Chapman Answers Your Questions

Doug Chapman hasn't had much of an opportunity to carry the ball recently, but he shares his thoughts on what it will take for the Vikings to get back in the hunt next season.

You are the general manager in the next draft. What positions in what order do you fill, and what college players would you die for to have as your teammates and why?

Chapman says: Well, the thing is, I'm not a GM. I don't think like a GM, so I wouldn't even begin to know how to answer that one. I'm sure that the coaching staff and the GM will make the right decisions and evaluate where we need help, where we could use help, where we're thin, and they'll make the right decisions on getting the right people in there. I keep up with a little bit (of college football). I watch my alma mater, but I don't really get to watch it a whole lot because on Saturdays we're traveling. So I don't really get a chance to watch it until bowl time, but I definitely still follow Marshall.


Where have you seen the most improvement in Michael Bennett's game since he returned from his injury?

Chapman says: I think he was just young from the start. He got to take some time off and see what he was doing wrong. He's starting to get adjusted to the NFL blocking schemes, just small things like that. Nothing major. He just had to get adjusted to just being in the NFL. Going from college to the NFL is big, I don't care what school you went to. You just have to take some time to make that adjustment.

Nobody seems to be able to explain why the team has fallen so hard and so fast. Do you think the death of Korey Stringer was just the start of a cloud hanging over the franchise this season, or what other explanations are there for such a sudden decline?

Chapman says: Korey's death, whether it was in the football season or anything else, it definitely put a damper on the season. It definitely hurt a lot of players who were close to him and got to know him as a football player or a man. We can't blame the season on the death of Korey, but it had an effect on us mentally. We just didn't play up to our potential this year. We made mistakes in the games we should have won. We just didn't make the plays at the necessary times, and that's what really hurt us.

You've been around Cris Carter for two years now. What will be most missed about him when he leaves, and can you set the record straight on what his relationship with Randy Moss has been like? First it looked like those two were good friends, but now it doesn't seem like they respect each other much.

Chapman says: They have respect for each other. I think the media sometimes just takes comments and construes them. Like I read in the paper, Cris just gave his viewpoint on the situation and the headline read, ‘Carter rips Moss' and all this stuff. I think people take things out of perspective sometimes. Randy has a great deal of respect for Cris, and Cris has a great deal of respect for Randy. If Cris leaves, he'll definitely be missed by his team. He'll be missed as a player and as a person, so it'll be a big loss to us, both on and off the field.

Do the players feel like this year has been a rebuilding year? What is the single biggest thing that has to happen in the offseason for this team to return to the playoffs and a possible division crown next year?

Chapman says: A lot of things have to happen in the offseason. If there was a magic potion you could take and work out, or a magic equation you could work on to get a team to a championship, I'm sure that every team would use it. But it's hard. Ask any team that's either won a championship and didn't make it back the next year or any teams that went back-to-back how hard it was to do that — how hard it was to win back to back or even live up to last year's standards. Ask the Ravens or the Broncos or the 49ers, or ask the Rams I think it was two years ago after they won the championship easily. The NFL is fierce competition. I think everyone just needs to take the time off, use the offseason constructively. Take the time to get your mind and your body in shape and come back ready to play football and be dedicated to it. I think if everyone goes out there and gets the job done during the offseason and comes back in the football frame of mind, we have the talent, so we shouldn't have any problems being successful next year.

To ask Kailee Wong or Doug Chapman your question, go to the Ask Chapman/Wong board or go to the "Message Board" link at the top of the left navigation bar, then to the "Ask Chapman/Wong" message board.

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