Vikings Blitzes

From a Moe Williams injury to a Cris Carter and Randy Moss footrace to merchandise stats, notes from the Vikings' week that was.

* Running back Moe Williams, who has missed a lot of training camp dealing with the death of a close friend in addition to Korey Stringer, has also been hobbled with a foot injury. The pain is in the arch of Williams' left foot with a sprained ligament being the diagnosis.

* After receiving heavy local criticism for sporadic comments viewed as racial by some during his long talk show-hosting career, Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton resigned as the Vikings' play-by-play radio announcer before the team's second preseason game. Hamilton's talk show originates out of San Diego, and the Vikings and their new radio flagship station, KFAN, decided on Hamilton to replace Dan Rowe. Hamilton was replaced by KFAN talk show host Paul Allen, at least in the short term. The Vikings are expected to name a permanent replacement this week.

* Who is faster, Randy Moss or Cris Carter? The answer, most would think, is obvious. But the answer depends on the length of the race. Carter and Moss were conditioning after one of the last training camp practices in Mankato and running 10-yard sprints. Yep, Carter, who turns 37 years old later this season and maintains a rigorous conditioning program year-round, beat Moss on those shorter bursts. To be fair, Carter was also using a heavy dose of trash talking to put Moss in a laughing mood.

* Former Vikings running back Terry Allen has resurfaced with the Baltimore Ravens as an injury replacement for Jamal Lewis, who is expected to miss the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He suffered the injury during a training camp practice. Allen, who beat out Mario Bates, Robert Chancey, Greg Hill and Chris Warren for the job, signed a one-year deal for the league minimum of $477,000. Allen spent part of last season with New Orleans.

* The linebackers are excited again. Last year, the defensive line wasn't always filling the gaps they were supposed to, which meant an extra blocker coming down on the linebackers when they were trying to hit a hole and meet the running back. This year, with a new defensive line coach and a younger, more disciplined defensive line, the linebackers started to see the difference already in the preseason opener. That is why sacks can be overrated and simply carrying out the assignment can be overlooked.

* Rookie Eric Kelly is a confident cornerback, but that doesn't mean he can't accept constructive criticism from the stars on the team. Kelly was beaten deep by the Saints in the first preseason game, but recovered in time to knock loose a ball that was still bobbling in the receiver's arms. But when Kelly started celebrating a pass defensed two days later in training camp, quarterback Daunte Culpepper told Kelly to simmer down. "That's nothing," Culpepper said, referring to Kelly's mistake in the preseason opener. "It's makeup time for you." Kelly then proceeded to intercept a ball in the second preseason game.

* At least two Vikings — one current and one former — received their college degrees this offseason. Current defensive tackle Chris Hovan obtained his degree in communications and former cornerback Dewayne Washington got his in community relations management.

* From the "Slightly to do with the Vikings Department," former Vikings (and many other teams) quarterback Archie Manning is listed as the boyhood idol of one current NFL quarterback, according to an NFL press release. That, of course, would be Colts QB Peyton Manning, Archie's son. Former Viking John Randle lists Randy White as his boyhood idol. Cris Carter looked up to Cris Collinsworth growing up.

* Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss are both in the top-10 best-selling jerseys in the NFL. Tennessee's Eddie George is first, following by Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb and St. Louis' Marshall Faulk. Culpepper ranks seventh and Moss ninth. Only one other team, the Indianapolis Colts, with Edgerrin James at No. 4 and Peyton Manning at No. 8, had two players in the top 10. VU

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