MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -When Minnesota Vikings coaches gave the starting offense the play script for the preseason opener, the eyes of Sidney Rice and the rest of his fellow receivers lit up.
``Wow, 10 pass plays in a row?'' Rice said, recalling his reaction. ``It was pretty exciting.''
Exciting for an exhibition game, at least. As if fans and analysts needed any more proof that quarterback Tarvaris Jackson's development will be central to this season's success, the Vikings put his right arm to work right away by sending him back in the pocket for the entire first quarter Friday against Seattle.
s of 28 yards. The Vikings had five turnovers, but none by their starting quarterback.
Coach Brad Childress told Jackson earlier in the week about the plan.
``He's a team player. He knows he needs to improve, and that's the fastest way to improve,'' Childress said after Minnesota's 34-17 defeat. ``I thought he did some decent things.''
Jackson thought so, too.
``We feel very comfortable with our running game, but we just wanted to get our pass game off to a fresh start,'' Jackson said. ``I feel good. I felt real comfortable. It's preseason. I'm not doing a lot, but I still felt comfortable out there.''
Childress spoke not only of the desire to get Jackson in a rhythm throwing the ball, but to tune up his protection from the offensive line and running back Adrian Peterson. Jackson had plenty of time.
``The offensive line did a great job protecting today. I really didn't get touched all day. I'm just very confident, knowing it's going to be like that,'' Jackson said. ``Hopefully it'll be like that all year.''
Sept. 8 could be a different story, during the regular-season opener in Green Bay, when Aaron Kampman is lined up on the other side and the Packers are applying pressure in a game that counts.
But so far, so good.
``I think he was doing a tremendous job out there,'' Rice said. ``He was leading the huddle, demanding, getting things done.''
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