Sage Rosenfels (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
There was no Brett Favre at minicamp, but for once Favre wasn’t even the biggest quarterback question. Sage Rosenfels had his role severely reduced on Saturday and Sunday, concluding with no full-team snaps on Sunday.
Nothing like a little quarterback intrigue to ponder for the 45 days between Sunday’s wrap on minicamp and the start of training camp.
Sage Rosenfels, who was acquired early in the 2009 offseason and was expected to compete for the starting job before somebody named Brett Favre signed, didn’t take any snaps during Sunday’s minicamp finale during seven-on-seven drills or during full-team work.
Tarvaris Jackson continued get the first-team reps, followed by rookie Joe Webb, just as things worked during most of Saturday’s two minicamp sessions. However, on Sunday, R.J. Archer was getting reps with the third team and Rosenfels was limited to standing and kneeling while the other three quarterbacks were throwing passes.
“Just rotating him around a little bit. We try to expose all those guys to all situations,” Childress said when asked about Rosenfels. “It wouldn’t be uncommon for you to see, whether it’s here or in training camp, where you’re trying to expose two quarterbacks and shutting a guy down for a day. I wouldn’t really make anything of that other than we were trying to expose those other three quarterbacks to some of that red-area stuff and some of the blitz stuff.”
Rosenfels declined to comment after practice on Sunday.
Jackson was 3-for-6 during two sessions of full-team work and was 3-for-6 during a 7-on-7 session. Webb wasn’t given as many reps as Jackson, but he was 3-for-6 between the 7-on-7 work and the full-team session he ran. Archer was 4-for-6 combined in the two sessions.
Meanwhile, Rosenfels didn’t take any snaps during either session.
Jackson was the second-string quarterback last year behind Favre while Rosenfels was the emergency quarterback (inactive) for every game last year. Childress said Jackson hasn’t done anything to lose his place on the depth chart.
“He was (the starter) coming out of last year. He really hasn’t done anything to move himself back. That’s what training camp is for,” Childress said. “My expectation is that all those guys come in and compete. Really the proof is what you put out on the field.”
Childress said Jackson has made “a logical progression” over the last year while watching Favre perform and getting limited action when the game was in hand.
“He’s made the most of it, whether it’s in the fourth quarter of a game or whether it’s in the meeting room, off the field, in his personal life. I just feel like he’s grown and nothing has stunted his growth,” Childress said.
Webb, the strong-armed sixth-round draft pick this year, has looked the part so far … for a rookie.
“He didn’t look like it was too big for him, which is big. … The verbiage is always an issue – spitting out the words that paint the pictures,” Childress said. “That’s something that’s going to take work, but it takes work for every young quarterback in the system.”
The Vikings got out of minicamp in good shape health-wise, with no new injuries.
“We got a lot done in a short period of time. For a mandatory minicamp, stayed pretty nick-free, which is huge,” Childress said. “A lot of good learning. Obviously the lion’s share of the work comes when we put some pads on when we get down to Mankato.”
The first practice of training camp is scheduled for Friday afternoon, July 30, Childress said.
Rookies will return to Winter Park this week for more instruction before they, too, are let go until training camp.
Childress said Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) should be ready for training camp.
Childress said Chris Cook, who has been limited the last two days, and Chad Greenway, who hasn’t practiced during minicamp, are “fine.”
Childress hadn’t talked with Adrian Peterson before meeting with reporters following Sunday’s practice. Peterson missed all of the minicamp practices to attend Adrian Peterson day in his hometown of Palestine, Texas. Childress said the team hasn’t decided if it will fine him for missing the mandatory camp.
At the conclusion of practice, Childress huddled with the players and had a few final words. “Coaches don’t like surprises too much, which were my last words out here to this crowd,” he told reporters. “Whether it’s the surprise of a phone number not working when I try to reach out into cyberspace and text-message these guys or call these guys, or cut your finger while you’re peeling potatoes and surprise us while you’re walking back into camp.”
Linebacker E.J. Henderson didn’t participate in any full-team work during minicamp. Henderson said his goal is to be ready for everything by the start of training amp, but Childress said he “has a lot of work to do” in the 45 days between now and training camp. “I think he elevates that whole position, mentally and physically, when he is out here,” Childress said.
Childress said he texted Favre again “really early” Sunday morning and quickly received a reply. “He lives,” Childress quipped. But the head coach wouldn’t venture a guess as to when Favre might make a decision on his playing status for 2010.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.