Laying It On The Line

Cris Carter talked about more than just his possible departure from the Vikings after this season. He also credited the offensive line of past seasons for the success of the skill-position players.

Wide receiver Cris Carter had some interesting thoughts when asked if there had been a trickle-down effect from the revamped and often banged-up offense line to the rest of the offense.

"The line, when we were very, very successful, the line never really got the credit they deserved," he said. "They were always responsible, even though we have had phenomenal athletes and we've got a good system, but the line always played so well that we could do a lot of different things. As far as protection, they are a little complicated to understand, but we didn't have to help any linemen for the most part. We can get everybody out into the route.

"We can run five people, what we call five-outs. That's when you get your two primary receivers out, you get the tight end out, and normally you can get both backs out. When you have protection problems, you have breakdowns, you have to keep more people in so they have more people defending than we have going out.

"So the holes are smaller, it's easier for the defense to defend, it makes you a little one-dimensional, too, from a running and passing perspective. So those are just some of the things. A trickle-down effect? I think the skilled athletes, the veterans, really knew it was the offensive line before and the reason why we were so successful."

Green's stadium views
While many Vikings officials have expressed strong interest in aligning with the University of Minnesota to get a stadium built that both teams could use, head coach Dennis Green does not see it happening.

Making his weekly appearance on Tony Bruno's morning show on Fox Sports Radio, Green said: "We have tried to go into a proposal with the University of Minnesota. I think people are fooling themselves. The University of Minnesota is not going to do a stadium with the Minnesota Vikings. I think they are going to go it alone. I think the University of Minnesota is going to build about a 40,000-seat, what I call boutique, stadium, a little small thing. It will probably cost a hundred million and be right on campus.

"I think the (university) feels they lost a lot by leaving campus and going to the Metrodome. I think now it's just going to come down to the Twins and the Vikings and the Metrodome. I think that's going to be an issue that is probably going to be solved sometime this year."

While Green's answers with the Twin Cities media are usually less than revealing, the coach often opens up when talking to members of the national press.

On the same show he gave his stadium view, Green also put in his vote for a national championship game in college football. Green, of course, was a long-time college coach, having left Stanford to take the Vikings job in 1992.

"A national playoff is the way to go," he said. "I was in the college game for a lot of years. I stood up and I pounded on tables back in 1991, my last year. We are depriving the country of one of the most exciting events they could ever have. That would be a two-game playoff system with a national champion being declared.

"We would bring more attention to the athletes, they would bring more money to the schools that need the money. There would be more focus on young people, which they need to have. We could turn it into a more positive atmosphere for college students and the colleges. They are missing the boat. I said it in 1991 and 2001. I'm still saying the same thing."

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