Still In The Market?

As time marches on, it might look less likely that the Vikings will sign a free-agent safety, but a league source outlines what he sees the Vikings doing as they strive to become a threat for the division title.

Improving a defense that at times appeared as porous as a strainer was the goal of the Vikings organization heading into the offseason. While depth and quality of players on the roster at the cornerback position has drastically improved, the question lingers about the safeties.

Cornerback turned safety Corey Chavous is being counted on to be the glue to hold together the safety position if the team is unable, or should we say unwilling, to bring an experienced player to town to team with Chavous.

"Right now the chances look to be about 50-50 that the Vikings will bring in another player (safety) in the defensive backfield. They have talked to a couple players, there is some interest," a league source said. "Presently, the Vikings want to get reps in for Willie Offord with the first team. They really believe that all that he needs is experience."

While the Vikings believe that Offord is a player of the future, the team is not completely set to take the lumps of throwing him into the fire, as the team is on the verge of being competitive.

"If you look at what we are doing, there is a direction, a plan that seems to be much better than that last season. The infusion of experienced players that can still play the game was a necessity. Also getting some of the young players into the action, without putting all the pressure of winning and losing on them is important," a team source said. "We know that we will be a good team this season (2003), just how good will depend on us as players, not what the coaches do or don't do. If we can avoid injuries and distractions, we'll be there in the end."

Some say that the division is coming back to us. We don't buy that. All those teams in the (NFC) North are tough. We are on the rise and we will make some sweet music come September. All the offseason work, the study sessions, the workouts, etc. that we do now will pay off when the season begins."



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