Moe Knows His Role

While Doug Chapman, Onterrio Smith and Larry Ned battle for the role of feature back, Moe Williams is content in his duties as the third-down and short-yardage back.

Moe Williams knows his role, and he likes it.

The eighth-year veteran is secure as the Vikings' third-down and short-yardage running back, while others battle for the No. 1 job.

"I really do like that role," he said after Thursday morning's practice. "My running style is pretty much straight downhill, and I can get a couple of yards when we need it. I like contributing to the team."

With Michael Bennett out with an injury for at least half of the season, Doug Chapman, Onterrio Smith and Larry Ned will all get work with the No. 1 offense during Saturday night's preseason game against Jacksonville.

Williams, who scored 11 touchdowns last season, said he's not interested in being part of that competition.

"I knew right away (when camp started) that my spot was pretty much my spot," Williams said. "You have to bring someone else along. We already had (Chapman). You can't put all your eggs in one basket."

Besides, at age 29, Williams knows he's not getting any faster. But there are other ways he can contribute.

"I was taught a lot of things from some of the older guys," Williams said, referring to former Vikings running backs Robert Smith, David Palmer and Amp Lee. "Now I can pass that on to the younger guys."

* Head coach Mike Tice said the team had a better practice Thursday, compared to Wednesday's sloppy session. "I'm glad we bounced back and had a very good morning," Tice said.
* The Vikings conducted their final regular practice Thursday and will commit the rest of this week's camp to the Jacksonville game plan, Tice said.
* The defense had all of its first-team players on the field together for the first time in a week.
* The training-camp crowd applauded when Tice made the offense run sideline to sideline after several players committed a false start penalty.

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