I would like to have your personal perspective on the difference between the team's preparation for the Bucs game, versus the 2 previous losses. I only got to see the last few minutes of the Bucs game, but it was a great victory nonetheless. Thanks a lot for any
responses you may have.
Chapman say: I'd say the difference in preparation was we just put everything in perspective that game. We didn't put a whole lot of pressure on ourselves. At the same time, we knew that we were not performing up to our standards. Like Coach Green always says, we were not playing Vikings football. The defense was playing well some games, but the offense wasn't. But against the Bucs I think all phases of the game — offense, defense and special teams — came together and performed well.
Hey Doug! Man, you guys were smokin' in the game today (against the Bucs). It seemed like Daunte was hitting everyone, from Carter and Moss to the waterboy. Was this part of the game plan or were a lot of these just 2nd, 3rd receiver looks? Whatever they were it worked.
Chapman says: He was just taking what the defense gave us. Since Tampa Bay was just dropping off in coverage, Daunte was just getting the ball to the open man. He was playing football. He wasn't trying to force the ball to anybody. Whoever was open, he was throwing it to. He was just distributing the ball real well.
With the team still pretty much going to the passing game, how are you helping keep Bennett focused or from being discouraged, or is he even discouraged at all from the lack of plays going his way.
Chapman says: On offense it's kind of hard sometimes to get all the timing down immediately, especially when you've got a lot of new guys. The defense is kind of read and react, but offense you kind of have to take what the defense gives you. You have to be comfortable with the people you're playing with, also. It just kind of took a while for us to jell. We still have work to do. But the way I look at it, last year we started off real, real strong, but toward the end of the season we were kind of on a down note. Hopefully this year we started on our down note by losing two in a row and we can roll into the rest of the season and finish up stronger than we did last year.
I know this so far has been a difficult season, but I have every bit of confidence you guys will turn it around. If you could pinpoint the one thing that has been the biggest problem what would that be?
Chapman says: The biggest problem definitely was the loss of Korey (Stringer). Not just from a football standpoint, 'cause when you lose a friend or brother, a lot of coaches looked to him as a son, a lot of guys looked up to him as a big brother. He was a friend to everyone on the team and everyone that has anything to do with the Vikings. When you lose somebody like that, that starts you off on a bad foot. It's still hard and it's been hard for us to get through that. Now we're playing for him and keeping him alive in our memories and all, it helps everything go a lot smoother.
Is there a special significance to the number 34 that you wear?
Chapman says: It was the number worn by the guy who in my personal opinion was the greatest running back to ever play the game, Walter Payton. But it was also my little league number. I was number 22 in college, but David Palmer had it when I got here, so I took 23. I knew I wanted another number, so when I saw 34 was available — I was surprised that a number like that was still available, no one on our team had it — I jumped on it. I got to meet Walter Payton's son during the offseason. I just sat down and hung out with him a few times and it was like that was my idol growing up. That was almost every kid's idol growing up, Payton and Michael Jordan. That's the main reason I wear it.
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