Daunte Speaks Out

Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper spoke Wednesday for the first time since the Vikings' loss to the Eagles in the playoffs, giving his take on the departure of Scott Linehan, the future of the Vikings offense and Randy Moss trade rumors.

Since the Vikings' playoff loss to the Eagles, Daunte Culpepper has been out of the spotlight – opting to spend time with family and friends near his home in Orlando. That changed Wednesday, as Culpepper was part of the pre-game festivities at the Super Bowl, in which he was able to clear up some issues from his perspective.

He said he was very disappointed about losing offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, whom he credits for much of his improvement as an NFL quarterback. But he also acknowledged that Linehan had to do what was best for his family. With the Vikings coaching situation in flux – no coaches guaranteed beyond the 2005 season, he understands why Linehan would take a longer deal for considerably more money in Miami.

He added that he was happy with the selection of Steve Loney as the new offensive coordinator. He cited Loney's familiarity with Culpepper as well as the Vikings offense and said he feels confident with the internal promotion – as opposed to bringing in someone from outside who didn't know the Vikings offense or was familiar with Culpepper's strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, he said that, as far as he knows, there's no truth to any of the rumors that have the Vikings trading Randy Moss. He sees the rumors more as a media creation than a legitimate attempt to move the superstar wide receiver.

* The rumor department continues to buzz about the potential retirement of Brett Favre. Packers receiver Donald Driver said earlier this week that he thinks from what he saw and heard at the end of this season that Favre may not be back – which would make the loss to the Vikings the last game of his Hall of Fame career.
* After denying reports that he was going to retire, VU has been told that a press conference will likely be held today or Friday to announce that Emmitt Smith will in fact retire. His interest in joining Reggie Fowler's group seeking to buy the Vikings is still up in the air.
* The Vikings have a pair of interviews already scheduled for the vacant quarterbacks coach position – which used to be held by Linehan. Culpepper wants to have a role in the selection process, which will include interviews with former 49ers QB coach Rich Olson today and former Lions QB coach Kevin Higgins Friday. Former Browns offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie's name has also surfaced as a candidate.

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