Bouman Getting First-Team Work

Quarterback Todd Bouman knows his good showing against the Steelers won't put him ahead of Daunte Culpepper, and the backup was still disappointed the Vikings didn't win.

Quarterback Todd Bouman got his first opportunity to play in a regular-season game in the loss to the Steelers when Daunte Culpepper's knee injury forced him from the game. Bouman, who attended St. Cloud (Minn.) State and signed with the Vikings as a free agent in 1997, entered in the fourth quarter and completed 11 of 15 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

The Vikings, who trailed by 18 points when Bouman entered, wound up scoring 13 points in the quarter in the 21-16 loss. "I was happy, but we didn't win the game, and that's basically the bottom line," Bouman said. "We needed the win and we didn't get it. Being quite honest, I wasn't really that happy."

Bouman said the opportunity to play proved helpful. "I've always been confident, but any time you get out there and you get the game reps and things going well, in the back of your mind you feel a little bit more confident," he said. "But it hasn't really changed much."

Bouman is spending this week working with the first-team offense as Culpepper rested his knee. "It helps," Bouman said. "You just get in tune with what the first-string guys are doing, as far as their routes and the protections you are using during the week."

While Bouman welcomed the opportunity to work with the first unit, he knows the starting job is Culpepper's.

"Obviously, we want Daunte to play," he said. "He's the guy and that's the way it should be. I'm not saying I'm not excited, but obviously you want him to get healthy as fast as possible."

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