Vikings Plan to Change to Help Bennett

The Vikings intend Michael Bennett to be more of a factor this season and are willing to look at old tape to get the answers.

Michael Bennett came to the Vikings with a reputation -- being able to consistently break off long runs for touchdowns.

However, as a rookie with the Vikes, those runs were few and far between and Mike Tice wants answers. He's willing to go back to 2000 to find them.

Tice is considering changing how the Vikings' offensive line operates in order to spring Bennett on long runs. So much so, he's telling the coaches let's go to the videotape.

Tice has asked his offensive coaches to review game film from Bennett's last season at Wisconsin to see what line schemes the Badgers used to make Bennett so effective and, if practical, to incoporate some of them with the Vikings next season.

Bennett is taking his part in the equation seriously. For all of March and most of February, he has been working out at Winter Park and doing everything he can to improve his game. Perhaps getting a glimpse of what made him tick at Wisconsin will bring some of the magic back for Minnesota and, from what we're hearing, Tice is willing to make the changes needed to get it done.

SUNDAY NOTES
* Daunte Culpepper was in town to have the progress of his knee injury checked and, while he was here, he met with new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Culpepper is said to be very excited about the plans Linehan intends to implement with the team.
* The Cris Carter saga continues to degenerate. Although the Rams lost out on Jacquez Green, who signed Saturday with Washington, they are pursuing other wide receivers other than Carter. Meanwhile, VU has been told Carter has called Miami about talking contract, but the Dolphins have made no offers yet.
* The Vikings had a representative at the Fresno State team workout of 13 players. While there is no chance or interest in signing QB David Carr, one player the Vikings may have an interest in is defensive lineman Alan Harper, who projects to be a third- or fourth-round draft pick.
* The Dale Carter contract signing is more talk than money. Although an eye-popping $28 million figure was announced, his $3 million signing bonus is spread across the next three years and he has a base salary of just $650,000 this year and $755,000 next season. What does it mean? He will have a salary cap number of right around $1.2 million each of the next two years and, if the Saints opt to get rid of him after that, the team won't be responsible for any more money and will take a cap hit of just $1 million (only $2 million would actually count as signing bonus money given out) -- not much in the age of free agency and contract restructuring.
* With the signing of La'Roi Glover, VU has been told Jerry Jones is looking to perhaps make a move down in the draft and could be in competition with teams like the Vikings if the Raiders want to trade both of their picks in the first round to move and grab a defensive tackle.
* At the NFL owners meetings, it is expected that the league is going to move to change its tie-breaker policy. Not only will it seek to de-emphasize points scored as a tie-breaker, it would move common opponents ahead of conference record for head-to-head tie-breaker. That one may be hard to get passage, since a team could conceivably have a better record in the NFC, but lose a tie for the NFC playoffs to a team with a worse record in the conference.

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