Vikings passing game: ‘Long way to go'

Tarvaris Jackson continues to increase his presence on the field in coming back from a knee injury, but Vikings coach Brad Childress wasn't much into praising his passing offense Thursday. See what he had to say about it, and get more than a dozen notes from the morning roundup.

Tarvaris Jackson returned to full-team practice on Thursday morning, and Brad Childress expressed his concern with the passing offense.

Those two facts aren't a cause and effect. In fact, Childress said that all areas of the passing offense need to improve.

"I just think we've got a lot of work to do in all areas, whether it's throwing it, route running, protection, blitz pickup, breaking, beating man-to-man, no more sitting in the zone. We've got a long way to go to be happy with the passing game," Childress said after Thursday's practice.

"We've got a long way to go in the passing game. A long way. The plan is to get there, but I'm not going to say (I'm) pretty happy (with the current stage). I wouldn't put it that way."

Ironically, both Jackson and Sage Rosenfels looked fairly sharp during the morning practice, connecting on several long passes downfield, but the offense is still lacking consistency there.

"I just know where we're at. I don't have a day-by-day expectation. I just expect it to be good every day and some days are better than others," Childress said.

He pointed to procedural penalties on the right side of the offensive line and said it wasn't any one individual, just a collection of players that need to be more consistent.

"Toward the end we had a couple of mistakes, a couple of penalties that we really can't have," Jackson said.

Jackson appeared to be moving around without much problem during the morning practice after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Saturday morning. He began working his way back onto the practice Tuesday afternoon with light throwing and progressed to some drills on Wednesday. By Thursday morning, he was back to splitting the first-team reps with Sage Rosenfels.

"I'm just working my way back. I'm not 100 (percent) right now. I'm not really thinking about it while I'm out there. It's not really bothering me right now, but I'm just trying to get back into the groove of it as soon as possible," he said. "I'm not using my knee as an excuse. It's not 100 percent, but hopefully it will be soon."

Jackson said the knee is affecting his mobility and certain throws.

"Nothing really serious … but I've just got to work through that," he said.


  • WR Jaymar Johnson returned to practice after his wife, Kassy, gave birth to their first child, Jaymar Jr., around 6:55 p.m. Wednesday. Jaymar said he's only gotten about four hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. He joked that the baby had hands the size of his dad already.

  • DE Brian Robison (hamstring) continued to work on rehabbing and did not participate in practice. The same held true with RB Kahlil Bell (leg).

  • WRs Darius Reynaud, Jaymar Johnson and Percy Harvin all took turns returning kicks. Reynaud dropped the first attempt of the morning.

  • Sports Illustrated's Peter King and ESPN's John Clayton attended Thursday's morning practice and's Jay Glazer is expected in town today as well. ESPN's Chris Mortenson was in Mankato yesterday.

  • The fans continue to support, and sometimes heckle from the stands. On one play, a pass to Adrian Peterson, a fan yelled out, "Way to open up the playbrook, Brad."

  • Safety Husain Abdullah appeared to suffer an injury early in practice and rookie Colt Anderson took his place in the second-team defense.

  • During one-on-one drills, Jackson connected with Percy Harvin on a bomb that covered about 70 yards when Harvin got a step on CB Marcus Walker.

  • A short time later, Harvin beat Walker again with a double move during seven-on-seven work and Sage Rosenfels found Harvin about 30 yards downfield, splitting the defense between Walker and safety Jamarca Sanford, for what was eventually a 60-yard touchdown.

  • Rosenfels later connected with WR Sidney Rice, who made a leaping grab over CB Karl Paymah about 45 yards down the right sideline.

  • John David Booty's best pass of a seven-on-seven session was about a 15-yard sideline route to Vinny Perretta in which Booty threaded the ball through a tight window between defenders.
  • DE Ray Edwards started the full-team work with a sack of Jackson. The quarterback rebounded quickly, firing a bullet that Bobby Wade hauled in, and Jackson completed his first series going 4-for-4.

  • Rosenfels was 3-for-4 in his first series during full-team work.

  • Booty's first series ended when he overthrew a receiver and Derrick Roberson came down with the interception.

  • Jackson followed Booty's interception with one of his own when he and TE Jim Kleinsasser weren't on the same page. Kleinsasser continued a route down the field and Jackson threw a ball expecting a comeback or out route. CB Antoine Winfield made the easy interception.

  • Edwards started one of Rosenfels' series with another touch sack.

  • The Vikings worked a decent amount on their Wildcat plays, with Percy Harvin taking the snaps from center.

  • Officials were on hand for the morning session and will stick around until tomorrow. At one point, a line judge was instructing Childress and WR Nick Moore on why he called Moore for a false start.

  • LB Jasper Brinkley continued his hard-hitting ways with a solid lick on newcomer RB Antone Smith toward the end of practice.

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