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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    From the Pioneer Press;

    Posted on Thu, Dec. 29, 2005

    [size=18px]McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings[/size]

    DAVE CAMPBELL
    Associated Press

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The offensive line hasn't played up to Minnesota's standards, but the Vikings have been more than pleased with left tackle Bryant McKinnie this season.

    The 6-foot-8, 335-pound McKinnie, the team's first-round draft pick in 2002 who has started every game since the middle of his rookie year after ending a contentious contract holdout, has been by far the best lineman this season.

    Though guard Adam Goldberg has emerged down the stretch as another reliable performer, the coaches have frequently singled out McKinnie for his play this year. His increased experience showed.

    "Just the drive, I guess, to get better," McKinnie said, asked for a reason for his improvement.

    Two veterans who fell out of favor, or at least out of the starting lineup, this season were guard Chris Liwienski and tackle Mike Rosenthal. But the Vikings aren't willing to write them off, and the coaches were impressed by the way they handled being benched.

    "I don't think there's any doubt there's a lot of football left in both guys," offensive coordinator Steve Loney said. "I don't think bitterness ever came in. ... They are true professionals."

    ---

    DEFENSE HOPEFUL:

    After a slow start, the Vikings' rebuilt defense found its stride in November - one major reason for the team's turnaround. Coordinator Ted Cottrell sounded eager to start next season, assuming that Tice and his staff are retained.

    An early struggle was the attempt to mix several new players in with the holdovers and get them accustomed to working with each other - and with Cottrell's system. If the key players and coaches are still around next summer, there shouldn't be the same transition period.

    "It should be a lot easier," Cottrell said. "I look forward to it."

    One concern for the future is the age of several of the players who were added during the revamp last spring. Middle linebacker Sam Cowart will be 31 when training camp arrives, nose tackle Pat Williams will be 33, and free safety Darren Sharper will be 30.

    But there are several twentysomethings, like defensive ends Erasmus James and Kenechi Udeze, who are just as much a part of the overall plan to keep Cottrell from worrying about his charges slowing down.

    "You're hoping you can get that type of blend, that type of depth," he said, "and I think we had that."

    Cowart's health was in question when he was acquired, but he stayed healthier this season than the other veterans in that group.
    "He's been just a rock," Sharper said.
    ---
    HEALTH REPORT:

    It's hardly noteworthy for a meaningless game, but receiver Marcus Robinson missed another day because of the flu. Tice indicated earlier he'd like to shorten the rotation at that position to allow rookie Troy Williamson and others the chance for steadier playing time, so that might leave the veteran Robinson out of the mix. ... Henderson was added to the injury report Thursday with plantar fasciitis in his foot, but he's listed as probable and expected to suit up against the Bears. ... Rookie linebacker Heath Farwell, who excelled on special teams after a call-up from the practice squad but hasn't played in almost a month because of a sprained knee, will see a doctor Friday for a second opinion.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    magicci's Avatar
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    keep it up mckinnie. and im not really worrie about the age thing. our most solid player this season were the older ones.

  3. #3
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    I am glad to hear that someone is playing well on the O-line.
    Cottrell is eager for next season eh? Hopefully he will still be wth the Vikes.

    Nice Find
    "Big names don't win big games, Big hearts win big games"--ChosenOne

  4. #4
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    I just remember the Tuesday Morning Quarterback guy placing McKinnie with Mike Williams as tackles who have been busts in the 2002 draft compared to Levi Jones. It just shows the guy does not watch football.


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

  5. #5
    magicci's Avatar
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    when was this tuesday morning quarter back aired?

  6. #6
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    It's easy to forget how young McKinnie is. I hope he keeps progressing and really helps out our offense in the future because if things don't change... we'll need all the help from him we can get.
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  7. #7
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    McKinnie will be here for a long time and yea he is still very young. he will continue to getter.

  8. #8
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    maybe it'll motivate the other lineman to be just like him and get solid!!
    ;-)

  9. #9
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    well goldberg has made a mjor improvement over last year.

  10. #10
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    Re: McKinnie's progress pleases Vikings

    Mckinnie is the man.. Hasn't he only given up like 3 sacks this year? He should have been an alternate for pro bowl atleast.. He was our only consistent lineman

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