Vikings third-string quarterback Shaun Hill shakes his head.
Even though starter Daunte Culpepper had his worst performance of the season Sunday against the Raiders — that included three interceptions and two lost fumbles — Hill didn't think it merited a controversy.
There was none at Winter Park. Culpepper had a bad game. They moved on to planning for the Detroit Lions. But some fans had other ideas.
"To be honest, I've never seen anything like this," Hill said. "I haven't seen something like this before.
"It's normal for a quarterback to take a lot of ridicule for losses, and that's part of the profession. But he's been having a phenomenal season, yet fans were getting on him — even before the Oakland game."
Apparently, it doesn't bother Culpepper.
"I beat myself up enough, anyway," Culpepper said. "When it goes well, I criticize myself more than anybody. When everything goes bad, I criticize myself more than anybody. But I've been through adversity my whole life, and that's why I think I've always had success. I've been able to deal with adversity, bounce back, and move forward."
As a third-string quarterback, Hill admittedly is in an enviable position.
With an experienced veteran like Gus Frerotte as the No. 2 quarterback and a playmaker like Culpepper as the No. 1, Hill is afforded the luxury of learning from both players, who have vastly different playing styles.
Even though Frerotte is 2-0 as a starter and Culpepper is 4-4, there are no rifts in the chain of command, Hill said.
"They have a great relationship," said Hill. "Gus understands his role and knows Daunte is the starter. They do a great job on game day on the sidelines getting together and talking about what both sees. Even Scott (Linehan) — the three of them get on the headphones at the same time and they get things figured out quickly."
What most impresses Hill about Culpepper is his unwillingness to concede victory.
"That's the biggest thing I've learned from Daunte in my two years here is what kind of warrior Daunte is — not only on game day, but in every practice and every walk-through he is just an unbelievable competitor," Hill said. "He plays to the very end. No matter what the score, what the situation, Daunte fights the whole time."
Hill In Wonder Of Controversy
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