Tarvaris Jackson is hurt and Kelly Holcomb is in. But one has to wonder, given some other moves the Vikes have made in the last few days, whether Tarvaris would’ve been the starter today against Philly even had he been 100% healthy.
What do we make of the fact that, in an interview a couple days ago, Adrian Peterson announced that he is now officially the starter and will remain so for the rest of the season? What did Chester Taylor do to lose his “starting” job besides pull his groin (not quite badly enough to be kept out of today’s game)? The answer is “nothing” – Adrian’s just better, and Childress obviously decided that it was time for his little “Adrian is still the number 2 guy” charade to end. Childress obviously intends to ride Adrian as hard as he dares from now on – knowing he still has Chester around to spell him if things start getting out of hand.
And there’s been another change to the depth chart too – Marcus McCauley has been demoted from nickelback and replaced by the more-experienced Charles Gordon. McCauley wowed everyone in training camp and the preseason but has gotten lit up some in recent games. The Vikings apparently no longer feel comfortable trying to cover for a green rookie while he’s learning, and are trying instead to shore up a pass defense that has dropped to near the bottom of the league.
Add all this up and I think the message is clear: Brad Childress’s seat is starting to feel a little warm. Developmental projects like T-Jack and McCauley are being put off for a later day, and the one young guy who has produced, Peterson, is being given an expanded role. Now Childress needs to take it the next step and open up the playbook. He can shift the personnel around all he wants, but new guys in new spots won’t mean anything if they’re running the same old cruddy plays.