Rosenfels looking forward to Houston return

Sage Rosenfels got his best starting opportunity the last two years with the Houston Texans, but he won't be the starter for the Vikings when they visit Houston on Monday. Even so, Rosenfels is looking forward to his return. Plus, get updates on the defensive backfield, Percy Harvin and notes from Saturday at Winter Park.

Sage Rosenfels was happy to leave Houston – no hard feelings intended – for the opportunity that was in front of him with the Vikings in late February. The Vikings were supposed to present Rosenfels with his best chance to claim a full-time starting job in the NFL.

Once again, Rosenfels found out that almost everything in the league is Not For Long.

Two months later, the Brett Favre rumors kicked up smoke, eventually turning to fire that was ignited by his signing on Aug. 18. While tickets sales – and fans' expectations – soared, Rosenfels' best opportunity was, at best, put on delay.

On Monday, Rosenfels returns to Houston, the place where he started five games each of the last two years in place of starter Matt Schaub and became a viable option for teams looking for a potential starter. Rosenfels will probably play in the third or fourth quarter as he now battles with Tarvaris Jackson for the second-string job, but the return trip to Houston will bring back memories and revisiting friendships.

"It's going to be neat. We had a great group of guys on offense. We really jelled and got along great together," Rosenfels said of his last three years with the Texans. "I think that was a lot of the reason we had pretty good success offensively there. It's going to be different being on the other sideline. I spent three great years of my life working and fighting with those guys."

When he returns on Monday night, he's guessing the roof of Reliant Stadium will be closed, saying they have a 50-80 rule – the roof is closed when it's below 50 degrees or above 80.

"They close it when it gets hot. I think they had an issue a few years ago before I got there where they tried to sweat out another team wearing like black jerseys and they sweated out themselves and the fans," Rosenfels said. "The fans weren't very happy. You've got to make those fans happy."

While Favre, Jackson and Rosenfels will do their best to make Vikings fans happy, Rosenfels said the atmosphere is like playing in a dome, except on natural grass.


Safety Madieu Williams said he and second-year pro Tyrell Johnson are continuing to progress with their chemistry.

"We've been going at it since the OTAs and minicamp. The verbiage and the communication back there has been great thus far and hopefully we continue throughout the preseason and into the year," Williams said.

"Going into his second year, and the games he had under his belt last year definitely helped (Johnson). Hopefully he can continue to get better, but thus far he's been playing great."


The Vikings haven't unveiled much in the preseason when it comes to their version of the Wildcat and they may not use it much in Monday night's game, especially considering they want to get Brett Favre's timing down with the receivers.

First-round draft pick Percy Harvin, who is expected to be an integral part of the Vikings' usage of the Wildcat, is excited to see it in action. When that will happen is anyone's guess.

"That's coach's call. All I can do is keep practicing. I will be excited if we do run it," he said. "That's coach's call, so all I can do is be ready on that."

Harvin was asked this week if he can be more dynamic than the Bears' Devin Hester.

"That's for other people to decide," he said. "I don't look at him play too often. He's a dynamic player, in the punt return and kick return, but that's for other people to judge."


  • Right tackle Phil Loadholt was not participating in practice on Saturday. Loadholt has been dealing with a leg issue during much of the preseason and may have been given the day off for that reason, but defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was the only coach available after practice and referred the Loadholt inquiry to head coach Brad Childress.

  • TE Jim Kleinsasser continued to be sidelined with a hand injury that he suffered in the preseason opener.

  • WR Bernard Berrian continued to work during the individual portion of practice but he still doesn't appear to be 100 percent with his hamstring injury.

  • ESPN's Monday Night Football crew of Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski and Mike Tirico attended Saturday's practice.

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