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September 17, 2008

Vikings swap QBs: Frerotte in, Jackson out

   Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress has decided to go with vetern Gus Frerotte at quarterback after watching his team get off to an 0-2 start behind Tarvaris Jackson.

     "The big thing is I feel like we have a good opportunity to win some games here and have a successful season," Childress said on a conference call a few minutes ago with area media. "I feel like you have to capitalize when you're playing that position and you have an opportunity.

     "I am going to make a move and make Gus our starting quarterback. I know that one position is not the answer to everything; everyone needs to step up and fine-tune. I just need to make sure we maintain an agressive mentality at that position.

     "...I haven't seen it in the last two games. I do know you have to have a gunslinger mentality back there. Part of that may be experience; I think Gus is experienced and will give us the edge we need at that position."

--Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on September 17, 2008 at 01:37 PM | Permalink

Comments

I think this move actually helps us. T.Jackson was probably going to have his "breakout" game since he has sucked so bad the first two. Gus might as well be a retired QB so we should be able to get to him and force some turnovers. Looks like the game plan will be to give Peterson the ball on every play. We stop him and we will be 3-0.

Posted by: Will | Sep 17, 2008 2:00:14 PM

WOW gus is still around???

Posted by: Vinny Testaverde | Sep 17, 2008 2:16:07 PM

I am really worried about this game. A new QB could give them a spark. Peterson is a much better down hill runner then either Forte or LT. I am worried about a lack of pass rush will allow a pocket passer to pick his spots. We are going to have a hard time moving them off the line on offense, Stewart should start because his style is a better fit against a large DL. We need a pass rush from the front 4, we need to keep Davis, Beason, and Diggs from from blockers so they can plug the holes and run and tackle.

Posted by: Steven | Sep 17, 2008 2:24:33 PM

I sure hope Gus remembers me and gives me another good luck head butt!!! I sure have missed him and am glad he is back in action. I need some attention...

Posted by: The Wall | Sep 17, 2008 2:34:40 PM

Steven, if I could dissolve your worries a little bit, their new QB is 37, way past retirement age. His last real starting stint with the Dolphins netted him a 71 QB rating. He started 3 games for the Rams and his QB rating averaged out to 58.3. Last I checked, his name wasn't Brett Favre, Vinny, or Jeff Garcia either.

It's really a pity. Childress has backed himself into a corner by not signing a quality backup. Instead, he has gone out of his way to make sure that Jackson has no competition at the QB position. Now that Jackson is sailing downhill into a career of insignificance, he has no real answer for the QB position. I bet he'll lose his job by the end of the year.

As I have said before, I have no worries for this game. Look for Jake Delhomme to get the passing game going and look like a Pro-Bowler against a team whom ranked dead last in defence against the pass last year. Open up the running game a little bit more starting in the 3rd quarter, and we'll be 3-0 no problem.

Posted by: Revshawn | Sep 17, 2008 2:47:26 PM

Although I am concerned about the Vikings because the Frerotte(and the crowd) will be pumped up, Gus hasn't been an effective QB in a season since 2003. The Vikings aren't strong against the pass, so with S.Smith and Moose back together and Delhomme at QB, we'll still run the ball a lot, but we'll be getting some big plays and more 3rd down conversions. That's all the advantage we need. I hope the Panthers don't wait until the last 2 minutes to seal the victory this time.

Posted by: Pantherfan | Sep 17, 2008 2:49:19 PM

Did Michael Procton just say 'Go Vikings'?

Uncle Gus might have stayed around for a couple meals, Mike, but your mother never meant anything to him.

Go Panthers.

Posted by: Gabe HDP | Sep 17, 2008 2:55:59 PM

Ol Gus did just enough for the Fins to beat the Panthers in 05, remember?

Posted by: JAT | Sep 17, 2008 3:04:24 PM

Gus, meet Julius Peppers. Last time Minnesota - he had 3 sacks. Adrian Peterson stats at the end of the game 18 carries for 91 yards, 4 catches for 17 yards, 0 touchdowns, and one costly fumble forced by Chris Harris recovered by Chris Gamble returned to the 2 and punched in by Jonathan Stewart.

Posted by: bb | Sep 17, 2008 3:09:15 PM

Now that Jackson is out that can only help us. He is a big threat to take off and run, something that has always given the Panthers problems. The Panthers need to pass more on 1st down this game. The Minn. defensive line is huge in the middle with the two Williams boys so running up the middle could be a problem. I think DeAngelo's running style will be a better fit against this defense. Hopefully we will throw a couple of screen passes and those quick outs to Smith to negate their pass rush. Our defensive backs need to be on their game this week because we will be stacking the box against the run. Remember we were just one overthrown pass to Marty Booker last week from being 1-1.

Posted by: J Thomas | Sep 17, 2008 3:12:11 PM

Patherfan, I wouldnt be too worried about the noise in that dome seeing how they still have 3,00 tickets yet to be sold and are being threatened with a blackout in Minneapolis.

Posted by: CU Tigers | Sep 17, 2008 3:15:11 PM

Its funny Will bc I said the SAME thing earlier...its almost like the media was setting up Jackson to have a monster game against us bc they kept dogging him...

Now that Gus 'the Statue' Frerotte is back there there should be a meeting a the QB between Pep & Brayton right? He will make the WRs (Berrian & Rice) better tho bc he can read the field and is accurate so our coverage has to make the adjustment..

I'm looking at being 5-0 realistically with the next 3 games being very winable!

Posted by: Bobcat Terry | Sep 17, 2008 3:16:21 PM

Some of you guys should go back and look at the two very close losses the Vikings suffered to the Packers and Colts. Anything better than abysmal play at the QB position by T-Jack and they win both games. The Vikings have a punishing and quick defense, and if you think for a minute Jake's gonna be able to sit back there and toss lollipops to Smith and Moose all day, think again. The few big plays their D gave up was due to fatigue from being on the field all day. The Vikes are angry, proud, playing at home, Gus has a strong arm and a great O-line, and they're a good team due to play a good game. Put this down as an automatic "W" at your own peril.

Posted by: NCVikingMan | Sep 17, 2008 3:32:39 PM

Hahahaha NCVikingMan, your comment tickles me. Your "great" O-line is missing your Pro Bowl LT McKinnie, and Julius Peppers is lined up at RE...Gus won't have time to show off his "strong" arm. Jake will definitely have time to throw, and he just needs enough time to get Smith the ball. Smitty will take care of the rest...Panthers win 34-17.

Posted by: JPanther | Sep 17, 2008 5:30:57 PM

NCVikingMan this is anything but an automatic "W" for the Panthers. Hell if we weren't getting Smith back for this game I'd call it an automatic "W" for the Vikings. This is almost a last stand type game for the Vikings...its still early I know but 0-3 would just be devastating to a team like Minnesota who was a trendy Super Bowl pick this year. The Vikes are going to come out and play their best football, so I expect anything but an easy game for my Panthers.

Posted by: DB | Sep 17, 2008 5:33:54 PM

Gus Frerotte? Are you kidding me! Thank you Brad Childress. Yeah, I'm worried about Gus connecting with his WRs and escaping our DEF. Arguably one of the greatest QBs, Peyton Manning, is still adjusting to the speed and rhythm of the game after just missing one entire preseason...unlike playing a whopping 9 of 34 games since 05 like Gus. Yes, 61% is a bit rusty and 2-2 for TD/INT is not Peyton like. Sure, we will get a heavy dose of AP, and he will have a few runs resulting in chunks of yardage, but Gus will not be a factor. Brad what is your email address so I can send you an ecard to thank you. 3-0 Panther fans!

Posted by: Carolina Wild | Sep 17, 2008 5:35:25 PM

this will be an excellent test of where our pass rush is . with mckinney out and an immobile q.b we need to focus on stopping peterson and then pinning our ears back on 3rd down.on off we need stewart to smash those 2 slobs in the middle to wear them down and then go to play action.

Posted by: ray | Sep 17, 2008 6:16:15 PM

In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar: "It's a trap!"

(Yeah, I'm a Star Wars fan, too. Sue me.)

But honestly, this game's got "trap" written all over it. As if the Panthers weren't confident enough coming in 2-0 already...and thinking they're playing an easy 0-2 team...and knowing they've got a motivated Steve Smith back...with a history of playing much better on the road than at home...with Minnesota's Pro-Bowl LT sidelined...having withstood Ladainian Tomlinson and rookie rushing sensation Matt Forte, and therefore little to fear of Adrian Peterson...having survived two of the toughest defenses in the entire NFL...

(Pardon me while I take a deep breath!)

...NOW we learn that Tarvaris Jackson will be replaced by the supposedly decrepit Gus Frerotte! So the Panthers should cake-walk this game, right?

Wrong!

Before we get too high on ourselves, let's dispel some of those supposed advantages. First, the Panthers had to pull off two 4th quarter comebacks to get to 2-0. I'd venture to say there's a fair amount of luck that factored into those wins. We made plenty of mistakes in those games. And we're not exactly playing at a Superbowl level just yet.

Secondly, but for the ball bouncing the wrong way a couple of times, Minnesota wouldn't be 0-2. They could have easily beaten the Colts. And the Packers game wasn't out of reach. So don't let their record fool you. And more importantly, know that they're fighting mad about being 0-2 when they had designs on winning their division and making some noise this year. You better believe they'll play their butts off to avoid going 0-3.

Thirdly, why assume Steve Smith's return automatically pays big dividends in this game? It's good that he's practicing again, and hopefully he's got time to learn the gameplan for Minnesota and get into a groove with Jake again. But, it wouldn't be a complete surprise to find that there's a bit of rust on him. Even if that's the case, maybe you might still hold out hope that Steve's mere presence on the field will make it more difficult for Minnesota to stack the line against the run game? In all honestly, they don't have to do that. Their front four is already stout in stopping the run. So they can spare an extra guy or two on zone pass coverage as well. If the other receivers (i.e., Hackett, Jarrett, King, Rosario, etc.) think they can relax and let Steve do all the work, they'd better think again. We'll need them. Jake will need them.

Fourthly, if you're banking on Minnesota's missing Pro-Bowl LT giving our pass rush opportunities to shine, please keep in mind that Julius Peppers has faced backup LTs already this season and hasn't exactly lit up the backfield. So we can't bank on that. Especially given that we're going to have to stay home and honor the run game with Adrian Peterson running the ball, just like we faced with Tomlinson and Forte.

Fifthly, maybe you're thinking we have nothing to fear from Adrian Peterson. After all, if we could withstand LT and Matt Forte, we should be okay, right? Not so fast. Peterson's a different style of runner. He's young, he's hungry, and worst of all...he, like the rest of his team, is desperate for a win. He's going to try to put his team on his shoulders and take the pressure off Frerotte. So our LBs and down linemen better be ready for him.

Sixthly, maybe you're thinking it'll be alright because our offense will surely keep the ball long enough that Peterson doesn't get very many carries. We'll score enough points to put Minnesota behind and they'll have to turn to their passing game to try and play catch-up. Yeah, Minnesota's got a good defense, but we already played two great defenses in San Diego and Chicago. And we won. That's all true. But it's also taken quite a toll on us. We've got some nicks already with Travelle Wharton sitting out last week. He didn't practice again today. And our offense didn't exactly get moving very well in the early going at Chicago. Every moment that we don't dominate Minnesota, will give them more confidence and determination to finally put us away...something they failed to do against Indy and Green Bay. So they'll want to show they've learned that lesson.

Lastly, don't automatically assume Gus Frerotte won't play well against us. If Kyle Orton could pick us apart in the early going of the Chicago game, Frerotte just might have enough motivation and film study to find a way to beat us where the Bears and Chargers failed. He's more of a veteran than Tarvaris Jackson and Kyle Orton put together...and to me, that implies he could be a better leader for the Vikings. The rest of his teammates will surely try to rally around him and support him...much like the Panthers did with Vinny Testaverde last season...and we all know the outcome of Vinny's first game for us...

So, hopefully, the coaches, the media, and the players themselves will keep a fire lit under the Panthers. We can't afford to come out overly confident and get punched in the mouth by a wounded Vikings team. If Carolina wants to go after the Superbowl again, they need to stay focused. Some of the harder games (on paper) are behind us. But it's these supposedly weaker teams you don't want to risk playing down to...and that goes for Minnesota, Atlanta, and Kansas City in the days to come.

Just my two-cents,
--Neil

Posted by: NSpicer | Sep 17, 2008 6:51:08 PM

Neil, I'd agree with you about Adrian Peterson if I believed that the Vikings had a passing game. However, I hardly believe that a man whom has stunk up the field every time in the last 3 years he attempted to start will suddenly revive the passing game of the Vikings. And no matter how much of a talented runner you are you're not going to have success in the running game unless the passing game is mildly successful. I don't care if you're Barry Sanders in his prime, it just isn't going to get done.

Gus has sucked both on paper and during his games, and he's going to suck during this game as well. As coaching legend Don Shula would say, the Panthers just have to "Go get the job done."

Posted by: Revshawn | Sep 17, 2008 7:23:19 PM

I agree that this game is no gimmee. They're on the road against a ticked-off group. OTOH, keep in mind that WRs Berrian and Rice are hobbled right now (at least that's what I heard on ESPN). If they can't go, who is Gus throwing to?

I'm not sure the QB switch is going to have much of an effect on this one. Without the above receivers, the Vikes might be better off with the running "passer."

Posted by: dogear | Sep 17, 2008 8:05:14 PM

Head-Butt Turns Into Real Pain in the Neck

By Leonard Shapiro and Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, November 24, 1997; Page D1

The Washington Redskins finally made a change at quarterback last night at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, with Jeff Hostetler replacing Gus Frerotte at the start of the third quarter, the result of one of the more bizarre plays in the team's history.

Frerotte did not start the second half of the Redskins' overtime tie against the New York Giants after head-butting a padded wall in the end zone in celebration after scoring on a one-yard run late in the first half.

He ended up with a sprained neck and a trip to the hospital.

On a third-and-goal play from the 1, he had rolled out of the pocket looking for a receiver. When he saw a clear path in front of him, Frerotte dashed toward the goal line and just managed to get into the right front pylon of the south end zone ahead of two Giants defenders.

Frerotte kept running toward the corner of the stadium. First he spiked the football against the wall, then he stopped momentarily and continued celebrating his team's first score by butting the top of his helmeted head into a padded wall. He clearly recoiled after the impact.

At halftime, Frerotte underwent X-rays in a facility underneath the stadium. A team spokesman said the X-rays were negative. As a precaution, Frerotte was taken to Prince Georges County Hospital by ambulance, accompanied by an unidentified team doctor, during the third quarter.

He was given a CAT scan, the results of which were negative. Frerotte left the hospital midway through the fourth quarter wearing a neck brace. "I feel all right," he said, but declined further comment before getting into a waiting limousine that took him back to the stadium, accompanied by his wife, Ann, and 2-year-old daughter, Abigail.

He was still dressed in his football pants and cleats. As he walked through a waiting area at the emergency room, a television was on showing the Redskins-Giants game and he asked the score. At the time, the teams were tied, 7-7. The game ended in a tie.

Norv Turner, the coach, shrugged and said: "I never thought to tell a guy not to do that."

Posted by: Roger | Sep 17, 2008 9:05:17 PM

I think that this game is very similar to the Bears game. They have a good defense, a good running game and are weakest at the QB position, with limited resources at WR. If we can contain their running game and put pressure on Gus to beat us, and we don't have bad turnovers, like fumbles and blocked kicks, we should be able to control tempo with the running game.

This could definitely be a trap game. The Panthers must play with the urgency they had during the last five minutes of the 4th quarter of the first two games. That is how we need to play all the time.

Posted by: Pantherdude | Sep 18, 2008 2:04:27 PM

the only man that can lose this game is fox.this is where a coach earns his money, by keeping the team focused and hungry . in the past we have lost games like this.lets see if fox keeps them focused.

Posted by: ray | Sep 19, 2008 12:46:04 PM

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