The coaching staff spent the off day Sunday putting together a game plan for the Indianapolis Colts, the Vikings' first opponent Friday night. While the team has been sharing reps throughout the first week-plus of training camp, the plan for this week will be to separate the first, second and third teams and install specific game plans for all three before the game.
The expectation is that the starters will likely get two series, which will take them approximately through the first quarter. The second unit will likely get the remainder of the first half, with the third-unit guys playing in the second half.
An interesting scenario is playing itself out with Sage Rosenfels. If he starts, he will be going against a Colts team that has given him trouble over the years. In Week 4 last season, the Texans had a big fourth-quarter lead that Rosenfels saw slip through his fingers as the Colts came back to win 31-27. In the second meeting of the season, Rosenfels threw just 18 passes in 33-27 loss.
With the competition for the starting QB job heating up as the games begin, it will be a true test for Rosenfels to start against the one team that has consistently given him problems. A successful couple of series against the Colts could go a long way to determining whether Rosenfels wins the starting job or not.
So far, no proclamation on a starter for Friday's preseason opener has been made.
"We haven't decided," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "That's not my job to come in here and tell you who the starting quarterback is. (Head coach Brad Childress) will tell you. We are in the process of talking about it – getting the exact reps with each and every guy, exactly how we want it to play out. I'm sure coach will tell you here pretty soon."
Childress said they haven't finalized that yet.
"We're going through that right now. As a matter of fact, we've got a tentative pecking order for everybody and we'll go back and discuss it again tonight," Childress said Monday afternoon.
The other issues will be deciding how to divide the reps between Rosenfels and Jackson, who are each fighting for the starting spot. Childress said the quarterbacks will not rotate series, but Bevell said protecting each of their quarterbacks is important.
"I think it has been said by coach that it's important to get both those guys behind the best offensive line that you can put out there," Bevell said. "That's going to be a key and that's some of the things that we're talking about with the reps. Do we have to let other guys go a little bit further to make sure that we're protecting the quarterbacks well? That kind of thing. That's what we're under advisement with right now."
Childress said whichever quarterback starts Friday against Indianapolis won't start the following week.