The younger, more heralded, more athletic quarterbacks in the backup roles with each team – Tarvaris Jackson with the Vikings and Vince Young with the Titans – have already been benched in favor of more experience. Vikings coach Brad Childress was asked if the action for the two veterans spoke to anything and he mentioned "The Tortoise and the Hare," a tale that preaches the wisdom of resolve and a steady approach.
"Two savvy veterans that have weathered a lot of storms," Childress said. "I don't think you can put a premium on experience. Obviously Kerry Collins has seen it everywhere from Carolina to the Giants and places in between."
But just because Collins has led the Titans to wins in their last two games this season – and Titans coach Jeff Fisher said that as long as he keeps winning, the job is his – that doesn't mean everyone believes this is Collins' team.
Vikings receiver Bobby Wade, who spent two seasons in Tennessee before signing with Minnesota in March of 2007, said he thinks it is still Young's team.
"With him on the field, they're obviously a dynamic offense. They can do it all. Kerry Collins is doing a good job filling in, but in my opinion it's definitely Vince Young's team," Wade said.
Wade said he tried calling Young when he was dealing with the aftermath of a knee injury and reports that he could be suicidal after the Titans' Week 1 win, but he never heard back from him.
"I gave him a call a couple weeks ago to see what was going on, but I haven't heard from him since. Hopefully everything is good with him. I don't know if he's playing this week or not," Wade said.
Young has been inactive the last two games after injuring his knee in the season opener, when he completed 12 of 24 passes with one touchdown and two interceptions.
"As far as I know about him, I think he's just injured. I know they talk about all the extra – him not communicating, missing something – but I'm not worried about him. I've got a good feel for him. I think he's an incredible athlete, great competitor, so I wouldn't take nothing away from him," said Wade, who worked with both Collins and Young in Tennessee.
"Vince gives them their best chance of winning. No doubt they're 3-0, but Vince Young is a dynamic player. I've seen him get us out of crazy situations when I was there, some big throws. As far as I'm concerned, I think he's still capable," Wade said.
WINFIELD UP FOR HONORS
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield is one of five players up for NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors. Winfield is up against Falcons DE John Abraham, Eagles DE Juqua Parker, Dolphins LB Joey Porter and Broncos LB D.J. Williams. Fan can vote at NFL.com/gmc until 3 p.m. Central Thursday.
Winfield earned the nomination with his sack, forced fumble and 19-yard fumble return for a touchdown late in the first half of Sunday's 20-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.
TOGETHER AT LAST
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor were on the field together for at least two plays on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. One was an incomplete pass, the other a short completion to Taylor.
"I think it's really effective because the defense has to prepare for both of us," Taylor said. "They've got to change up, I guess a linebacker or whatever, when they see two tailbacks back there instead of a fullback and a tailback, I believe it just mixes up the defense a little bit."
Taylor received his most extensive action of the season, rushing 11 times for 44 yards while Peterson carried 17 times for 77 yards, a scaled-back version from his league-leading 29 carries in Week 2, when he also suffered a hamstring injury late in the game.
Taylor's main contribution has been as the team's leading kick returner. He has returned six kickoffs for 158 yards (26.3-yard average).
"It's just good to help my offense get better field position. It don't matter what I'm ranked as long as our offense does a good job getting great field position," Taylor said.
SAINTS LOSE ANOTHER
The Vikings' next Monday night opponent, the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 6, lost another offensive starter for that game. After losing WR Marques Colston for a month or more in the season opener with a thumb injury and Jeremy Shockey earlier this week because of sports hernia surgery, the Saints found out Tuesday that starting guard Jamar Nesbit has been suspended four weeks for violating the league's policy on steroids and related substances.
PAT WILLIAMS, CHILD ENTERTAINER
Frerotte has opened up several times about how hard it is for him to be living away from his wife and kids, who stayed in St. Louis this year. But when his kids visited Minnesota during the offseason, they took a liking to defensive tackle Pat Williams.
"They're at the point now where they actually know the game of football pretty well. … Basically they always ask me about Pat Williams. They love Pat. They sing songs about Pat and they always want to know how Pat is," Frerotte said. "I'm like, ‘I don't see him that much.' I tell them stories about Pat and they love to hear it. From when they were up here in the offseason, Pat would talk to them. You know how Pat is, sometimes you can understand him, sometimes you can't. The kids loved it. Pat's just happy. They just loved it. They made up a song. They were singing a song about him in the back seat when I picked them up from school. It was just like, ‘What are they singing?' It was pretty comical."
Frerotte declined an invitation to hum a few bars of the tune.
"We'll see how it goes. It's fight to Sunday. Hopefully I feel good enough to play," Ciurciu said.
"I got hit from behind and then I hit my knee on the turf really hard, so it really jolted."