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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    [size=18px]Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB[/size]

    The Rams' system -- not a rookie QB -- should be the Vikings' primary concern.

    Mark Craig, Star Tribune
    Last update: December 7, 2005 at 9:36 PM


    The matchups this week seem too good to be true for the Vikings' frantic pursuit of the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears.

    The Bears (9-3) travel to Pittsburgh (7-5). The Vikings (7-5) play St. Louis (5-7) at the Metrodome.

    The Bears have a rookie quarterback facing a veteran secondary. The Vikings have a veteran secondary facing a rookie quarterback.

    Make that a seventh-round draft pick. In his first road start. And he's from ... Harvard, for gosh sakes.

    Look out, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    "Everybody is licking their chops," Vikings defensive lineman Spencer Johnson said. "Definitely, definitely. It's a new situation [for Fitzpatrick]. We're going to really try to get after him, especially up front. Get some pressure in his face and hope he makes some mistakes."

    Fitzpatrick knows what's coming, even though the most hostile crowd he has faced was 55,000 fans at Yale.

    "I've definitely heard that it's a wild place," Fitzpatrick said of the Metrodome. "And a tough place for an opponent to play."

    The Vikings are 4-1 at home. St. Louis is 2-4 on the road.

    "We'll practice the whole week with crowd noise in our bubble," Rams interim coach Joe Vitt said. "There are going to be a lot of hand signals and silent counts. We are going to do the best we can to prepare him for it."

    Twelve of the Vikings' 18 interceptions have come during the current five-game winning streak. Free safety Darren Sharper has six of them and admits he likes playing rookie quarterbacks, even a smart one with an economics degree from Harvard.

    "I've played rookie quarterbacks who have come out and had a heck of a game and played like veterans," Sharper said. "But more often than not, you can make a young quarterback do some things that he won't like to do, and make some mistakes."

    Fitzpatrick proved he isn't a typical rookie two weeks ago when he rallied the Rams from a 21-point deficit to an overtime victory at Houston. Coming off the bench to replace the injured Jamie Martin, Fitzpatrick completed 19 of 30 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in OT, in his NFL debut.

    A media darling was born. The veteran Martin was demoted to No. 3 and Fitzpatrick was awarded the starting job until Marc Bulger returns from a shoulder injury.

    "It was a little bit crazy as far as the attention I got," Fitzpatrick said. "It went from getting zero attention to requests from everybody."

    Fitzpatrick's first NFL start last week was more the norm for a rookie. He threw an interception and posted a 58.0 passer rating in a 24-9 loss to Washington at home. He did run 7 yards for a TD.

    Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said he's concerned about the Rams' offensive system, not the quarterback.

    "No one heard of Kurt Warner either before he got into this system," Cottrell said. "And Marc Bulger, too. It's a very difficult system to defend because there's so much speed and skill at receiver, the tight ends catch the ball very well and the two running backs are Steven Jackson and Marshall Faulk."

    Torry Holt has 75 catches for 1,017 yards and seven touchdowns for the NFL's No. 2-ranked passing attack. Jackson has 1,168 yards from scrimmage (869 rushing, 299 receiving) and nine touchdowns.

    If it's truly the system that's dangerous, the Vikings might be in trouble. In the past three meetings, dating to a playoff game in 1999, the Rams have 1,370 yards of offense, a completion percentage of 81 and a 3-0 record by a combined score of 137-83.

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

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    This game makes me nervous. I sure hope they stay focused.


    ----------------------------

    'nother article.

    Tice: Rams' Little will have little effect this time
    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
    Last update: December 7, 2005 at 9:07 PM
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    The last time he played the Vikings, St. Louis defensive end Leonard Little had four sacks and forced two fumbles during the Rams' 48-17 victory in 2003. On Monday, Vikings coach Mike Tice promised that Little will have, well, little impact Sunday at the Metrodome.

    "We won't let Leonard Little take over the game," Tice said. "That will not happen. ... I am not going to tell you what my game plan is, but he won't take over the game."

    Little's monster game two years ago also induced Vikings right tackle Mike Rosenthal into three false-start penalties. Sunday, Little -- who has four sacks in a relatively quiet season -- will face rookie right tackle Marcus Johnson.

    Tice said after two days of analysis, the Vikings will keep their starting offensive line intact. Tice did not rule out rotating those starters with veterans Chris Liwienski and Rosenthal if necessary.

    "I am going to do whatever I have to do," Tice said.

    First aid

    On Monday, Darren Bennett flew to San Diego for several business meetings. One was an appointment with an accountant to discuss his pending retirement from the NFL.

    By Tuesday, Bennett had signed a contract with the Vikings to replace injured punter Chris Kluwe.

    Bennett, who turns 41 next month, said Wednesday he still plans to retire as soon as Kluwe recovers from a sprained anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Kluwe will miss at least one game but the Vikings hope he will return no later than the Dec. 25 game against Baltimore.

    "You feel happy to come in and help the guys out," Bennett said, "but I have no aspirations of doing it any longer than a couple of weeks until Chris is healthy.

    "I'm not looking to find another team later on. I'll go back to retirement and life as a father."

    Bennett said he has not punted much since the Vikings released him Sept. 3 -- "Do guys block when they retire?" he said -- but he said he believes his leg has rebounded after a poor training camp.

    Kluwe, meanwhile, said his knee remains swollen but mostly pain-free.

    Injury report

    Wearing a protective pad on his right shoulder, cornerback Fred Smoot made it through his first full practice since partially fracturing his collarbone Nov. 6. He is listed as questionable on the injury report but is expected to serve as the team's nickel back Sunday unless he suffers a setback.

    "I don't see him in the role he wants to be in," Tice said, "but we'll get him going."

    In other injury news:

    •Running back Michael Bennett sprained his ankle after slipping on ice Sunday night, Tice said, but Bennett practiced Wednesday. Running back Mewelde Moore (ankle) worked with the first team.

    •Linebacker Heath Farwell, who has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, sat out a portion of practice and is listed as questionable.

    •Cornerback Laroni Gallishaw has a high right ankle sprain and likely will miss at least two games.

    Etc.

    •Tice said quarterback Daunte Culpepper will be the Vikings' starter next season when he recovers from knee surgery, regardless of backup Brad Johnson's performance.

    "If I'm the coach," Tice said, "He's my guy."

    • St. Louis coach Joe Vitt put the Rams through a series of contact drills Wednesday in an effort to improve the team's horrendous tackling of late. The expected return of safety Adam Archuletta (concussion) should help.

  3. #3
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    Rookie QB, crap team, we are at home, opportunistic defense....I smell good things here folks!

  4. #4
    duffVIkEs's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    "Prophet" wrote:
    •Running back Michael Bennett sprained his ankle after slipping on ice Sunday night, Tice said, but Bennett practiced Wednesday. Running back Mewelde Moore (ankle) worked with the first team.
    Honoslty, slipping on ice!

    Hopefully him and Moore will be healthy on sunday.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    I went to the St. Louis Vs. Redskins game and the Rams played one of the worst games since the arrived in 1995.

    The offensive line is weak and the defense was just plain lousy.

    The Vikings should have an easy time of it.

    The St. Louis is worried that Fitzpatrick will get injured. He is the 3rd string QB.

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    whos there 4th stringer?
    our only sure-handed receiver

  7. #7
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    "sharper42" wrote:
    whos there 4th stringer?
    Jeff Smoker

    http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/493068

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

  8. #8
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    Yep, I'm definately looking forward to Sunday. Should be a fun game.
    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.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    Hold a Star Trek convention on the same day as the game.... that outta distract the Harvard geek enough :lol:

  10. #10
    Vikes's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings hoping they can rattle St. Louis' rookie QB

    I cannot stand the RAMS. Behind beating ANYONE in the division I hate the Rams and Cowboys. I really cannot stand (I know he is not there) Mike Martz maybe if he is gone forever my Ram hatered will die. I cannot wait until the Vikings rip this team. It seems the last few times we played them they have just kicked our butts. So this to me is another NY Giants get the monkey off our back game.
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    The rigors of Spartan life. Leonidas is cast out into the wild, and survives the harsh winter to return to his home, when he is crowned King ....a Viking!

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