Sage Rosenfels has the team’s best passer rating among the four quarterbacks, but that isn’t about to buy him a role as the team’s No. 2 quarterback.
Head coach Brad Childress said Monday that Tarvaris Jackson has made progress in practices and therefore is likely to stay ahead of Rosenfels in the order of backups behind Brett Favre.
“Right from the first day of training camp, I’ve seen an evolution, I’ve seen a growth in Tarvaris. Not that I haven’t seen it from Sage,” Childress said. “He’s been the beneficiary of having that extended time, where he was able to flash. … I thought that Tarvaris played decently in the snaps that he got against San Francisco. But really it’s the day-to-day thing. You can say, ‘Well, it’s about the games.’ We give them opportunities based on what we see in practice.”
In the game, however, Rosenfels has the edge – at least this preseason.
He led the team in completion percentage (63.8), touchdowns (four) and passer rating (118.4). Jackson, with about one-third the throws of Rosenfels, has completed 55.6 percent of his passes with no touchdowns and a 61.8 rating.
Childress said “it would probably be hard” for Rosenfels to overtake Jackson as the No. 2 quarterback.
SETTLING IN, BUT NOT OUT
Rookie second-round pick Toby Gerhart said after Saturday’s game against Seattle that he is feeling more comfortable all the time.
“I’m starting to get a feel for it and I’m not thinking as much – just going out there and playing,” he said.
“When you’re starting off, you’re thinking. You don’t want to make a wrong read or make a wrong cut. So I was probably a little hesitant, a little slow (and) getting away from just playing and being natural.”
Now, however, his progress is being retarded by a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s game. Gerhart downplayed the injury, calling it “precautionary” that he came out of the game after his leg got bent awkwardly, but on Monday he didn’t practice.
Childress said he wasn’t talking about injuries on Monday, so there was no update on Gerhart’s health.
One of the factors that will determine how much playing time Gerhart can garner is his ability to pick up blitzes, especially if he has designs on taking the role of third-down back.
“I feel like I’m just about there, just getting comfortable with everything and just going out there and letting your instincts go. You’ve got your baseline reads, then pressing it and after that it’s just playing,” he said.
“I’ll do whatever role is asked of me. I feel like I can definitely do third downs, I feel like I can pick up the blitz, I feel like I can catch, I can run routes. So we’ll see what happens.”
STRONG FIRST IMPRESSION
Receiver Greg Camarillo practiced with the Vikings for the first time last Thursday after a Wednesday trade from the Dolphins. He saw a decent amount of playing time Saturday and had four catches for 47 yards.
“He’s got a great ability to work a zone. I saw him work a little bit against man-to-man here this morning,” Childress said. “He’s a good football player and he understands route concepts. He doesn’t have them all down rote right now, but he understands what’s happening with the next guy inside and the next guy inside. I think he’ll be a valuable guy, being able to swing all across the board before it’s over.”
OUT OF ACTION
In addition to Sidney Rice and Cedric Griffin, who continue to rehabilitate their injuries while on the physically-unable-to-perform list, the Vikings had six other players not practicing on Monday: C John Sullivan, CB Chris Cook, DT Jimmy Kennedy, WR Logan Payne, LB J Leman and Gerhart.
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.