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  1. #11
    Kleinsasser40 is offline Coordinator
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    I had a request to post the entire article. I guess some people could not view it. Here it is:


    Playing time irks Bennett

    Will have to earn way into lineup, Tice says

    BY SEAN JENSEN

    Pioneer Press


    Like a wave of defenders, the surprises keep hurtling toward Vikings running back Michael Bennett.

    After Sunday's 20-3 victory over the Tennessee Titans, Bennett was startled by his limited workload in his season debut, a sentiment he echoed Monday around lunchtime.

    "I was very, very surprised," said Bennett, who reported no problem with a knee injury suffered on Aug. 27. "I guess it was just one of those things that I don't know what I did to bring up any question marks."

    Then, as he left Winter Park, Bennett was visibly stunned — although he declined to comment — to discover that coach Mike Tice announced during his news conference that he might even have to return kickoffs to work his way back into the lineup.

    "Mike's got to earn his way back into the fold. … At this point right now I don't have any inclination to start him," Tice said.

    Although Bennett technically started Sunday against the Titans, he carried the ball just once for no yards. Mewelde Moore has assumed the bulk of the run offense the past three weeks, and he broke a franchise record for most combined net yards (610) in that time span. In addition, the Vikings' run offense is rated a healthy 10th in the NFL, and veteran Moe Williams is healthy enough to fulfill his various roles.

    "You know the old adage," Tice said. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    It's a stark contrast to Bennett's midseason return last season. Coming back from a foot injury, Bennett was eased back him into the lineup and the Vikings lost the first three games in which he played. It was one of the team's worst rushing stretches of the season. Tice said he decided not break up his team's offensive rhythm Sunday by plugging Bennett into the lineup. Moore rushed for 138 yards on 20 carries and caught five passes for 30.

    "I noticed when we tried to get the perfect back in for the perfect play … that we lost some rhythm and weren't getting plays off as quick," Tice said.

    Tice said Bennett would get his chances, noting returning kicks as a possible way for him to contribute.

    "Mewelde is playing about as good as you can play," Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "We're in a good rhythm right now."

    Moore said he was pleased to receive the positive feedback from Linehan and Tice.

    "You always want someone to have faith in you," he said. "But I just worry first about ball security, then my footsteps, then my reads."

    As for his relationships with Bennett and Onterrio Smith, who will return from a suspension after Sunday's game, Moore said they're all fine. In fact, Bennett congratulated him on his performance Monday morning.

    "We're just trying to accumulate wins," Moore said, "and I'm trying to do my part."

    And when they all return, the running back once again will prove to be arguably the Vikings' deepest position, which is just fine with Linehan.

    "That's all going to help us win, and the whole group is going to be better because the competition is going to be furious," Linehan said. "It's a good problem to have."
    [img:2264cdc124]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/ultravikingfan/vikesklein.jpg[/img:2264cdc124]

  2. #12
    CanuckVike is offline Starter
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    Bennett is just frustrated. Who wouldn't be! He's been ready to make a comeback and he keeps getting dinged! But even he can't knock the team for wanting to keep with MM...things are going just toooo good with him. It might be different if Bennett was an 8 or 10 year veteran...you might "owe" him a shot...but he's not. He didn't start this season in perfect health and now he's just going to have to bide his time. Who knows, MM could get whacked and then things are different once again!!
    8ed0c24a99f7e44be7931aa4afb7bd88

  3. #13
    ItalianStallion's Avatar
    ItalianStallion is offline Jersey Retired
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    No offense, but there is no reason Bennett should expect to be handed back his starting job. He has done NOTHING for us in 1 and a half seasons. Even in his 1200 yard season, he was inconsistent. This offense needs a player that can consistently pick up yards. It seems every time he plays all he does is run into the line for no or little gain.

    He can't just live off the fact that he was a first round draft pick. He needs to step it up in whatever way he can.


    I m like a Ja Rule poster, cause I'm off the wall.

  4. #14
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    "ItalianStallion" wrote:
    No offense, but there is no reason Bennett should expect to be handed back his starting job. He has done NOTHING for us in 1 and a half seasons. Even in his 1200 yard season, he was inconsistent. This offense needs a player that can consistently pick up yards. It seems every time he plays all he does is run into the line for no or little gain.

    He can't just live off the fact that he was a first round draft pick. He needs to step it up in whatever way he can.
    During that season, Culpepper and others were inconsistant too. It isn't just Bennett alone in your argument. That is not fair to Bennett.

    I do agree that he shouldn't necessarily just assume to be handed the job back. He probably is surprised and frustrated because up until Monday Tice had given him no indication that he wouldn't be give more of a chance to win the job back. It wasn't until Monday when Tice made the BOLD comment that he doesn't "have any inclination to starting him (Bennett)." This comment was Tices response to something he read somewhere about "it was only a matter of time before Bennett would be starting for the Vikings."

    You would feel upset too when you only touched the ball once in the game the night before and then you find out your coach who didn't give you a chance to prove yourself says in his press conference, which he probably hasn't even told you to your own face, that he has NO inclination to start you "I am sure that it was put to Bennett by a reporter like this "So Mike how do you feel about the fact that Tice said this......NO INCLINATION to let you start this week because YOU screwed up the rhythm of the offense."

  5. #15
    Big C is offline Coordinator
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    I think our running success can be attributed to the O line and blocking more than the individual runner. It seems like whoever we plug in at RB is doing an awesome job. Just like the Denver Broncos. Maybe Bennet has the speed to make a difference between a 10 yard gain and a 40 yarder. He is just coming off an injury. I think the next few weeks of practice will be tell the coaches which back is best. For now though MM is the choice cos nothing is broke.
    Halo 4. Start another fight.

  6. #16
    muchluv4smoot's Avatar
    muchluv4smoot is offline Team Alumni
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    In 1998, who thought brad johnson should have gotten his job back, when he was healthy? You were crazy if you did, cunningham was playing great and the team as a whole, was playing much better with him in there. Right now, the team is playing great with MM as the main RB, and you never want to break that chemistry. If bennett was given his starting spot back, that is something that could put us in a tailspin, like we were in at the end of last year(not saying I think it would).

    "If it aint broke, don't fix it". Or more appropriately "if it is running better than it use to, let it be".

  7. #17
    mark is offline Asst. Coach
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    Just think what Bennett could be doing with holes MM is getting
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  8. #18
    muchluv4smoot's Avatar
    muchluv4smoot is offline Team Alumni
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    "mark" wrote:
    Just think what Bennett could be doing with holes MM is getting

    I have seen many many times were MM has found a tiny hole. I haven't seen many RB's in this league, that are able to find a hole or crack, like MM can. He is extremely above average when it comes to that. Bennett is below average when it comes to finding small holes. Sure bennett would probably run for longer gains, when there is a huge hole, but there are many many more times in a game, when there is just a small hole, than there are big ones.

  9. #19
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    I was just looking at the stats. There was only one stretch where Bennett was totally dominant and we lost 3 of 4 games. Bennett had a 85(td), 78(td), and 62 yd runs in those 3 losses.

    Game By Game Stats: Keep in mind that the rushing attempts for OS and MW have been up this year from what Bennett had in the past and because they have been featured, no 3rd down back, they have more receptions/game.

    Bennett's

    http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/235196/gamelogs/2001

    http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/235196/gamelogs/2002

    http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/235196/gamelogs/2003

    Moore's

    http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/493016/gamelogs/2004

  10. #20
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Bennett Bitter about lack of play

    I would like to see Bennett get a few screens on 3rd down this week and see if he can find the lanes to the end zone.

    In the next few weeks, maybe give him some more carries. Keep Moe out. Moe rhymes with slow. He looks worse than eddie george trying to hit holes.

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