View Full Version : McCombs, Reed criticize Vikings; cites internal bickering

10-23-2005, 03:55 AM
McCombs, Reed criticize Vikings; source cites internal bickering

From the San Jose Mercury News

Knight Ridder Newspapers

ST. PAUL, Minn. - In a lengthy feature that will air on Sunday on ESPN, former team owner Red McCombs and former receiver Jake Reed are critical of the Vikings, a team embattled with the Lake Minnetonka boat party scandal.

Andrea Kremer's piece on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" will focus on the culture of the team and explore a pattern of off-the-field transgressions.

"It starts on the top," said Reed, who played for the Vikings in two stints, from 1991 to 1999 and again in 2001. "Leadership. You got to have that leadership. You know if you have your leader scalping tickets and getting in trouble in the NFL, what do you think those players are going to do?

"I'd be like, `He's a joke.' I'd be like, `Scalping tickets? C'mon, man.' It would be hard for me to even respect him."

Tice was not available for comment.

Asked what he would have done differently that might have changed the team's conduct, McCombs said, "I don't know of one single thing."

Meanwhile, current Vikings center Matt Birk, who is on the injured reserve list, has been critical of his teammates, especially in an interview early last week with SI.com. But he told ESPN that he is encouraged by new owner Zygi Wilf, who delivered a fiery message to his players Oct. 14.

"A lot of players walked out of that meeting, myself included, that that was a guy that we wanted to work for, and a guy that means what he says when he says he was going to have a first-class operation, that he is going to bring class to this organization and is in it for the long haul," Birk told ESPN.

Asked if McCombs ever said anything like that to the team, Birk said, "Nope."

"Did he need to?" Kremer asked Birk.

"I don't know," Birk said. "We certainly have enough failures to say he should have."

Verbal battle: Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper made clear to Birk that he did not approve of Birk's critical comments to SI.com. Culpepper confronted Birk about the comments made during the interview, according to a team source. Birk made light of the boat scandal and said he and other teammates are tired of defending others who get into trouble.

Culpepper was named in the Minneapolis Star Tribune as one of the key players aboard the two boats. He has bitten his lip, reserving comment, although he indicated during his news conference Wednesday that he cannot wait to address the issue.

Briefly: The Vikings released punt returner Keenan Howry on Saturday. Fred Smoot, Mewelde Moore or Koren Robinson is expected to return punts during Sunday's game against Green Bay at the Metrodome.

_The Vikings promoted linebacker Heath Farwell from the practice squad, with Dontarrious Thomas ailing with a shoulder injury. Farwell could play on special teams and would be an emergency linebacker when the Vikings use a 3-4 (three defensive linemen, four linebackers) alignment.

Mr. Purple
10-23-2005, 04:26 AM
hmm Birk and Daunte going at it is not good at all. God it just feels like internally this team is falling more apart each week. He has a good point about Tice and scalping the tickets, that is true.

10-23-2005, 04:41 AM
Another Article

Matt Birk and Daunte Culpepper are viewed as team leaders on the Vikings. But the two had an angry exchange Friday that left some wondering what their relationship is turning into.

The relationship between Daunte Culpepper and Matt Birk has been one of being acknowledged co-leaders of the offense. But, according to a couple of players that witnessed an altercation Friday, it might be a relationship that is strained at best.

Birk and Culpepper allegedly had words over comments Birk made about a Sports Illustrated story on the Vikings. Culpepper effectively told Birk to mind his own business and keep out of the matter, while Birk stood by his comments.

While the matter blew over without any further incident, it is just another sign that things aren't going too well in paradise for the Vikings this season.


Who exits this team first, Birk or Culpepper?

10-23-2005, 04:42 AM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

hmm Birk and Daunte going at it is not good at all. God it just feels like internally this team is falling more apart each week. He has a good point about Tice and scalping the tickets, that is true.

DC and Birk will straighten things out.

I have been saying all along that it was leadership. I am glad that Reed said what he said, but why would anyone care what Reed says. He doesn't carry much clout if you are not a Vikings fan. People will be like who is that?