Notebook: Comparing Tarvaris to Sage 'apples and oranges,' Childress says
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Two days after the Minnesota Vikings traded away their third-string quarterback, coach Brad Childress ran out of patience for defending the decision to keep Tarvaris Jackson over Sage Rosenfels.
"I'm not going to deal in hypotheticals," Childress said on Sunday, cutting off a question about whether rookie Joe Webb is ready to play in an emergency situation.
"I'm done with the backup quarterback. I'm done with it. You guys, if that's all you've got to write -- good Lord."
The Vikings traded Rosenfels and return man Darius Reynaud to the Giants on Friday for a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 and what Childress said is a conditional seventh-round pick in 2012.
Speaking for the first time since the trade, Childress had opened his Sunday media conference by comparing the backup quarterback situation to the Minnesota Twins' catcher situation behind Joe Mauer, the reigning American League MVP, and saying repeatedly that Jackson gives the Vikings the best chance to win if Brett Favre gets hurt.
He also addressed the disparity in the preseason performances of Jackson and Rosenfels, who finished with a superior passer rating (111.7 to Jackson's 53.0) and completion percentage (60.8% to 46.2%) and threw four touchdown passes.
"Eight snaps (versus) 36 snaps," Childress said, referring to the playing time of Jackson and Rosenfels in the Aug. 14 preseason opener at St. Louis.
"The guys that they played. The guys that he played with. It's a completely different set of circumstances, and I would hope that if Tarvaris was in there going with the twos that he would have been able to light it up that same way, and then throw it to a guy on a post (Marko Mitchell) with nobody covering him.
"One-on-one is usually your best matchup, but the one that Joe Webb had with Javon (Walker in Thursday's preseason finale against Denver) that the corner fell down -- one-on-zero, that's better than anything you can ever imagine. And I don't profess to say that every situation's that situation. But it's apples and oranges."
The Vikings acquired Rosenfels from the Houston Texans in February 2009 and quickly handed Rosenfels a two-year, $9 million contract extension. But Jackson -- one of Childress' first draft picks in 2006 -- spent all of last season as Favre's top backup and was clearly in front of Rosenfels throughout this offseason, training camp and preseason.
"He gives us the best chance," Childress said of Jackson. "Did Sage progress? He absolutely did in a year, to the point where he's worth a fifth-round draft pick to leave. Beauty's in the eye of the beholder. We're glad to get a fifth for him and a possible seventh for D-Ray."
Harvin back on returns
With Reynaud gone, Percy Harvin will return to his kickoff return role and also could factor down on the line on punt returns, although Bernard Berrian and Greg Camarillo are expected to handle those duties in Thursday's opener at New Orleans.
Harvin missed most of camp and played in only one preseason game while grieving the death of a grandmother and battling migraine headaches. He continued to express optimism on Sunday that the team and doctors have gotten the migraine situation under control by limiting his stress and examining his diet, down to certain types of salt in the foods he eats.
"I ran all the plays with the ones (Sunday)," Harvin said. "Feel good. I work on my own sometimes as far as conditioning-wise. So, I feel great flying around (Sunday), and we'll see."
Work in progress
The Vikings filled seven of eight practice-squad spots in time for practice late Sunday morning. The last spot was supposed to go to offensive tackle Patrick Brown, who was one of the final cuts and got claimed off waivers by the New York Jets.
Another tackle they waived on Saturday, Chris Clark, signed with Denver's practice squad, and NFL sources said the Vikings pursued at least two other tackles who landed elsewhere. So, they practiced with a defensive lineman working playing scout-team offensive line on Sunday and later signed Seth Olsen, the Broncos' fourth-round pick in 2009.
Olsen, 24, is a Willmar native who attended the University of Iowa. He appeared in three games for Denver as a rookie and was waived on Saturday. He's listed as a guard but has experience at tackle, too.
The Vikings also were considering "multiple options" to aid their ailing cornerback group, Childress said. Undrafted rookie Marcus Sherels -- signed to the practice squad along with safety Colt Anderson, guard Thomas Austin, receiver Freddie Brown, fullback Ryan D'Imperio, defensive tackle Tremaine Johnson and receiver Logan Payne -- may be the emergency option.
Linebacker Nate Triplett, the fifth-round pick, wasn't re-signed to the practice squad in part because the Vikings kept seven linebackers on the active roster.
"It's kind of a global deal," Childress said. "You've got to be able to practice."
• Favre said the injection he took into his surgically repaired left ankle after the Vikings' exhibition game on Aug. 28 was "more or less a lubricant" and wasn't cortisone. Asked if the shot helped, Favre said, "It felt bad going in. I'm kind of scared of needles, by the way. Regardless, I was already squirming. It may be mental too. It seems to have helped a little bit, but it's a long season so I might need more than silicone, or whatever it is."
• MLB E.J. Henderson said his conditioning is "pretty good" and he expects to play the full game Thursday for the first time since his breaking a leg last Dec. 6 at Arizona. "Everything's good, baby," Henderson said. "No hitch. No discomfort."