Culpepper Looking To Big 2004

With much of the attention of fans and media geared toward the defensive improvements the Vikings have made, Daunte Culpepper is looking more at an offense that he believes can be the best in the NFL in 2004.

Much of the problem the Vikings had down the stretch last season was blamed on the defense, so it was natural that the Vikings would address that side of the ball more intently in the offseason.

But, while the defense looks to be much better, so does the offense -- at least in the view of QB Daunte Culpepper. With the addition of Marcus Robinson, the re-signing of Jim Kleinsasser and the healthy return of Michael Bennett, Culpepper is convinced the Vikings can be the most explosive and productive offense in the NFL this season

When asked about the status of Randy Moss -- the main concern among Vikings fans this offseason -- Culpepper said he's confident Moss will be back at full strength and ready to contribute as only Moss can.

"Even though he's a little injured, he's a good enough athlete to make it look like he's not hurt," Culpepper told VU. "He's still as smooth as ever. He might not have his fastest step right now because of his foot injury, but I'm pretty sure he'll be ready when we go to training camp."

As for the rest of the passing game, Culpepper is excited about the big-play potential of Robinson, who brings the best speed the Vikings have had in a No. 2 receiver since Moss was a rookie.

"He's going to take some of the attention off Randy," Culpepper told VU. "He catches the deep ball very well. He's very fast, very tall and jumps very well. I'm excited about throwing to him because he's definitely going to get some one-on-one coverage."

Finally, he praised the re-signing of Kleinsasser, who he feels makes the offense complete and gives him not only some extra protection, but the option to be run-first offense when the situation dictates.

"He's probably the most important to our running game aside from the offensive linemen," Culpepper told VU. "He's probably the best blocking tight end in the league."

While the jury is still out on how much improved the defense will be in 2004, there is little question in regards to the offense. It remains among the best in the NFL and doesn't show any sign of slipping back to the pack this season.

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