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Updated: August 7th, 2012 12:26pm
Vikings offense won't tip hand in preseason opener against 49ers

Vikings offense won't tip hand in preseason opener against 49ers

by Tom Pelissero
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Alan Williams says he won't hide schematic changes on defense in the Minnesota Vikings' exhibition opener on Friday at San Francisco.

Bill Musgrave doesn't think he has that luxury -- especially with the 49ers scheduled to come to the Metrodome for a regular-season game on Sept. 23.

"Yep, especially when we play these suckers early," the Vikings' offensive coordinator said on Tuesday. "We've got them in the third game. That's definitely a factor when we talk about what we're going to show, what we want to work on and what we could care less about."

The Vikings won't do any opponent work in practice this week, even though the 49ers play a 3-4 defense they haven't worked against so far in training camp.

"It'll be against different people, a different scheme than we've been facing this spring and this summer," Musgrave said. "We want to be able to handle that and still execute effectively. That's our goal."

Musgrave said the game plan on Friday "will just be a smaller percentage of our playbook that applies to their defense" and he hopes to take the starting offense as deep into the first quarter as possible.

"We're going to go run our stuff and evaluate our guys and turn 'em loose and go play some football," Musgrave said. "They've got a lot of good people on their defense. We've got good people on offense, too. So, it'll be enjoyable to watch."

The offense had its worst practice of camp on Monday, struggling in short-yardage, goal-line and no-huddle situations.

Asked how concerned he was with that performance, Musgrave said, "We always have concerns. We're always looking to get better. (Monday) we took a step backward in a couple periods. We're looking to make those corrections and get better the next time we're faced with those certain periods for sure."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 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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