Updated: August 5th, 2010 12:33pm
Notebook: Tarvaris Jackson shines in 2-minute; Greg Lewis keeps producing

Notebook: Tarvaris Jackson shines in 2-minute; Greg Lewis keeps producing

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Running the starting offense's first 2-minute drill on Thursday morning, Tarvaris Jackson probably had his best series of training camp.

The Minnesota Vikings' quarterback-for-now completed 7 of 9 passes, including an 11-yard touchdown bullet to Greg Lewis with seconds to go.

"It was good for us as an offense," Jackson said. "We moved the ball, put the ball in the end zone. That's what the 2-minute drill is about."

The scenario put the offense at its own 37-yard line with 1 minute, 15 seconds to go and needing a touchdown.

Jackson completed three key passes to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe -- a 6-yard out on third-and-3, a 7-yard checkdown on fourth-and-2 and a 16-yarder up the seam that moved the ball to the defense's 11.

Jackson spiked the ball with 11 seconds left, then threw on second to Lewis, who went up and came down with the ball against safety Jamarca Sanford in the end zone.

"We don't go live as much as I'm used to, so, that's a situation where we are pretty much live," Lewis said. "It's not tackle-to-the-ground, but it's pretty much getting after it, and to get a score at the end of the drive -- we feel pretty good as an offense about it."

The second-team offense also converted, with the help of two pass-interference calls on fourth downs -- one on linebacker Ben Leber and one on cornerback Asher Allen.

Needing a field goal and starting from the offense's 20 with 1:54 left, Sage Rosenfels completed 7 of 8 passes and showed good awareness to run time off the clock after hitting Taye Biddle for a 14-yard gain to the defense's 35.

The defense was called for offsides, moving the ball to the 30, and Rhys Lloyd hit a 48-yard field goal from the right hash as time expired.

"Can't get enough of that work," coach Brad Childress said. "Just as we kind of reviewed last night, the teams that were coming one way to beat us or we were trying to go one way to beat somebody else -- games in this league come down to that quite frequently."

Taking advantage

Lewis also had a pair of impressive catches on slants in 7-on-7 passing drills and has been Jackson's most reliable target in the absences of Sidney Rice (hip) and Percy Harvin (personal).

"He's the jack of all trades," Childress said. "He can swing at every one of those wide receiver positions. He understands a bunch of that, and he knows how to wiggle himself open. He may not be as physically imposing as you would think a wide receiver would be, but he's crafty. He's got very good hand-eye coordination."

Visibly exhausted after practice, Lewis was asked if he's holding up with all the extra work.

"I'm making it," he said. "That's what I signed up for, to come out here and play football and do what the coaches ask of me. Whether Percy and Sidney or whomever is out here, I've got to do my job when I'm called upon. I'm tired, but I'm going to keep pushing through it and keep trying to get better."

Health watch

Running back/return man Darius Reynaud wasn't seen a day after sustaining an apparent left ankle or foot injury. The Star Tribune reported it's a sprained ankle and Reynaud will miss a week or two.

Running back Adrian Peterson (leg), cornerback Benny Sapp and linebacker J Leman all remained sidelined, too.

Sapp dropped out of practice Saturday morning because of dehydration and has dressed for only one practice since. He declined to discuss specifics about the injury except to say it's "nothing major."

In his absence, Asher Allen has taken the majority of reps as the third cornerback in the nickel package -- the job for which Sapp would be competing -- and rookie Chris Cook also has gotten some work with the starters.

"It's tough," Sapp said. "But I've got to look at the brighter side to it. I'm resting my body."

Quick hits

• There's still no timetable for Harvin to rejoin the team after the death of his grandmother. "Kind of a fluid situation," Childress said. "Ever-changing." Harvin hasn't practiced since Saturday night.

Jon Cooper took the first-team reps at center during morning team drills in place of John Sullivan, who still has a nasty cleat mark on the back of his right calf. Sullivan did everything in the afternoon.

• One of the livelier moments in the morning practice came when Shiancoe and LB Chad Greenway decided to line up for an impromptu one-on-one battle. With the entire team watching, Shiancoe ran the seam but couldn't hang onto the pass against Greenway's tight coverage, sending the defense into a raucous celebration.

• Final passing stats for the morning in 11-on-11 drills: Jackson 10-for-13, Rosenfels 10-for-11, Joe Webb 1-for-1. The trio also was a combined 15-of-17 in 7-on-7. The afternoon practice featured no competitive drills, with the defense going half-speed in team while the offense practiced screens and deception.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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