Young QBs Making Their Strides

Tarvaris Jackson was very successful in his first preseason action of 2008 and John David Booty experienced the ups and downs commonly associated with rookie quarterbacks. See what each of them had to say about their first action of the preseason.

Tarvaris Jackson had only two games as a starter in which he surpassed the 100 passer rating in his young career, but Friday night's preseason opener – which doesn't officially count on his career stats – was the second-best rating he's had.

Jackson completed 8 of 11 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in three series against the Seattle Seahawks for a 137.7 rating. He said familiarity is starting to breed success.

"It's just me being more comfortable. Those guys are great additions. I've got a lot more games under my belt. We've got a lot more time together as a team and I just felt a lot more comfortable (Friday)," Jackson said.

The Vikings came out with a resolve to throw the ball – and throw often – to start the game. They knew what their running game, ranked No. 1 in the league last year, could do, but maximizing Jackson's exposure to the passing game, even if it was a preseason contest, was one of the goals for the opener.

"We stayed very vanilla," Jackson said. "There wasn't too much we did. We just tried to have different launching points of the football from the pocket, 5 yards or 7 yards deep. We just wanted to use the running game to our advantage with the different nakeds (naked bootlegs) and stuff like that."

Jackson was effective in nearly phase of the passing game, connecting with six different receivers – WR Bernard Berrian twice, WR Bobby Wade twice, TE Jim Kleinsasser, TE Visanthe Shiancoe, FB Thomas Tapeh and WR Sidney Rice. While Jackson's first drive was ended prematurely when Shiancoe fumbled after a catch, the quarterback returned to lead the Vikings on consecutive touchdown drives against the Seahawks' first-team defense.

"Besides the turnovers, we did a pretty good job. We just have to take better care of the football," Jackson said.

But the Vikings were determined to find out about their passing game. The first 11 offensive plays were passes, something the players found out about on Thursday night.

"I was shocked. (Offensive coordinator Darrell) Bevell, at first before he showed it, he said, ‘I'm going to go all pass for the first 15.' I was like, yeah right. … That was a bone," Jackson said.

The quarterback said his success was another confidence builder and showed that, if needed, he could be successful throwing the ball early and often in the regular season.

"Yeah, even though this is the preseason, like coach says, it's still a confidence booster. You want to go out and compete every time you're on the field," he said. "We still have some work. We weren't executing every time and we want to be more consistent taking care of the football."

Jackson said all the speculation about Brett Favre wanting to come to Minnesota didn't impede his progress during training camp.

"I never really thought about that; I was just trying to get better. I know Coach Childress always says the quarterbacks are already under the microscope anyway, nitpicking with everything we do, so I just wanted to go out and perform well (Friday) anyway, regardless of what else has been going on."

The Vikings also got a solid performance from fifth-round draft John David Booty, who got most of the second-half duties. Gus Frerotte finished the first half, going 4-for-7 for 60 yards, and Brooks Bollinger had two quick series to open the second half, each of them cut short by fumbles.

Booty completed 9 of 18 passes for 82 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

"I had a lot of fun, I know that much. Obviously, I didn't do everything right and I didn't expect myself to do all that. It's a learning experience. I've been in the league two weeks now and that was the first test," Booty said. "For me, I was just so eager and excited to get out there and finally be an NFL team. Running out of the tunnel and early on in the game, even though I wasn't back there, it really gave me the feeling for how it is on game day."

Booty looked comfortable sliding around in the pocket and finding receivers, but he seemed focused on finding and correcting his faults after the game.

"I had a couple of screen throws that I thought were a little difficult to get around," he said. "It's just playing at a different speed than the college game, so just figuring that out and the touch and the angles I want to put the ball on those guys and allow them to just make plays – not behind them or too high that they've got to jump and it slows them down. Just hit them in stride so they can really make plays. I just missed a couple of reads here and there that I've got to clean up and just not miss the next time." Besides two screen passes that turned into gains of 14 and 15 yards for rookie running back Albert Young, Booty had only one other pass that gained more than 10 yards – a 13-yard connection with Darius Reynaud. The Vikings seemed intent on getting Booty's career started with mostly safe passes.

Like Bollinger's duty, Booty's first two series ended with fumbles, the second one being a Booty fumble when he was sacked from behind by his former USC teammate, defensive end Lawrence Jackson.

"He was talking all night, just saying he was getting close every time. He did get me the one time. He's a great football player and we had such fun times for five years. I just wish he could still be on my team," Booty said.

All in all, Friday night provided some successful times for the Vikings' quarterbacks as they look to improve on a weak spot from their 2007 offense.



Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n","mobileBody":"Tarvaris Jackson had only two games as a starter in which he surpassed the 100 passer rating in his young career, but Friday night's preseason opener – which doesn't officially count on his career stats – was the second-best rating he's had.

Jackson completed 8 of 11 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in three series against the Seattle Seahawks for a 137.7 rating. He said familiarity is starting to breed success.

\"It's just me being more comfortable. Those guys are great additions. I've got a lot more games under my belt. We've got a lot more time together as a team and I just felt a lot more comfortable (Friday),\" Jackson said.

The Vikings came out with a resolve to throw the ball – and throw often – to start the game. They knew what their running game, ranked No. 1 in the league last year, could do, but maximizing Jackson's exposure to the passing game, even if it was a preseason contest, was one of the goals for the opener.

\"We stayed very vanilla,\" Jackson said. \"There wasn't too much we did. We just tried to have different launching points of the football from the pocket, 5 yards or 7 yards deep. We just wanted to use the running game to our advantage with the different nakeds (naked bootlegs) and stuff like that.\"

Jackson was effective in nearly phase of the passing game, connecting with six different receivers – WR Bernard Berrian twice, WR Bobby Wade twice, TE Jim Kleinsasser, TE Visanthe Shiancoe, FB Thomas Tapeh and WR Sidney Rice. While Jackson's first drive was ended prematurely when Shiancoe fumbled after a catch, the quarterback returned to lead the Vikings on consecutive touchdown drives against the Seahawks' first-team defense.

\"Besides the turnovers, we did a pretty good job. We just have to take better care of the football,\" Jackson said.

But the Vikings were determined to find out about their passing game. The first 11 offensive plays were passes, something the players found out about on Thursday night.

\"I was shocked. (Offensive coordinator Darrell) Bevell, at first before he showed it, he said, ‘I'm going to go all pass for the first 15.' I was like, yeah right. … That was a bone,\" Jackson said.

The quarterback said his success was another confidence builder and showed that, if needed, he could be successful throwing the ball early and often in the regular season.

\"Yeah, even though this is the preseason, like coach says, it's still a confidence booster. You want to go out and compete every time you're on the field,\" he said. \"We still have some work. We weren't executing every time and we want to be more consistent taking care of the football.\"

Jackson said all the speculation about Brett Favre wanting to come to Minnesota didn't impede his progress during training camp.

\"I never really thought about that; I was just trying to get better. I know Coach Childress always says the quarterbacks are already under the microscope anyway, nitpicking with everything we do, so I just wanted to go out and perform well (Friday) anyway, regardless of what else has been going on.\"

The Vikings also got a solid performance from fifth-round draft John David Booty, who got most of the second-half duties. Gus Frerotte finished the first half, going 4-for-7 for 60 yards, and Brooks Bollinger had two quick series to open the second half, each of them cut short by fumbles.

Booty completed 9 of 18 passes for 82 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

\"I had a lot of fun, I know that much. Obviously, I didn't do everything right and I didn't expect myself to do all that. It's a learning experience. I've been in the league two weeks now and that was the first test,\" Booty said. \"For me, I was just so eager and excited to get out there and finally be an NFL team. Running out of the tunnel and early on in the game, even though I wasn't back there, it really gave me the feeling for how it is on game day.\"

Booty looked comfortable sliding around in the pocket and finding receivers, but he seemed focused on finding and correcting his faults after the game.

\"I had a couple of screen throws that I thought were a little difficult to get around,\" he said. \"It's just playing at a different speed than the college game, so just figuring that out and the touch and the angles I want to put the ball on those guys and allow them to just make plays – not behind them or too high that they've got to jump and it slows them down. Just hit them in stride so they can really make plays. I just missed a couple of reads here and there that I've got to clean up and just not miss the next time.\" Besides two screen passes that turned into gains of 14 and 15 yards for rookie running back Albert Young, Booty had only one other pass that gained more than 10 yards – a 13-yard connection with Darius Reynaud. The Vikings seemed intent on getting Booty's career started with mostly safe passes.

Like Bollinger's duty, Booty's first two series ended with fumbles, the second one being a Booty fumble when he was sacked from behind by his former USC teammate, defensive end Lawrence Jackson.

\"He was talking all night, just saying he was getting close every time. He did get me the one time. He's a great football player and we had such fun times for five years. I just wish he could still be on my team,\" Booty said.

All in all, Friday night provided some successful times for the Vikings' quarterbacks as they look to improve on a weak spot from their 2007 offense.


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