Sunday notebook: Breaking the box

Brett Favre (Bob Levey/Getty)

Adrian Peterson is hoping the presence of Brett Favre will increase opportunities in the running game. After only a couple of weeks, Peterson is noticing a number of things that Favre does to help him out. See what Peterson had to say about that, along with quotes from others on Tarvaris Jackson's trade value, waiver equality, practice squad potential and a Super Bowl or bust attitude.

Adrian Peterson, still the cornerstone of the Vikings offense, believes the addition of quarterback Brett Favre could be a good thing for the running game this year. It's all about the subtle things the 18-year veteran does to fool defenses.

Peterson has been taking note of nuances that Favre pulls off, the things that haven't yet become second nature to some of the less experienced quarterbacks.

"The smallest things, from his cadence. I'll be in the backfield there holding my water, so I know the defense will be amped up and jumping offsides," Peterson said. "There are just small things he does. It could be an inside zone fake play and he could be yelling, ‘Reverse.' There's just different stuff he does. I guess over the years those things just come second nature to you. He does it well."

Defensive coordinators know they are going to have to pick their poison—load the line of scrimmage to stop Peterson or keep the defensive backs in coverage mode against Favre, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, et al. So far, in Favre's very limited experience this preseason with the Vikings, defenses have been daring him to beat them, according to Peterson.

That was the case on Peterson's 75-yard touchdown run to start to up last Monday night's game, when the starters received their most extensive action.

"We came out looking at the film and there were nine guys in the box so I don't know if there are just some unbelievers out there, but I believe," Peterson said. "Favre, he's amazing. I expect guys to eventually sneak in and say, ‘Hey, we can't keep nine guys in the box or we're going to get ate up on the outside perimeter with the receivers' play. We'll see.

"The way I look at it, if I was the defensive coordinator, I'm going to make sure I've got some guys in coverage to be able to cover the receivers and not just focus on the run."

With the league's defending rushing champion, that may be wishful thinking.

LAST CHANCE T-JACK

The Vikings decided to retain QB Tarvaris Jackson, but it wasn't because they didn't see what his market value was. Instead, according to NFL Network's Jason LaConfora, they just weren't getting much in return.

"The Vikings have done what most expected all along, and solicit offers for Tarvaris Jackson," LaConfora wrote on NFL.com. "What I have continued to hear is that at best they get is a conditional fifth-round pick for him. The kid has plenty of athleticism and has a play-making flair; he's still raw and inconsistent as well."

PRACTICE SQUAD POTENTIAL

NFL teams can begin assembling their eight-man practice squads at noon Sunday.

Of the 22 players the Vikings released on Saturday, only CB Marcus McCauley and LB David Herron are not eligible for the practice squad, according to a league source.

WAIVER EQUALITY

At first glance, it seemed that the Vikings would have been at a disadvantage by playing Friday night while a number of other teams were in action on Thursday night and cutting their roster down to 53 players on Friday. Under normal circumstances, teams have 24 hours to put in waiver claims on players, and with the Vikings still playing on Friday night and evaluating their players they wouldn't be likely to claim other players before getting a last look at their owner young players.

However, a league spokesman said that all waiver requests from Friday, Saturday and Sunday would expire at noon Sunday, giving all teams a long enough window to evaluate their preseason finales and make roster decisions.

ONE FINE MONDAY NIGHTER

Favre received the heaviest fine from the Vikings' Monday night win over the Houston Texans, but it wasn't the only one levied that night.

Favre was fined $10,000 for an illegal crackback during the third quarter of that game. He was out on the left side of the offense when the Percy Harvin was running the Wildcat and running toward Favre's side. The quarterback went to the ground to block safety Eugene Wilson and ended up cutting him at the knees.

"On a run play, as his opponent was moving toward the ball carrier, Favre struck him below the waist area," the NFL said in a statement explaining the fine.

Ray Edwards was fined $5,000 for a play in which he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. That play came in the second quarter after a Houston completion. Edwards followed the action to the pile and was hit by offensive lineman Chester Pitts, who fell to the ground. Edwards then kneed Pitts and Duane Brown came to Pitts' defense and appeared to stick his fingers in Edwards' face.

Edwards and Brown both received unnecessary roughness penalties that were offsetting and each was fined $5,000.

Player fines collected by the league are used to support the NFLPA Players Assistance Trust and charitable initiatives supporting youth, education and sports-related medical research.

PRESSURE ON THE COACH

The sentiment in media circles is that with all the talent added to the roster, especially with the acquisition of quarterback Brett Favre, the Vikings should advance far in the playoffs. If not, Brad Childress' head coaching job could be in jeopardy.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield wasn't talking directly about Childress' job, but he agreed with the sentiment that it was Super Bowl or bust for a talent-laden team.

"Absolutely. Everyone in this locker room has that mindset. We feel this is our year. We have a great team," Winfield told NFL Network. "We all understand it's not going to be easy. Hopefully get a few games under our belts real early in the season so we won't have to fight to get into the playoffs late and just take it from there."

NOTES

  • Adrian Peterson on the Vikings offense: "We still got some polishing, just to shine it up. Buff it up a little bit and I think we'll be OK."

  • The Patriots cut two former Vikings on Friday – linebacker Vinny Ciurciu and safety Roderick Rogers. Ciurciu spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Vikings, but the Vikings made no attempt to re-sign him this offseason. He followed former special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro from Carolina to Minnesota, and Ferraro took a job as linebackers coach with the St. Louis Rams in January.

    The Vikings signed Rogers on January 9 and released him on June 1.

  • Former Vikings WRs Robert Ferguson and Chandler Williams were released by the Atlanta Falcons.

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