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Musgrave says Vikings offense will take more shots

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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.”

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50 Responses to “Musgrave says Vikings offense will take more shots”
  1. niblickmaster says: Sep 17, 2011 5:56 AM

    No doubt having a new coach and a new quarterback come in and try to put together an NFL offense with no off-season work is difficult. It will take them until about week 10 to find a rhythm.

  2. chargerdillon says: Sep 17, 2011 5:57 AM

    The only shots you’ll be taking is moneyshots on the face Vikings :-(

  3. scudbot says: Sep 17, 2011 6:01 AM

    “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.” The grass skippers and plonked screens probably didn’t help either. I don’t like the Chargers but that season opening INT was especially delicious. First game, first series, first play from scrimmage, first pass.

  4. stellarperformance says: Sep 17, 2011 6:23 AM

    In other words…”We’re going to let McNabb improvise to try to make something happen on the fly…just like Favre used to do. Except this time we’re not going to fight it and hope that it works.”

  5. Robert Chandler says: Sep 17, 2011 6:25 AM

    I’ve been a Vikings fan since 1970, so I am as familiar with their history and team personality as anyone. This current regime (Wilf’s era) sounds more and more similar to the type of meaningless words spouted by many politicians. Instead of being truly honest and to the point, they all seem adept at saying almost nothing in all their media interactions.

    They state the obvious, make vague references to “doing things differently”, and seem to be trying to put a spin on the situation. I hate to say it, but my gut feeling is that the team ownership and management is either truly delusional or flat out stupid. The GM is over-rated, the head coach is vastly underwhelming as a leader or strategist, and the team lacks talent across the board. That’s MY version of the true state of this franchise. They just locked up arguably the best RB of this era (although I feel he is somewhat over-valued) for what I think is mainly to keep fans deluded over the team’s actual chances at winning anything of importance.

    Have you really looked at their roster? The Offensive Line is a shambles. The defensive line is one injury away from being mediocre, and the secondary is sorry (Antoine Winfield the lone exception). The WR crew lacks a true deep threat (Berrian should have been cut, obviously), the QB situation is a disgrace, and the linebackers are about as good as the average NFL team. So, you are awash in mediocrity, at best. I see Peterson toiling for a team heading nowhere, wasting the prime years of his career and beyond, when he could have been on a perennial playoff team. Maybe I’m naive in thinking a player like him even cares about Super Bowl rings. Heck, maybe most teams don’t actually care much about that anymore. It’s all about politics, marketing, and spinning the truth so it “sounds” like you know what you’re doing and it “sounds” like your team is not really hopeless – even when, like the Vikings, it is.

    This franchise is really ridiculous in recent years. A laughing stock, to be honest. The team never really develops a franchise QB, and then when they finally go for one in the first round they reach for a 3rd Round talent. They make a RB the “face of the franchise” in an era when no one does that. To me, running backs are interchangeable. Oh, the fancy dancers like Barry Sanders bring fans to their feet once in awhile, but the formula for winning centers upon a smart, talented QB behind a studly Line, a stout defense that makes big plays, and a crew of dependable receivers. You can work with a pair of solid RBs or a committee and still win the big games. I feel the franchise handcuffed themselves by extending a huge contract to Peterson, as much as I like and admire the player. He is not a leader and never could be. And if he pops a hamstring one day, then you have all that money tied up in nothing, and little room to buy the other players you need. And this team, whether my fellow fans will admit it or not, needs an awful lot.

    I have lost faith in the front office, the coaches and even many of the players. Some of them must realize how terrible things look for the foreseeable future, and soon you’ll hear trade requests and other rumblings emanating between the sound bites of the “politicians” posing as coaches. I see 4-12 this year, if not worse. Much as it pains me to say it, this team will be lucky to reach that record.

    Stop spinning, and get to rebuilding. With no stadium, no playoffs, and no real compelling public image, I won’t be surprised to see them move or get sold in the next two years. Spell it: DISASTER.

  6. deenice810 says: Sep 17, 2011 7:03 AM

    Your quarterback threw for 36 yards and you took one shot downfield and now you’re gonna open things up. I guess Musgrave didn’t realize that Chargers game really counted. Lookout Bucs, Frazier and Musgrave are taking the gloves off.

  7. tarken10 says: Sep 17, 2011 7:39 AM

    Is there a law in Minnesota that mandates the Vikings to hire skittish coaches? Is this PC run wild, where the Vikings are not allowed to offend any other team or coach by actually gaining yardage or scoring on the opponent’s defense?

    The article here is spot on. This is the same approach that Childress took with Brad Johnson as his QB: Run Peterson straight into the line, then throw 2-yard passes in an attempt to crawl downfield without taking any risks.

    Hey, Bill Cowher, there’s a team in Minnesota filled with talent that is just waiting for a coach who will instill in them leadership, a take no prisoners attitude, and some testosterone. Please take them over next season.

  8. seabreezes51 says: Sep 17, 2011 7:53 AM

    Taped on the centers butt
    “Throw football to hands”

  9. nelspetersen says: Sep 17, 2011 7:54 AM

    I cannot speak for every Viking fan but I am immensely glad that Musgrave is calling the plays instead of “Childish.” Mostly because I’ve already seen more trickery and deceptiveness in our preseason offense than I saw in two years with Brad at the helm. I think Musgrave has a plan to incorporate Harvin into the offense more, although he should have him returning both punts and kickoffs.

  10. nelspetersen says: Sep 17, 2011 8:09 AM

    ..all the time as well.

  11. omegaichiban says: Sep 17, 2011 8:21 AM

    Joe Webb…If Ponder unseats him, cool, if not cool.
    39 yards?

  12. buck2buckus says: Sep 17, 2011 9:10 AM

    Let’s hope for more diversity. It’s been one week. Sometimes with the NFL we are a little reactionary with a week in between games to talk about it. If they come out and score 30 this week it will be like week 1 is forgotten. Has to be better this week, cant be worse they wont throw for 38 yards. Let’s see Percy getting the ball in space and a little more Jenkins. I am pretty sure I could outfight Berrian for a ball so he is still useless, unless he has a huge game this week then I will pretend I never said that.

  13. zn0rseman says: Sep 17, 2011 9:15 AM

    It’s tough to trust your QB when he’s throwing wobbly duck passes at every target beyond 7 yards, and throwing the rest of his passes into the dirt at the receivers feet. So I can’t blame Musgrave for getting a little conservative after the passing debacle that was the first couple of series.

  14. knucklehead93 says: Sep 17, 2011 9:19 AM

    Nice mug. Was he arrested too?

  15. richm2256 says: Sep 17, 2011 9:29 AM

    “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.”

    Um …. he does realize that his quarterback is Donovan McNabb, right?

  16. 2ruefan says: Sep 17, 2011 9:42 AM

    Wow. McNabb went from a Pro-bowl QB to a BUM in just one season?

    Really people…

    One game does NOT a season make…

  17. bcjim says: Sep 17, 2011 9:49 AM

    Have the receivers lie on the turf. McNabb should connect with them then.

  18. wtfru2 says: Sep 17, 2011 9:51 AM

    Hey Chandler, what are you a wannabe novelist? My god who could read all that drivel? I’ll bet you also ramble on in the letter to the editor column…

  19. spawnsacs says: Sep 17, 2011 9:58 AM

    Hey Vikings fans…..don’t you guys have a billboard down in Hattiesburg to start putting up? Is the white Escalade shined up?

    Aside from Peterson, this offense is a joke. McNabb…..and to think your team gave up draft picks to get him. So, you’re stuck with McNabb, have a 4th round rookie waiting in the wings ahead of T. Jack 2.0, looks like your set for the long haul.

    Enjoy futility…..and to think you were one legendary interception away from the Superbowl a couple of years ago.

  20. sophiethegreatdane says: Sep 17, 2011 9:59 AM

    Come on Minnesota, you named your football stadium after a frickin’ mall???

    A mall???

    Yes, I know it’s a big mall, the largest mall in Absurdistan, but that doesn’t make it any better. Having the biggest mall is like having the biggest ass in your high school class — unique , yes. Desirable? No.

  21. CKL says: Sep 17, 2011 10:04 AM

    2ruefan says: Sep 17, 2011 9:42 AM

    Wow. McNabb went from a Pro-bowl QB to a BUM in just one season?

    Really people…

    One game does NOT a season make…
    ____________________________________
    No he didn’t. All QBs have bad games here and there, that’s
    not a huge issue. But McNabb was always overrated and Reid covered his flaws very well. For all the crap Romo takes in the media, McNabb is a bigger reason his teams have lost over his career than Romo ever will be and McNabb takes 0 crap from the media in comparison. All week long they crowed ON AND ON about Romo but McNabb has an EPICALLY bad performance coming off a horrible season and it’s glossed over and made excuses for by them. I’m a Pats fan so I have no rooting interest with Romo either. And Romo stands up and owns his mistakes to the press something McNabb NEVER EVER EVER does. I can’t stand that weak minded baloney. It reminds me of Bledsoe, who in my mind is a very similar QB to McNabb in all ways.

  22. thegrey7 says: Sep 17, 2011 10:17 AM

    The difference between Musgrave and Childress? Musgrave took responsibility, and said he would change. Those words never came out of Chilly’s mouth in all his years.

  23. calvikefan1 says: Sep 17, 2011 10:18 AM

    Wow ! So Musgrave has decided to open it up huh. That means that Donovan will be 10 for 20 and 45 yds., instead of 7 for 15 and 39 yds. showing a vast improvement from the pervious week. I’ll bet Tampa is just biting their nails . P.S although that was a lengthy post by Chandler he is right.

  24. scarletmacaw says: Sep 17, 2011 10:20 AM

    In two seasons as OC of the Jags, Musgrave failed to generate a single 30-point game. His replacement, Carl Smith, not exactly known for stellar offenses, stopped the streak in his first year.

    Good luck this year Vikes fans.

  25. richm2256 says: Sep 17, 2011 10:20 AM

    2ruefan says:
    Wow. McNabb went from a Pro-bowl QB to a BUM in just one season?

    Really people…

    One game does NOT a season make…

    ——————————————————–

    Actually, McNabb has been a bum for many more years than just 2010.

    Even in his 2009 Matt Cassell-ish 11-5 Pro Bowl season (11-5, Pro Bowl??? Really?), there were several key games where he flopped like a cow pie.

    Dallas, anyone? Twice.

  26. nflfuturist says: Sep 17, 2011 10:24 AM

    “That’s what we’re based on is running the ball, featuring Adrian [Peterson]…”

    And that’s why the Vikings will continue to be irrelevant from now until there is a change in mindset. Featured RB’s and a run-first attack doesn’t win Super Bowls in this era.

    25% of NFL teams are now focusing on young talent, embracing the pass, and basing decisions on mounds of data.

    What are the Vikings doing? Bringing in washed up players, maintaining the archaic notion that running the ball 1st is key to success, and who knows how they are basing their game time decisions.

    As a know-it-all Millenial, it’s frustrating watching these seasoned coaches be so scared to evolve and take chances. Much like in business, innovation is difficult. Going against the grain or tradition draws criticism. But distrupting the status quo should be the goal of every single organization who didn’t make the playoffs.

    Until the Vikings start defining the game much like the Patriots or Green Bay have recently done, they are just another lost organization.

  27. richm2256 says: Sep 17, 2011 10:24 AM

    CKL says:
    It reminds me of Bledsoe, who in my mind is a very similar QB to McNabb in all ways.
    ———————————————————
    Drew Bledsoe never puked on a Super Bowl field.

  28. cowboyhater says: Sep 17, 2011 10:34 AM

    As a skins fan, I can’t say that I’m not surprised, especially from what I had to endure last year. Shanahan got a ton of slack for the benching, but if you did not witness his performance week in and week out, you would not have been surprised about that. Yes, he passed for many yards, but during that time, he had no clue where the receivers were on the field, or how to properly call a play in the huddle. I’m sure McNabb will bounce back, but he should really consider retirement before he destroys his reputation as one of the top tier QB’s in NFL history. It’s over McNabb, not everyone can have longevity like a Brett Farve, or Warren Moon. HTTR!

  29. arodg12 says: Sep 17, 2011 10:57 AM

    I’m sure the Bucs D is shaking in their boots.

  30. Soulman45 says: Sep 17, 2011 10:59 AM

    What the Viking is trying to do that are killing them is keeping up with THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS which I fine imposable for them to do.
    The Lions will go 10-6
    The viking will go 6-12

  31. welzy says: Sep 17, 2011 11:18 AM

    “Musgrave says Vikings offense will take more shots”
    ————————————————–
    Didn’t they have enough after the last game? Schnapps, tequila, whiskey, anything to get that damn game outta their minds…

  32. jessethegreat says: Sep 17, 2011 11:25 AM

    HGH to get them to the level of mediocre teams? Inject everyone besides Kleinsausage, AD, and Percy

  33. CKL says: Sep 17, 2011 11:41 AM

    richm2256 says: Sep 17, 2011 10:24 AM

    CKL says:
    It reminds me of Bledsoe, who in my mind is a very similar QB to McNabb in all ways.
    ———————————————————
    Drew Bledsoe never puked on a Super Bowl field.

    _____________________________________
    No and there’s actually no tangible proof McNabb did in that particular game either. He just sucked. Just like Bledsoe usually did in the playoffs.

  34. randallcobb says: Sep 17, 2011 11:44 AM

    Viking’s are offensive. That’s funny.

  35. seananagan says: Sep 17, 2011 12:02 PM

    I can’t wait until “Brad Childress & the Vikings” aren’t mentioned in the same sentence, story, etc anymore.

  36. funkydunkleman says: Sep 17, 2011 12:50 PM

    This is the worst jumping to conclusions I have ever seen after one week of football, all around the league.

    “The Packers are now a lock to make the super bowl”
    “The Steelers are too old. They don’t have it anymore”
    “Cam Newton is really an NFL ready QB.”
    “Indy is worthless without Peyton”

    and now it’s “The Vikings offense is screwed. Musgrave is way too predictable! Donovan is the worst QB ever. Bring in Ponder!”

    It’s one game people!

    One game on the road, against one of the best teams in the NFL, coming off an abbreviated offseason, and it’s the first game for your starting QB, Offensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator, and your best D-lineman is out.

    Did people really think there wouldn’t be some learning on the fly?

  37. packerswambulance says: Sep 17, 2011 12:56 PM

    Robert Chandler, don’t call yourself a Vikings fan. You’re a troll. You can’t find anything positive about the state of the franchise? Go be a fan of some other team, you should be able to flop over pretty easy.

  38. dogsweat1 says: Sep 17, 2011 1:31 PM

    Mall of America Field vs Farmers Field.

    Which do you think Zygi will take?

  39. ejmat2 says: Sep 17, 2011 1:38 PM

    For those that actually watched the game you would say that it’s true. McNabb wasn’t exactly sharp. However, was it exactly his fault? I think the OLine deserves a huge part of the blame. They played like turnstyles and McNabb never had time to throw the ball. The fact is I don’t care what QB was behind center that game they wouldn’t have done well.

    They took one shot deep because the line didn’t give him enough time for a WR to get down field. The one shot they took McNabb was again hit and pressured and therefore somewhat under threw Berrian. The problem there was Berrian did a great job adjusting but then dropped it. if he catches that pass, the other pass he dropped and there was one more pass dropped that were all critical plays we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Musgrave, thanks for taking the blame because the play calling was absolutely ridiculous. But no thanks to sticking up for your OLine for playing like crap. They easily were the worst OLine in the NFL last Sunday and that includes Seattles OLine.

  40. purplehayseuss says: Sep 17, 2011 2:12 PM

    chargerdillon gets a pass on this thinly-veiled porno reference, and I get the boot for full days at a time for using ‘Holy” a few times relative to the Packers?

    Stunning. Disappointing.

  41. fallcoon says: Sep 17, 2011 2:48 PM

    Ponder or Webb? I don’t care, just not McNabb.

  42. kennyrogerschicken says: Sep 17, 2011 3:18 PM

    The descent continues . . .

  43. VikesPrincess (Lisa) says: Sep 17, 2011 5:04 PM

    @sophiethegreatdane says:
    Come on Minnesota, you named your football stadium after a frickin’ mall???

    A mall???

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You know how fields are “named” right? It’s not like the people of Minnesota cut a ribbon and said “I christen ye Mall of America Field!”

    Perhaps if you don’t know what you’re talking about, the prudent decision is to not talk.

    @nflfuturist says:

    What are the Vikings doing? Bringing in washed up players, maintaining the archaic notion that running the ball 1st is key to success, and who knows how they are basing their game time decisions.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Have you looked at the Vikings roster? I believe we have about 5 players on the 53 man roster with 2-digit years of experience. Apart from McNabb (whom I dislike by the way), the Vikings roster is not “washed up”.

    PS – Millenials don’t know crap.

    @Soulman45 says:
    What the Viking is trying to do that are killing them is keeping up with THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS which I fine imposable for them to do.
    The Lions will go 10-6
    The viking will go 6-12
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I see the economy in Detroit isn’t the only sub-par thing the state of Michigan has to offer. Apparently math class is optional? On what planet are the Vikings playing 18 regular season games this year?

  44. richm2256 says: Sep 17, 2011 5:47 PM

    CKL says:
    No and there’s actually no tangible proof McNabb did in that particular game either. He just sucked. Just like Bledsoe usually did in the playoffs.

    1) I saw that with my own two eyes on the replay, as did millions of other fans.

    2) I am far from a Bledsoe fan, but he got New England to the 1996 Super Bowl, and without his win against the Steelers in the 2001 AFC title game, there is no Super Bowl win against the Rams.

    Donovan McNabb WISHES he could have sucked that bad in the playoffs.

  45. bzeller says: Sep 17, 2011 7:15 PM

    Hey Chandler , nobody is putting a gun to your head….. Go support the packers you piece of crap ! Being a fan is taking the good with bad sometimes. Nobody appreciates your analysis !

  46. vikesfansteve says: Sep 17, 2011 8:46 PM

    Percy Harvin: dropped a first down.

    Shaincoe: dropped a first down.

    Berrian: even though it was slightly behind him dropped not only a huge gain but a potential td.

    It was a repeat of last year for Farve. Drop, drop, drop. These receivers need to be held just as accountable.

    It’s really annoying.

    The passes may be a little low or late but all are catchable for a pro.

    Makes me sick.

  47. vikesfansteve says: Sep 17, 2011 8:51 PM

    I spelled Favre wrong.

  48. VikesPrincess (Lisa) says: Sep 17, 2011 10:05 PM

    @vikesfansteve:

    You’re right. Our receivers could use a flogging. Berrian just needs to be cut. I can’t believe Frazier was stupid enough to keep him.

  49. brewdogg says: Sep 17, 2011 10:20 PM

    I’m more than a little tired of this whole “passing league” thing. There’s a phrase…. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. And anybody who has followed the NFL knows that it is just as cyclical as anything else. Do I need to explain it to you? Here’s how it works….

    A couple passing teams have some success. The rest of the copycat coaches in the league try to emulate them. Teams set up their defenses to stop the pass, with coverage safeties, pass-rushing DL, and fast LBs. Then a team or two with maulers on the line and a good back come in and walk all over them. Now everybody wants to copy that, and defenses have to adjust. Then the passing game gets it’s turn again. Over and over and over….. Or do you really think that the Patriots/Colts/Saints/Packers are the first teams to feature the passing game and win the SB?

    Now look around the league. How many defenses do you see that are built to stop the pass? Hmmmm….. I’m not saying it will be the Vikings. It could be the Raiders or the Browns or someone else that will shock the league by bucking the trend, and those coaches will be proclaimed as geniuses and copied. And the cycle continues…..

    And BTW, Robert Chandler….. That little rant sounds familiar. I believe I have heard the very same thing from a certain Packers fan who posts on here. In fact, I think he just posted it again on this thread.

  50. stellarperformance says: Sep 18, 2011 6:40 AM

    Robert Chandler says: Sep 17, 2011 6:25 AM
    I’ve been a Vikings fan since 1970,………
    ————————————————————-

    I read your entire sixteen-page manifesto, I I think it accurately sums up the feelings of many Viking fans. The posers (sorry..I meant posters,) that are giving you crap about it are the ones that wish everything you said weren’t true. When you combine the jealousy those same fans have for Green Bay, they can’t sit idly by and let someone like you tell the world the truth, even though in their hearts they agree. That’s just human nature. It was a well-written piece that took took guts. You sound like the solid type of proud Viking fan it takes to keep the faith, not a wagon-jumper with a purple #4 dog-drying jersey hanging in the garage. Good luck on the stadium deal.

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