Vikings QB McNabb brushes off questions about his mechanics

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Is it possible to teach an old quarterback new tricks?

The Vikings (0-3) have been evaluating Donovan McNabb's mechanics this week, a response to some inaccuracy issues that have bogged down the 34-year-old signal-caller and the Minnesota offense.

McNabb has only one turnover through three games. His predecessor, Brett Favre, had seven by this point last season. But several of McNabb's throws have been uncatchable, either one-hoppers that landed well short of receivers or air balls that sailed over the heads of his targets.

McNabb ranks 26th in the NFL with a 78.1 passer rating. His completion percentage is just 58, though that's close to his career average.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Thursday the team was examining the way McNabb drops into the pocket, uses his feet when he's there and releases the ball into flight. Frazier later said there were areas the coaching staff had identified as potential points of quality control in practice.

"It's not a whole lot different than, say, a guy who is a Cy Young winner in baseball," Frazier said. "You're always trying to improve on what you have. You don't ever want to stay the same."

McNabb didn't sound as if he wholeheartedly welcomed the focus on his fundamentals entering Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"When you're critical of yourself and your play, you just look at your reads, you look at how fast you can get the ball out," McNabb said, brushing off the necessity of actually breaking down his throwing motion, like a pitcher would. "Obviously, you look at footwork and things of that nature, but that's not just at my position. That's from everyone."

McNabb was infamously benched by the Washington Redskins last year during his one tumultuous season with the team.

"I've been in the situation before, many times. Everybody loves the backup," McNabb said. "But that's for every team. When things go well, the quarterback is the one who sees all the attention. When things go wrong, they are the ones who get criticized the most."

Notes: After being held out of Wednesday's practice, RB Adrian Peterson (calf) and LB E.J. Henderson (knee) participated in Thursday's workout. Frazier said Peterson looked good, but Henderson still showed some tenderness in the joint.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.

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