Tice Toughness Showing Through

Head coach Mike Tice is building a team with mental toughness, and his message is getting across to players who see him severing ties with players "without the extreme passion."

There was a reason 275-pound fullback James Lynch, somewhat of a surprise survivor of training camp, was released: No passion.

"We'd love to bring James Lynch back, but certainly not in the way he was here last time, without the extreme passion that we're looking for," head coach Mike Tice said.

Lynch became disposable when the Vikings signed former New York Giants fullback Charles Stackhouse. He played all 16 games for the Giants last season but was waived not long after he was thrown out of a practice during training camp for fighting.

"It's just one of those things that happened, and it's done and now it's over with," Stackhouse said.

He hasn't even been with the Vikings long, but already he appreciates the attitudes in the locker room.

"Right now I'd say this team has great chemistry," Stackhouse said.

"They're all friendly guys, and you can tell that when you walk in this locker room."

Tice said the roster shake-up with the release of Lynch should issue a clear sign for players on the bubble of the roster.

"Signing (Stackhouse) was a way of sending a message to our young players that I demand them to get better in every meeting and better in every practice, and when I don't see that happen, I cannot be afforded the opportunity to keep young men around that are not passionate about the opportunity that we've given them. So when I don't see the passion there, we'll bring another guy in."

Some of the young players have noticed.

"Everybody has to work hard," said Willie Offord, a third-round draft pick last year. "Coach Tice is stressing that this is a job and you have to work hard to be here. No one is born here; you have to work to stay here. I understand where he is coming from. He is the boss."

Viking Update Top Stories