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COJOMAY
02-23-2006, 06:53 AM
Childress praises Culpepper's rehabilitation work

Kevin Seifert and Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune

While acknowledging the rough start of their relationship, Vikings coach Brad Childress praised quarterback Daunte Culpepper on Wednesday for his dogged approach to rehabilitating his right knee.

The Vikings dispatched new athletic trainer Eric Sugarman to Florida this week to update Culpepper's progress. Sugarman reported that Culpepper is on schedule, and Childress said it is not out of the question that Culpepper could participate in some non-football drills during spring mini-camp.

That assumes Culpepper is still with the team at that point, a possibility Childress did not address Wednesday. But in his first comments since Culpepper was put on the trading block, Childress said he considers him part of the team until he is told otherwise.

"I just think we got off to a rocky start," Childress said. "But that happens sometimes when emotions run high. But he's doing a great job with the rehab and I'm happy to hear that. Nothing else happens unless the knee gets rehabbed."

Culpepper suffered three tore ligaments in his right knee Oct. 30, and most doctors project at least a 12-month recovery period. That timetable concerns most teams who might otherwise be interested in trading for Culpepper, but Childress said Culpepper is doing everything he is asked.

"Eric Sugarman was down there Monday," Childress said. "He watched him work out, got permission to put his hands on him. Suffice it to say, he looked good. For three months [after surgery], he's doing a good job."

Bud wants you

Former coach Bud Grant is one of three co-chairs of a new grassroots stadium initiative known as Minnesota Momentum. The group includes 25 to 30 founding members but is open to all Vikings fans by visiting www.MinnesotaMomentum.com.

Grant will help spearhead an effort to convince local legislators to consider the Vikings' stadium project during the upcoming session. The stadium cost is $675 million, but a retail and housing plan would total as much as $1.4 billion.

Owner Zygi Wilf would provide $1 billion of that as a private investment, while the public is being asked for nearly $400 million.

"I'm a layperson," Grant said Wednesday. "I'm not a financier. That's Zygi's department. He has all those numbers. But from where I see it, I can't see how this isn't a great deal. I just can't see it."

The Vikings have scheduled a stadium-related meeting this week with members of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's staff. Lester Bagley, the team's vice president of public affairs and stadium development, said Minnesota Momentum will help unearth thousands of stadium supporters.

"We have an incredibly intense fan base," Bagley said. "And a good percentage of them support what we're trying to do.

"Our challenge is to make sure they weigh in on this issue. It's part of a broader effort to get the Vikings' stadium plan to the table."

Cowart's status is up in the air

The agent for linebacker Sam Cowart, a pending free agent, said he has spoken with Rob Brzezinski, vice president of football operations. But agent Paul Healy said Brzezinski did not indicate whether the team wants to re-sign Cowart.

"I have talked to Rob, but the ball is in their court," Healy said. "Sam had a great experience with the Vikings and would like to be back but obviously he is going to look elsewhere [if it comes to that]. We'll just have to wait and see."

COJOMAY
02-23-2006, 06:58 AM
THIS STORY ALSO TIES IN...

Vikings get encouraging report on Culpepper's knee

Sid Hartman

The positive news about Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper is he is making very good progress in rehabilitating his right knee that underwent surgery to repair three torn ligaments, and he should be ready to play football this season.

Vikings coach Brad Childress wanted to get an update on Culpepper's progress and got good news from head trainer Eric Sugarman, who flew to Orlando, Fla., to test Culpepper's knee and came back encouraged.

That report should be a positive for any club interested in trading for Culpepper, who currently is the 11th highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.

While Culpepper continues to remain in Orlando, Brad Johnson was in the Twin Cities the other day and spent a long time visiting with Childress. The word is they hit it off very well.

If you are a betting man, look for Culpepper not to be in a Vikings uniform for 2006 and Johnson to be the No. 1 quarterback.

But if the Vikings keep Culpepper and pay his $6 million roster bonus by March 14, it will take more than a second-round draft choice from a team to get Culpepper. It would be shock to a lot of people if they released Culpepper, but that could happen if there is any doubt about his ability to play after his injury.

No doubt the Vikings will be taking a big gamble if they release or trade Culpepper, but that could happen.

Vikings team owner Zygi Wilf is no longer saying that Culpepper absolutely will get his $6 million bonus, something he was saying until recently. No doubt Childress will have a lot to say about that decision.

Other QBs available

The teams most interested in Culpepper right now are Baltimore and Miami. However, a person with knowledge about the quarterback market pointed out that three other starting quarterbacks could be available -- Steve McNair of the Titans, Drew Brees of the Chargers and Chad Pennington of the Jets. All have injury problems, but none as serious as Culpepper.

Miami media outlets have reported that the Dolphins are having a problem negotiating a contract with Gus Frerotte, who was Miami's No. 1 quarterback last season after backing up Culpepper with Minnesota in 2003 and 2004.

The word is that the Dolphins are asking Frerotte to take a cut from the $4.43 million he is to be paid this season.

Meanwhile, Childress had dinner the other night with unrestricted free-agent cornerback Brian Williams in an effort to convince him to re-sign with the Vikings.

While there hasn't been a lot of news out of Winter Park, the coaches and personnel people are working a lot of overtime to try to put together a football team that will be a Super Bowl contender this season.

so-cal vike
02-23-2006, 07:16 AM
Now that's what I needed to hear. No good news, no bad news, just that Culpepper's rehab is progressing well.

Thanks Cojo. :salute:

cajunvike
02-23-2006, 07:36 AM
I disagree that Pep's injury is more serious than the other three QBs...yes, INITIALLY it is...BUT he could still function quite well as a pocket passer since his upper body is still healthy and his legs would be probably CLOSE to 100%, while both Pennington and Brees have shoulder issues which would hamper their ability to throw the ball if they don't come back 100%. McNair is an interesting case, but he may be broken down from all of the years that he played in the NFL. Of course, all four could have career years next year...it is a gamble no matter how you slice it!

so-cal vike
02-23-2006, 07:39 AM
If I had to put money on someone other than Pep, I'd have to bet on Brees.

LuckyVike
02-23-2006, 08:20 AM
Great! This should help his trade value! :wink:

PurpleMafia
02-23-2006, 08:23 AM
Awesome! Hopefully he stays now.

digital420
02-23-2006, 10:30 AM
KeeP D.C. focused on his knee and get him relaxed on his position with the Vikes.. nothin moves foward unless that knee is rebuilt!!

I know.. 6 months rehab on right knee.. it takes a LOT of focus to get up and do those !#$^!#$% exercises every day!!

DiGiTaL

Benet
02-23-2006, 10:56 AM
Seems to be a generally positive outlook once the media get a word in with the coaching staff doesn't it! Don't worry, after another week of no contact they'll be back to slamming the Vikings again. While it's great to find out what Childress is thinking, the article seems like a fluff piece to me. Especially the last paragraph: "While there hasn't been a lot of news out of Winter Park, the coaches and personnel people are working a lot of overtime to try to put together a football team that will be a Super Bowl contender this season." Wasn't it just a week ago that the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press were slamming the Vikings for an inexperienced coaching staff, inexperienced ownership and a poor stadium plan? Don't get me wrong, it's lovely to see the papers writing stuff like this because they're putting a positive spin on it.. But that's all it is: spin.

COJOMAY
02-23-2006, 04:30 PM
Benet:
What it is is the calm before the storm (if you know what I mean)!

tastywaves
02-23-2006, 06:12 PM
"COJOMAY" wrote:

THIS STORY ALSO TIES IN...

Vikings get encouraging report on Culpepper's knee

Sid Hartman


Meanwhile, Childress had dinner the other night with unrestricted free-agent cornerback Brian Williams in an effort to convince him to re-sign with the Vikings.

Hope that parts true.

The Culpepper piece sounds like it is more for trade value (as LuckyVike points out), otherwise, why make a point of it right before the trading period starts. Reporting bad news on Culpepper hurts the Vikings positioning, and for paying him off if he does stay, well hey, they know the real story, so it doesn't help Cpep in dealing with Mn.

NordicNed
02-23-2006, 06:57 PM
To me this is some great news.


Meanwhile, Childress had dinner the other night with unrestricted free-agent cornerback Brian Williams in an effort to convince him to re-sign with the Vikings.

I would guess it all depends on where they had dinner though...

McDonalds or Jenson's?....

ultravikingfan
02-23-2006, 07:05 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

To me this is some great news.


Meanwhile, Childress had dinner the other night with unrestricted free-agent cornerback Brian Williams in an effort to convince him to re-sign with the Vikings.

I would guess it all depends on where they had dinner though...

McDonalds or Jenson's?....

More like depends who paid.

I heard that BW likes the McNugget Happy Meal.

vIker44
02-24-2006, 03:44 AM
Finally!!! Some good news concerning Pepp. McKinney said it best. Let's not make another dumbo mistake here. Let's get on the path of picking up some quality Free agents and scouting the draft. Despite the bad luck of last year there is a quality core of players to work with here. A little help in the defensive backfield and a healthy offensive line would be a great start. I, for one, can't wait to see Pepp return on the field as a Vikings player.

jaymz7
02-24-2006, 03:52 AM
"tastywaves" wrote:

"COJOMAY" wrote:

THIS STORY ALSO TIES IN...

Vikings get encouraging report on Culpepper's knee

Sid Hartman


Meanwhile, Childress had dinner the other night with unrestricted free-agent cornerback Brian Williams in an effort to convince him to re-sign with the Vikings.

Hope that parts true.

The Culpepper piece sounds like it is more for trade value (as LuckyVike points out), otherwise, why make a point of it right before the trading period starts. Reporting bad news on Culpepper hurts the Vikings positioning, and for paying him off if he does stay, well hey, they know the real story, so it doesn't help Cpep in dealing with Mn.

I don't know about that, but I saw this article on ESPN.com and it sounds like he will probably and hopefully be back.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2341843

i_bleed_purple
02-24-2006, 03:55 AM
remember mckinney also said htat if they trade pep, they might as well trade him as well. we don't want that happening either. I would like nothing more than to give pep another chance

nogathomasmillarddoleman
02-24-2006, 06:04 AM
Wow, mind games!!!

Benet
02-24-2006, 01:14 PM
"COJOMAY" wrote:

Benet:
What it is is the calm before the storm (if you know what I mean)!

Very true mate, very true!

singersp
02-25-2006, 04:24 AM
Posted 2/24/2006 7:38 PM

Childress optimistic on Culpepper

By Jim Corbett, USA TODAY

INDIANAPOLIS — Brad Childress insists that resurrecting the Daunte Culpepper who was a 2004 league MVP candidate with 39 touchdown passes is his top priority as new coach of the Minnesota Vikings, but he additionally conceded Friday that there's always a chance Culpepper, who is recovering from November surgery to repair three torn knee ligaments, could be released or traded.

With Culpepper three months removed from reconstructive knee surgery, Childress received a positive report from the Vikings' trainer who visited Culpepper as he continues his rehab near his Orlando home.

Asked if he envisions a September roster with Culpepper and last year's substitute starter Brad Johnson on the same roster, Childress says:

"I have to have that mindset," he says. "All my energy in talking to our trainer and sending our trainer down there is about getting him back to the level of play that he established in 2004. He established a standard of play. I just want to get him back to that standard."

There's still a chance Johnson could be cut with Culpepper, who is due a $6 million bonus March 17.

"You never say never," Childress says when asked if Culpepper could still be released.

But Childress seemed relieved to get a positive prognosis on Culpepper's ahead-of-schedule rehab.

"With everything swirling this time of year, I was just happy we were able to get somebody down there and put their hands on Daunte and look at his progress. He's doing a great job by all indications with that. He was able to see him do some limited running drills. The whole focus for me is getting him back to where he was in 2004 with a healthy knee."

Childress optimistic on Culpepper (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/draft/2006-02-24-corbett-combine_x.htm)

tylersieve
02-25-2006, 04:42 AM
i do see us trading CPep but not Mckenie with us..he likes CPep but he will still preform 100% without Him