With the new Vikings offense looking suspiciously like the old one (pre-Favre), new Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave says that change is coming.
Specifically, the Vikings will take more shots down the field in the passing game. In Week One, the Vikings took a grand total of, well, one.
“It is important,” Musgrave said of going deep, via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “That’s what we’re based on is running the ball, featuring Adrian [Peterson] but at the same time getting our quarterback in a rhythm, both down the field and also possession and control-type passes. That’s what we want to be and that’s what we will be.”
That’s what they weren’t against the Chargers, gaining only 26 yards in the second half of a 24-17 loss. And Musgrave took the blame for it.
“On Sunday, especially in the second half, we just didn’t get him in a rhythm,” Musgrave said, via Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com. “When I say we, I mean really it starts with me. So we’ll look forward to getting him in a rhythm from here on out.”
Whether and to what extent McNabb is in a rhythm has been an issue in the past, specifically in 2009, when the insertion of Mike Vick for a play or two here or there prompted McNabb to claim that he wasn’t getting into a rhythm. On Sunday, it was more about predictability than disruption, with Joe Webb being used in the “Blazer” package on a very limited basis, possibly only once.
It’s unclear why the Vikings were so obvious and predictable. It’s possible that Musgrave got a little skittish after McNabb threw a first-and-10 interception on the team’s first play from scrimmage, with the Vikings up 7-0 but quickly in a tie game after the Chargers drove six yards in three plays.
Regardless of the reason, and as Rosenthal pointed out earlier in the week, it’s as if Brad Childress never left. Against the Bucs in Week Two, look for the offense to be a little more diverse.
“We’re really looking forward to this week, as you guys can imagine,” Musgrave said. “Champing at the bit to get back out there on the field, especially at home, Mall of America Field, and get after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
At least Musgrave didn’t call the offense “kick ass.”