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  1. #1
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    Offensive line remains a source of frustration; Plus more

    [size=18px]Offensive line remains a source of frustration[/size]

    From the Star Tribune;
    Last update: December 4, 2005 at 7:56 PM

    DETROIT - Judging by the profanity he used during a postgame meeting with reporters, Vikings coach Mike Tice is considering all options for his offensive line after its uneven performance in Sunday's 21-16 victory at Detroit.

    Tice reserved final comment until after he watches film this morning, but he said: "To put it in laymen's terms, it was someone up front getting ... whipped," Tice said.

    Center Melvin Fowler and guards Anthony Herrera and Adam Goldberg all struggled against Lions defensive tackles Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson -- who each notched a sack and spearheaded a Lions defense that forced negative yardage on seven rushing plays. Tice used deposed starter Chris Liwienski at left guard and right guard to slow the bleeding, but in the end Tice indicated that the Vikings might use a line rotation for the rest of the season.

    "I thought we could settle on a lineup," Tice said. "But I don't see that. I see us probably suiting up eight linemen [per game] the rest of the way and finding the right mix each game."

    The Vikings managed 102 rushing yards on 32 carries, a 3.2-yard average.

    "Mike didn't feel like he was getting what he wanted at times and decided to rotate some of us through," Liwienski said. "I welcome the opportunity to play, but I guess in a perfect world you wouldn't want to be rotating your guys."

    Air mail

    Tice has made a point not to protest questionable calls with NFL officials, but he indicated he might send film of at least two plays to the league office this week:

    • A third-quarter call for pass interference against Brian Williams, who was covering receiver Roy Williams. The play set up Jason Hanson's 28-yard field goal.

    • A roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter that erased Brian Williams' 75-yard interception return for a touchdown. Officials called the penalty on tackle Pat Williams, who said he wasn't on the field for the play. Defensive end Darrion Scott said he hit Lions quarterback Jeff Garcia, but replays showed the contact occurred almost immediately after Garcia released the ball.

    "I'm very disappointed in the penalties," Tice said. "For the first time all year, I'm going to question some of the calls, and I feel like some were tenuous. But we'll have to look at the tape and evaluate that before we send something in."

    No return

    Both players acquired in the Randy Moss trade were inactive Sunday. Receiver Troy Williamson and linebacker Napoleon Harris both stood on the sidelines, the victims of their own poor performances and roster limitations at their positions.

    Williamson has been inactive for consecutive weeks after mildly spraining his shoulder Nov. 21 at Green Bay. He drew the ire of Tice by removing himself from a Nov. 23 practice.

    Harris was deactivated after losing his job in the nickel defense to Raonall Smith. Harris started three of the Vikings' first four games before losing his strongside linebacker job to Keith Newman.

    This time, it's Chavous

    Most of the big plays from the back of the Vikings' defense have come from free safety Darren Sharper, who was tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions entering this week's play.

    He didn't get close to one Sunday, but his companion -- strong safety Corey Chavous -- came down with the game's only interception to end Detroit's comeback attempt in the final minutes.

    Garcia, facing pressure, made a desperate heave from midfield. Roy Williams was not able to react and turn himself into a defensive back, as the floating football landed in Chavous' arms.

    "Part of it was pressuring the quarterback," Chavous said. "He was throwing it up. It was a chance to make a play and get us off the field. That's what I was trying to do."

    Williams said: "I saw the backside safety looking up, so I knew Jeff had thrown the ball. I looked up and, by that time, I couldn't stop and gather my feet."

    Moore hurting

    Running back Mewelde Moore aggravated his sprained right ankle returning a punt in the first quarter and ended up carrying the ball once for minus-6 yards.

    Michael Bennett finished with 79 rushing yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. He also caught three passes for 10 yards and a score.

    "It was a big day for us as a team collectively," Bennett said. "We were able to get the pass and the run going, but you can't take anything away from those guys in the other locker room. They did a great job in the second half. In the second half we weren't able to run the ball as well as we did earlier in the game."

    Moore said he should be ready for next Sunday's game against St. Louis at the Metrodome.

    "Coach took care of me today," Moore said. "As far as everything, it was a good decision, and I was definitely trying to do the things I could do to try to get back in and everything. It just wasn't reacting. It didn't bounce back like I thought it would. I tweaked it pretty good but I'll be all right."

    Despite the injury, Tice refused to second-guess himself for using a starter on punt returns. "You can't sit there for 60 minutes on Sunday and worry about guys being hurt." he said. "Michael went out there and ran pretty well with what blocking he had."

    Receiver Nate Burleson replaced Moore on punt returns and finished with four for 17 yards.

    Not so special

    A week after giving up two 40-yard returns for the first time this season, the Vikings struggled again Sunday against Detroit. Lions return man Eddie Drummond had a long kickoff return of 34 yards and a long punt return of 38 yards.

    "I felt like we got whipped today on special teams," said Rusty Tillman, the Vikings' special teams coordinator. "Today we got whipped, period. ... Every time we punted the ball, it seemed like it was coming back at us. Not good."

    Etc.

    • Quarterback Brad Johnson surpassed 25,000 career passing yards in the fourth quarter with a 2-yard pass to Marcus Robinson. Johnson became the 51st player in NFL history to reach the milestone.

    • Defensive lineman Eric Taylor, promoted Friday from the practice squad, was active and made his debut in the second quarter.


    Staff writers Kevin Seifert, Judd Zulgad and Patrick Reusse contributed to this notebook.

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  2. #2
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: Offensive line remains a source of frustration; Plus mor

    "singersp" wrote:
    [size=18px]Offensive line remains a source of frustration[/size]

    From the Star Tribune;
    Last update: December 4, 2005 at 7:56 PM

    DETROIT - Judging by the profanity he used during a postgame meeting with reporters, Vikings coach Mike Tice is considering all options for his offensive line after its uneven performance in Sunday's 21-16 victory at Detroit.

    Tice reserved final comment until after he watches film this morning, but he said: "To put it in laymen's terms, it was someone up front getting ... whipped," Tice said.

    Center Melvin Fowler and guards Anthony Herrera and Adam Goldberg all struggled against Lions defensive tackles Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson -- who each notched a sack and spearheaded a Lions defense that forced negative yardage on seven rushing plays. Tice used deposed starter Chris Liwienski at left guard and right guard to slow the bleeding, but in the end Tice indicated that the Vikings might use a line rotation for the rest of the season.

    "I thought we could settle on a lineup," Tice said. "But I don't see that. I see us probably suiting up eight linemen [per game] the rest of the way and finding the right mix each game."

    The Vikings managed 102 rushing yards on 32 carries, a 3.2-yard average.

    "Mike didn't feel like he was getting what he wanted at times and decided to rotate some of us through," Liwienski said. "I welcome the opportunity to play, but I guess in a perfect world you wouldn't want to be rotating your guys."
    Problem for DC, problem for MM, problem for MB, just a big problem, even if we managed to run for 102 yards.

    Brad seems to be hangdling it ok, with the play selection we have been running, since DC's injury.

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