booty was relatively solid for his first time playing in the NFL.

    \"We wanted to throw the ball around a little bit and I think we did a successful job,\" said new Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian, who caught two passes for 43 yards.

    The Vikings came into their first preseason game looking to establish the pass. Childress let his players know on Thursday night that at least the first 10 plays would be designed as passing plays and he held true to his word. The Vikings didn't run the ball until the second quarter.

    \"We knew we had a running game already so we wanted to work on the passing game,\" Berrian said. \"We have some new guys here. We needed to see what we can do and what can get in.\"

    The results had to be satisfying for Jackson, whose every throw will come under the critical eyes of coaches, players and fans who are waiting to see how much progress he has made since last season. The results for him: 8 of 11 passing for 118 yards, one touchdown and a 137.7 pass rating.

    \"He had good eyes in the pocket,\" Childress said. \"He saw where he was supposed to go with the football. I can't remember his three misses. Once again, I thought he delivered (the ball) on time and did a good job with it.\"

    Jackson played three series for the Vikings. The first was cut short by a Visanthe Shiancoe fumble, but Jackson led Minnesota on touchdown drives in each of his next two series. On the second drive, he connected on passes of 24 and 19 yards to his new No. 1 receiver, Berrian.

    \"I just felt real comfortable,\" Jackson said. \"I was seeing things clear. It is the preseason, so we weren't doing a lot, but I still felt real comfortable out there. I felt like I was on the same page as everyone.\"

    POROUS AGAINST THE PASS

    The bad news: If the Vikings were looking to find out how improved their pass defense would be compared to the 2007 season, they wouldn't like the results of how Seattle moved up and down the field on both the first- and second-team Minnesota defenses.

    \"We didn't do all of the little things right,\" defensive end Jared Allen said. \"We'll watch the film, we'll grow from it and we'll make the corrections. It's the little things, and we'll work on those this weekend. You'll see a much prouder defense come out next week.\"

    The Seahawks passing offense was a good measure for Minnesota's revamped defense, even if the first-team offense didn't stay in the game long. Seattle, led by Matt Hasselbeck, had the eighth-ranked passing offense in the game last season with 247.8 net passing yards per game.

    On Friday, the Seahawks' three quarterbacks combined for 257 yards passing and four touchdowns. Several Minnesota defenders pointed out how quickly the Seahawks got rid of the ball, not giving the pass rush time to apply pressure.

    \"We see the quick game a good bit,\" said Childress. \"It's a staple of the West Coast offense. Mike (Holmgren) has done that for years. I don't think people are going to stand there and nurse (the ball). As a quarterback, nothing good happens when you hold onto the football in this league.\"

    Whether it was Hasselbeck or backup Seneca Wallace, the Seahawks' top two quarterbacks seemed to have little difficulty finding openings in the Vikings back seven.

    It started early with Hasselbeck, who completed four of his first five passes against mostly the Vikings' starters, sans Pat Williams and safety Madieu Williams. But even without top receiver Deion Branch, Hasselbeck was able to find Bobby Engram twice and Nate Burleson once on the opening drive before throwing an 18-yard strike to Jordan Kent.

    The second series was nearly as effective for Hasselbeck, who went 3-for-3 in leading the Seahawks to a field goal before he exited with 7:14 still left in the first quarter.

    After Hasselbeck, Wallace didn't just continue the ease of passing, he did even better than Hasselbeck, completing 15 of 20 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns against the Vikings' second-team defense.

    \"It is hard to play a perfect game,\" Wallace said. \"There is always room for improvement.\"

    TURNOVER POOR

    The Seahawks in 2007 were also where the Vikings might aspire to be in turnover ratio, as Seattle finished the season at plus-10, fifth in the league. The Vikings were plus-1, 13th in the league.

    The Vikings took an early preseason deficit, losing the ball five times (four fumbles and one interception).

    \"Guys who handle the football, we talk about it all the time – treat it like a sack of gold. We didn't do very good with that,\" Childress said.

    NO USC CODE

    While Booty had a solid first showing, he suffered the indignity of being sacked by a former USC teammate, Seahawks defensive end Lawrence Jackson, who caused a fumble on the play.

    \"I came out here and did what I had to do,\" Jackson said. \"We kind of joked about it before the game. (Booty said), ‘If you get me, try to take it easy on me.' You know, some things are bigger than friendship.\"

    GAME STAR

    Former Vikings defensive tackle Howard Green, who never made it to the regular season with the Vikings, shined in the first preseason game of 2008 for the Seahawks. Green had two sacks and an improbable interception off a deflected Booty pass at the end of the game.

    \"It was good to get out there and contribute to the team and help out the best I can, be a dominate factor,\" said Green, who kept the ball he intercepted, the first of his career.

    NEXT UP

    The Baltimore Ravens have already announced that QB Troy Smith will be the starter for next Saturday night's game against the Vikings. Kyle Boller got the start for the Ravens in a victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday night and completed 11 of 15 passes. Smith completed only 5 of 12 passes, but the Ravens are trying to find their starter for the regular season among Boller, Smith and rookie Joe Flacco. Flacco went 0-for-3, fumbled a snap and was sacked twice.

    NOTES

  • Charles Gordon was the cornerback off the bench for the nickel defense. The other leading candidate for a that position is Marcus McCauley, who was held out of Friday's game with a knee injury. Like last year, LB Ben Leber came out when the Vikings went into the nickel defense.

  • With Madieu Williams suffering neck spasms, rookie Tyrell Johnson made the start at safety opposite Darren Sharper.

  • The game featured a number of familiar players:

    Seahawks WR Nate Burleson was a third-round pick of the Vikings in 2003 and played three years in Minnesota. He had two catches for 20 yards.

    Safety Brian Russell also played three seasons with the Vikings (2002-04). He had one tackle for the Seahawks.

    Former Vikings WR Joel Filani was among 15 Seahawks to catch at least one pass. He had three catches for 17 yards.


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