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singersp
08-11-2006, 11:24 AM
Vikings: Five things to watch for against Oakland

By Eric Krupka on August 11, 2006 12:45 AM
realfootball365.com

On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings will begin their preseason schedule in the same fashion as their regular season, on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

This will be everyone's first chance to see the Vikings, led by head coach Brad Childress and defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin. It also marks All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss' return to Minnesota.

Childress and Tomlin won't be the only two making their debut on MNF in their new roles. Washington Post sportswriter and the co-host of "Pardon the Interruption," Tony Kornheiser, begins his football announcing career. For all involved let's hope Kornheiser isn't the next Dennis Miller, whose jokes and insight were more annoying than Fran Drescher's voice.

The Oakland Raiders boast a 1-0 record in preseason play, coming off an unimpressive 16-10 win Sunday.

Without further adieu, here are five things to watch for Monday Night.

5.) The linebackers- E.J. Henderson is having a terrific training camp and is the odds-on favorite to start at the weakside 'backer position. He will get the start there Monday. It will be interesting to see if he can parlay strong showings in practice into real games. Napoleon Harris will be in the middle and, barring a collapse, will be there when the season starts. Free-agent acquisition Ben Leber will be on the strong side. His skills on paper seem perfect for the Cover 2 scheme Tomlin is installing. Fans will also get their first look at 17th overall pick Chad Greenway. Monday will be the first opportunity to see how much or how little the unit has improved from last year.

4.) Brad Johnson- With the departure of All-Pro quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the reins have been handed over to the 37-year-old Johnson. When Culpepper went down, Johnson nearly brought the Vikings to the playoffs last season, guiding the team to a 7-2 mark. Johnson has looked very good in camp, and the new offensive scheme looks to be a great fit for him.

3.) Cohesion of the offensive line- On the left side Bryant McKinnie and Steve Hutchinson could form the best duo in the NFL. McKinnie has Pro Bowl talent, and is working harder than ever. Hutchinson is widely regarded as the best guard in the NFL. The two have been watching film together in order to get acquainted with each other's style and set up strategies for who takes on certain blockers.

All-Pro center Matt Birk returns from injury after having missed all of last season. It will be interesting to see how he looks in his first game action in a year and half.

The right side boasts guard Artis Hicks, acquired from the Eagles in a trade during the NFL draft, and second-year tackle Marcus Johnson. Both are big (Hicks 6-foot-4, 335; Johnson 6-6, 321) and talented, but Johnson has struggled somewhat in camp trying to block Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze.

Last season the unit was inconsistent and got pushed around too much. Adding Hutchinson and Hicks, and getting Birk back should do wonders.

2.) Play calling- It will be the first look at Childress' West Coast Offense. How involved will the receivers be? Will the team be pass-happy or will we see plenty of Chester Taylor and Mewelde Moore? I'd expect a head start on the aggressive, grind it out ground game, letting the line push the Raiders around. That would also prevent Johnson from taking any unnecessary hits. The last thing the Vikings need is for their starting quarterback to get injured.

1.) The "Tampa 2" defense- With it being the first preseason game, don't expect to see anything too in depth on defense, but it will be the first look at the new scheme Tomlin has implemented. In camp, the defense has been aggressive and hard hitting. Slowly but surely the team seems to be changing from a high- strike offense with little defense to a team built around a tough, hard-nosed defense and a ball-control offense.

-Eric Krupka can be reached at ekrupka@realfootball365.com

Vikings: Five things to watch for against Oakland (http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2006/08/minnesota-vikings-raiders110806.html)

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singersp
08-11-2006, 12:13 PM
Posted on Fri, Aug. 11, 2006

Are you ready for some Kornheiser?

Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings

8 p.m., Monday, ESPN

Oakland travels to Minnesota to face the Vikings on Monday on ESPN (cable channel 26). Sure, it is just another NFL preseason exhibition game, but this one has something extra going for it. ESPN’s new “Monday Night Football” announcing crew is scheduled to make its debut.

Mike Tirico will do the play-by-play and Joe Theismann will be the analyst. But many people will be watching and listening to Tony Kornheiser, the third man in the booth. Kornheiser is a columnist for the Washington Post and the co-host with Michael Wilbon of “Pardon the Interruption,” which airs weekdays at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Until Feb. 2004, he also served as host for a three-hour weekday radio show on ESPN radio.

Although the show came under the heading of sports talk, Kornheiser’s topics often drifted into pop culture and other non-sports areas. His sarcastic humor was a refreshing break from the usual sports talk chatter about which team is going to win this weekend and why.

It will be interesting to see how he interacts with Tirico and Theismann.

During a conference call this week, Kornheiser, a self-proclaimed wiseguy, didn’t anticipate any problems if he and Theismann have a disagreement during the telecasts.

“You know, if there are, I’ll just push him out of the booth,” Kornheiser said.

Sounds like it’s going to be fun.

Hank Williams, Jr., as he did for 16 years on ABC’s version of “Monday Night Football,” will bring his “Are You Ready for Some Football” opener to ESPN.

Mike Patrick, ESPN’s previous No.1 pro football announcer, will be the channel’s lead college football announcer this season.

— Doug Nye

Are you ready for some Kornheiser? (http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/sports/15247985.htm)

VikesfaninWis
08-11-2006, 12:31 PM
Another nice read.. I just can't stand Tony Kornholer..

MaddenVodkaAddict
08-11-2006, 12:39 PM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

Another nice read.. I just can't stand Tony Kornholer..

I would rather have Mr. Roger Lodge than Mr. Kornheiser.

NodakPaul
08-11-2006, 02:17 PM
I don't mind Kornheiser. At least he will be better than Dennis Miller...
For all involved let's hope Kornheiser isn't the next Dennis Miller, whose jokes and insight were more annoying than Fran Drescher's voice.

PAvikesfan
08-11-2006, 02:33 PM
joe theisman might be the worst announcer around... just above cris collingsworthless.

JDante
08-11-2006, 02:40 PM
anywayz...back on topic...

the main thing im gonna be watching all day is mckinnie versus burgess. one of the best pass-blockers in the league goin up against last years total sack leader...

lets see how mt mckinnie holds up..

Json
08-11-2006, 03:25 PM
I personally like Mr. Kornheiser. I watch PTI all the time and I think it's nice to get some humor onto the program as long as it's not far fetched humor and they stay on topic.

oakmage
08-11-2006, 03:28 PM
I know they call it the Tampa Bay defense, but correct me if I am wrong but didn’t the Defense first start here in Minnesota? I am talking about back when Tony Dungy was the defensive coordinator here.

As far a Tony K goes I miss his radio show and I think he will do a good job on the game.

Mr. Purple
08-11-2006, 04:06 PM
"Json" wrote:

I personally like Mr. Kornheiser. I watch PTI all the time and I think it's nice to get some humor onto the program as long as it's not far fetched humor and they stay on topic.


Same here...he knows what hes talking about, but he does it in a funny entertaining way.I like him in the booth, better then Dennis Miller :pukeright:

vikes09
08-11-2006, 04:14 PM
"JDante" wrote:

anywayz...back on topic...

the main thing im gonna be watching all day is mckinnie versus burgess. one of the best pass-blockers in the league goin up against last years total sack leader...

lets see how mt mckinnie holds up..

burgess was the left end if i remember right. it would be johnson vs. burgess which is going to be a heck of an uphill battle for johnson, who has been taken advantage of by udeze.

i cant wait to watch chestor taylor vs. the raiders defense. westbrook looked great against their defense, so i hope chestor is going to be okay.

another thing is how good mckinnie is going to be against tyler brayton, not your household name. mckinnie was next to herrera and fonoti last year, taking nothing away from them, but theyre nowhere near hutchinson. hutch is going to boost his play like no other. birk is back, and our offensive line is sure gunna look great!!!

Mr. Purple
08-11-2006, 04:17 PM
Our line is gonna physicaly move the Raiders D-line backwords whether they like it or not.Seeing some video of Hutch, hes a bleep damn monster.Throwing around everyone and everything.I'm very excited for this game!

boognish
08-11-2006, 04:19 PM
"maddenhasamancrushonfavre" wrote:

"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

Another nice read.. I just can't stand Tony Kornholer..

I would rather have Mr. Roger Lodge than Mr. Kornheiser.

Are you guys kidding? Kornheiser is funnier than hell! Theisman is the one I can't stand; he's right there with Joe Buck, IMHO.

cajunvike
08-11-2006, 04:24 PM
"boognish" wrote:

"maddenhasamancrushonfavre" wrote:

"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

Another nice read.. I just can't stand Tony Kornholer..

I would rather have Mr. Roger Lodge than Mr. Kornheiser.

Are you guys kidding? Kornheiser is funnier than hell! Theisman is the one I can't stand; he's right there with Joe Buck, IMHO.

F*** BOTH of them! Kornholer is an obnoxious know-it-all, while Theismann is a pompous know-nothing!

cajunvike
08-11-2006, 04:27 PM
"oakmage" wrote:

I know they call it the Tampa Bay defense, but correct me if I am wrong but didn’t the Defense first start here in Minnesota? I am talking about back when Tony Dungy was the defensive coordinator here.


If that is indeed the case, it would make BOTH the offense and defense "du jour" around the league as having originated in Minnesota...since many feel that the 70s version of the Minnesota offense was the precursor to the West Coast offense!

The Vikings were just ahead of their time!!! :grin:

shawn9876uss
08-11-2006, 04:32 PM
I can't wait for monday, even though it is a preseason game

NodakPaul
08-11-2006, 04:39 PM
Man, I can't wait either! Yeah, it is only preseason, but we will get to see the first lines playing real football for at least a couple of series. We will get to see Randy moss again. We will get to see how well TJ plays in a more realistic situation. I can finally don my new Greenway Jersey (won't wear it until the day of the game). And my wife will be sporting her new Vikings shirt which is wonderfully low cut :grin:. It is going to be a great night!

cogitans
08-11-2006, 06:31 PM
Things that I'll be looking for (if I can stay awake):

- Tarvaris on the field

- The LBs, and their horizontal speed

- Who looks good among the 2nd stringers at CB

crazyB
08-12-2006, 01:59 PM
:cry: damn you guy's are lucky i'm in the UK so no pre-season for me plus i go on my holiday sunday so i'll miss everything :cry:
no radio of the game no t.v of the game i have NASN and SKY Sport's but they have not made any plan's for pre-season game's so no football for me till i come back.
:lol: did get my new jursey the other day look's great got the away one custom replica worth the cash even though custom's hit me with a charge i'm happy about that.

PurpleTide
08-12-2006, 04:28 PM
Really want to see a young receiver or two stand out. The race for 2nd string QB, will Tarvaris show up Mike M? Want 1st teams to be crisp.. no false starts, illegal shifts..etc on Offense and looking forward to seeing the linebackers in game situation. Will EJ continue his great start, and then Chad.... The DE's Rasmus and Udeze coming on strong. Lots to look for early in the pre-season. Great Ain't It. Skol

DaunteHOF
08-12-2006, 08:11 PM
#1 is PTI is tha show so I like Tony, as a announcer though....I dont know.
#2 God forbid but what if BJ is injured in preaseason, you know tha season is done, right.

Vikes_King
08-12-2006, 10:37 PM
man, i think this is the first season i've been really excited for the preseason, theres even some 3rd stringers on this team i want to see in action

marcosMN
08-12-2006, 11:11 PM
"crazyB" wrote:

:cry: gol 'darnit you guy's are lucky i'm in the UK so no pre-season for me plus i go on my holiday sunday so i'll miss everything :cry:
no radio of the game no t.v of the game i have NASN and SKY Sport's but they have not made any plan's for pre-season game's so no football for me till i come back.
:lol: did get my new jursey the other day look's great got the away one custom replica worth the cash even though custom's hit me with a charge i'm happy about that.

ESPN.com has a good real-time java-based scorecard called GameCast. I use it when I am working on the computer, for out-of-market games. Just go to the scores section on monday, and click the GameCast link for the Vikes game.

Hope it works for ya!

morphius
08-13-2006, 12:41 AM
Just do this Chiefs fan a favor and embarass that joke of a team...

UndisputedVike
08-13-2006, 02:27 AM
I just hope they don't get us with a Moss bomb...that wouldn't sit to well, Moss has 5" on Winfield.

darkflood
08-13-2006, 02:40 AM
"NodakPaul" wrote:

Man, I can't wait either! Yeah, it is only preseason, but we will get to see the first lines playing real football for at least a couple of series. We will get to see Randy moss again. We will get to see how well TJ plays in a more realistic situation. I can finally don my new Greenway Jersey (won't wear it until the day of the game). And my wife will be sporting her new Vikings shirt which is wonderfully low cut :grin:. It is going to be a great night!

I like the way you think!!!The little tidbits from the paper and Sirius can't compare to some real Vikings football, even if just for a bit. I want to see how the second and third string players are going to play. I will also be wearing my "new jersey"(he he) , and I got my wife a Vikings shirt that sounds similar to your wife's.(My wife is from Green Bay, so it makes it that much better. I'm sure her dad would be SO proud :grin: )