Managing the expectations of preseason - KMSP-TV

Managing the expectations of preseason

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In the realm of professional football, learning to read between the lines of what is truth and what is fiction. The truth is that preseason football doesn't count but don't think for one second that it doesn't matter.

All off season leading into training camp, the Vikings talked about being more explosive in the passing game and becoming more consistent offensively. In the first preseason game, the starters played two plays resulting in a Christian Ponder interception. In the second preseason game the first and second team offenses played the entire first half and had eight possessions. They went three-and-out in seven and scored only three points.

When Adrian Peterson makes his preseason debut on Sunday night against San Francisco, the full complement of offensive weapons will be at the disposal of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and Ponder and the first team will likely play the entire first half.

But what exactly is realistic?

If we aren't supposed to read too much into the preseason, do we continue to give Ponder a free pass in his second full season as a starter? We have heard all training camp that the coaches and players feel like he has taken steps forward and during the final four games of the regular season he was good (not great) in leading the team to a 4-0 record and into the playoffs. Having the MVP in Peterson should make his job easier and with a better receiving corps in place, there are no excuses left to be had. He will never be a pro-bowl quarterback, but the reality is that he doesn't need to be.

He just needs to be good and not turn the ball over in big spots (see at Lambeau last year).

Bishop with the ‘ones':

After a successful return to game action, Desmond Bishop will see reps with the first team defense on Sunday when the Vikings head to San Francisco. Bishop missed last season in Green Bay after he tore a hamstring in the first preseason game. He has missed time in training camp with a groin issue.

Injury notes:

Matt Kalil sat out back-to-back practices because of a sore knee. He is expected back to practice on Wednesday. Jarius Wright (concussion) is day to day, fullback Jerome Felton (appendectomy) and defensive tackle Christian Ballard (personal matter) also missed practice Monday.

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