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vikings.com Mailbag - 10/02

Posted Oct 2, 2009

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Friday we’ll post several comments or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

I know that football is a physically demanding game, but what can be done to impress upon the offensive lineman that they must protect the QB more? We all know that in the upcoming game against Green Bay, they are going to do all they can to take Favre out and I feel that this area needs to be addressed and focused on.

-- Kim Johnson, Branson, MO

I understand your concern and I agree that the offensive line must play better. But I also don’t think this needs to be impressed upon the linemen any more than it is already. The linemen and their coaches fully understand the importance of their job and the consequences that occur when they don’t do their job well. I’m sure that, as you’re reading this, the players and coaches are sitting in a meeting room trying their best to correct the errors and prepare themselves to perform better on Monday night.

It’s also important to remember that not every sack is a function of poor play along the offensive line. Sometimes receivers aren’t able to shake open in time. Other times the QB holds onto the ball too long. And sometimes a RB or FB misses a blitz pickup.

This is an aspect of the offense that coach Childress has addressed during press conferences and I’m sure it’s something that’s been addressed by the team internally as well. I expect that we’ll see even better play from the line going forward. There are a lot of good athletes and good, young players along the line.

Just how affective do you think Favre will be against the Packers? I expect Green Bay should know his every move.

-- Tom Milder,Muscatine, IA.

I think Favre being a former Packer will come into play a little bit, but I think that angle is a bit over-played. It’s more about schemes than actual personnel. During a football season or game, individual players come and go often. But all the players are asked to run the same scheme. So teams really spend more time scouting and preparing for plays or formations than they do for individual players.

Mike, is WR Bernard Berrian getting any deep looks like he was last year, or has his injury slowed him so that they are using him for shorter passes at this point?

-- Greg, Medford, NJ

From a physical standpoint, Berrian has recovered from his injury, according to what coach Childress said earlier this week. Affirming that belief is the fact that Berrian isn’t on the injury report this week. But I do think Berrian and Favre’s chemistry is still a work in progress. That will only come with time and, most importantly, actual game experience.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Berrian is not an exclusive vertical WR. Because of his speed and ability to run after the catch, he is also a valuable component in the short passing game. Getting Berrian the ball via short passes is actually playing to one of his strengths.

What is up with WR Darius Reynaud's injury? And who will take over punt return duties? Jaymar Johnson?

-- Damian B.

Reynaud is on the injury report this week with what’s described as a hamstring injury. He did not participate in practice on Thursday and I’m not sure what the plan is for him going forward. If he can’t go, I’m not sure that Johnson would be the man to return punts. He hasn’t been active for a game yet this year. If Reynaud can’t go Monday night and if Johnson is active, he very well could return punts. At the same time, Percy Harvin is listed on the team’s depth chart as the backup punt returner. And Bernard Berrian was the punt returner last week after Reynaud went down. So I guess it’s a little undetermined at this point.

If Reynaud can’t go Monday night AND Johnson is active, then I think he’ll take the punt return duties.