About the Author
Recent posts by Eric Edholm
Here's a look at how the Vikings' rookies fared in the Week Eight loss to the Patriots in New England:
CB Chris Cook (second round): Cook received the lion's share of the nickel work against the Patriots and was not great. He missed a big tackle on a short pass that turned into a longer-than-it-should-have-been gain. He left the game with a quad injury, and his status for Sunday is up in the air. But pay attention to what defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said of Cook's play: "I think he is starting to get some of (his confidence) back. When you miss as much time as he did (with a knee injury) and miss all those reps, especially the live reps, and being a rookie, it's a little bit tougher. He's going to have to keep playing and playing through some things, and the more he plays, he'll eventually make some plays and his confidence will grow. But he's missed a lot of time."
RB Toby Gerhart (second round): Quietly, Gerhart is starting to make his presence felt. He trucked through a Patriots defensive back on a screen play late in the game for a nice gain. Gerhart has received more snaps with each game and is being used more in the passing game, though there still are some rough patches. He didn't do anything on the ground and whiffed badly in pass protection twice, including one that led to an intentional-grounding call. Still, the gains here are positive, and he's starting to look like an NFL player who can step in and contribute.
DE Everson Griffen (fourth round): Griffen has not had any significant reps on defense, but he seems to be taking to his new special-teams role quite nicely. Although he has been credited with only one special-teams tackle the past two weeks (none Sunday), Griffen "runs over everybody," according to special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy. Added Murphy: "He was activated the past couple of weeks and really has done a good job. He's taken the bit; it's important to him. Certainly he's physically gifted with speed and strength. He's got good football understanding; he plays well in space, and he's a guy to be excited about."
OG Chris DeGeare (fifth round): Inactive the past three weeks. He'll be in or out of the lineup based on injuries, depth, etc. The Vikings viewed him as something of a project and are not displeased with his progress so far.
QB Joe Webb (sixth round): Has been the emergency QB for all seven games. A major work in progress with interesting potential.