Once a candidate to start, Vikings QB Bollinger on shaky ground Print
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Monday, 27 August 2007 17:08
NFL Headline News

 EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -When Brooks Bollinger arrived at training camp, Minnesota Vikings coaches told him he was competing for the starting quarterback job.
After a less than impressive performance in Saturday's loss to Seattle, Bollinger may now find himself simply competing for the backup spot.
Bollinger was 6-for-11 for 52 yards and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, in a little under two quarters of work against the Seahawks.
Two days later, the Vikings traded an undisclosed 2009 draft pick to Philadelphia for veteran Kelly Holcomb, who will push Bollinger for the No. 2 job behind starter Tarvaris Jackson.
``Obviously I would've liked to play better and help our team win the football game,'' Bollinger said Monday. ``But I'm not doing anything other than learning from the tape and moving forward.''
Bollinger's second interception, a desperation heave on fourth-and-6 with the clock running down, was justifiable.
It was the first one, in which he threw a late pass that Kevin Hobbs picked off and returned 39 yards for a score that had the coaches shaking their heads.
``I think Brooks would be the first one to tell you, the one thing that we preach here is taking care of the football,'' offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. ``The one interception that goes back for a touchdown, it's not entirely all put on Brooks. But a combination of things that happened ended up with that ball going the other way, and we just can't have it.''
Bevell said Bollinger should have taken a three-step drop after getting the shotgun snap rather than the five steps he did take, which put him behind on the timing of the play. Coupled with receiver Justin Surrency running the route a shade too shallow, it was disaster for the Vikings.
``I really felt pretty good the other night. It kind of turned on that one play,'' Bollinger said. ``I felt like we did some all right things and moved the football and we were right there in it.
``They went down and scored a quick touchdown and obviously we gave one to them. And they made a good play and scored a touchdown and it kind of turned from there. I'm just trying to learn from what I can and build and move forward.''
With one more preseason game to go against Dallas on Thursday night, Bollinger will have to move forward in a hurry if he's hoping to keep his job as the backup to Jackson, a young, strong-armed quarterback who is still learning the game.
The 34-year-old Holcomb is well-versed in the Vikings offense, and his 21 career starts are more than double Bollinger's nine. Holcomb ran the same system in Philadelphia and is expected to get some playing time against the Cowboys, though coach Brad Childress said Bollinger will be the second quarterback in after Jackson plays the opening series.
``It's out of my control,'' Bollinger said when asked about Holcomb. ``I don't worry about it. All I can do today is show up and get myself better and do what I can do to help this offense be better on Thursday night.''
While underwhelmed by Bollinger's 27.7 rating through four possessions on Saturday night, Vikings coaches expressed support for him on Monday.
Childress said Bollinger will be on the roster when the season opens Sept. 9, and that they traded for Holcomb because ``I just wanted to make sure we have insurance.''
With Jackson still growing into the starting role, a reliable, dependable veteran has never been more important.
``Am I still confident in Brooks? Absolutely,'' Bevell said. ``He's a very conscientious guy. He is a professional. He has taken care of the football. He knows what we are asking him to do, and he usually does those things.''
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Jon Krawczynski can be reached at jkrawczynski(at)ap.org.
 

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