Lesnar Makes Impact at Scrimmage

While Dick Vermeil didn't rant that he wanted any Vikings players shot Friday, the bad blood that simmered last year boiled over again Friday as fights broke out during practice between the Vikings and Chiefs.

The Vikings and Chiefs have been conducting mutual practices for the last three years, scrimmages that allow players to hit someone other than teammates.

Hitting was the operative word, as both teams had some shots that resulted in two brawls in each of the sessions.

In the morning scrimmage, rookie Brock Lesnar was at the center of the controversy. After being told not to be overly aggressive with their hits, Lesnar wasted little time in laying the smack down on Chiefs QB Damon Huard, which resulted in some pushing and shoving. A few plays later, Chiefs guard Jonathan Ingram, who had been burned by Lesnar on the play in which he hammered Huard, got into a fight with Lesnar that had both benches clear.

The Chiefs retaliated in the evening session by laying down late hits on Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore, opening up more violence.

While the scrimmage gives the players an opportunity to get some live hitting against someone other than their own teammates, one has to wonder how long the scrimmages will continue if the players keep getting in potentially injuring brawls.

* Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was at camp Friday in hopes of promoting a new stadium for the Vikings. He reiterated the league's willingness to contribute $50 million to a new stadium, but is also looking at the Vikings as a potential relocation team for the vacant L.A. market.
* Between sessions the NFL officials made a presentation to the Vikings coaches as to what issues will be points of interest and emphasis for refs this year. Topping the list of tightened calls will be defensive holding beyond five yards. Several teams complained that the Patriots were mugging receivers downfield and that any contact beyond five yards or grabbing an opponent's jersey will be an automatic penalty this year.

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