This Time It's Personal

The Vikings head to New Jersey tomorrow for Friday's second preseason matchup, but it will have added significance for a couple of men on the Vikings sideline.

Anyone who knows the NFL knows that the Jets coaching staff is as emotional as any in the league. Coaches have routinely yelled at one another and, on occasion, even had to be restrained from going after one another.

It was under this strain that Herm Edwards and Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell had a serious falling out late in the 2003 season. When they couldn't reconcile their differences, Cottrell was fired and promptly hired by the Vikings.

Friday will mark the first meeting between the Vikings and the Jets since Cottrell was dismissed and will be the first chance for Cottrell and Edwards to line up opposite one another on the sidelines.

It will also mark the first time that Sam Cowart has returned to the Jets home since being traded to the Vikings for a seventh-round draft pick.

With Chad Pennington likely to make his first appearance of the preseason Friday, nothing would please Cottrell more than to see his defensive charges put a beating down on the young Jets QB. It might be a wise move for Edwards to keep a tight leash on Pennington because you know Cottrell and Cowart both have something to prove to Edwards and the Jets fans.

* About 8,000 fans attended the final "Thud" scrimmage Wednesday night in Mankato.
* After today's practices, the Vikings will break camp tomorrow.
* In the scrimmage, Paul Edinger took a step back in his kicking duel with Aaron Elling by missing a 29-yard field goal.
* How fed up is Mike Tice with his guard play in camp? After threatening to bring in David Dixon, who is working with Burnsville High School's football team as a volunteer coach, Tuesday he let a fan take a few reps at the position.
* Anthony Herrera remained hospitalized with a leg infection Tuesday and won't play Friday vs. the Jets.
* From the strange twist of fate department comes this: the Vikings received a seventh-round pick from the Raiders in the Randy Moss trade. They used a seventh-round pick to trade to the Jets for Cowart. Looking to recoup their seventh-round pick, the Raiders made a trade with the Jets that allowed the Jets to move one pick in front of the Vikings in the second round. The Jets used that pick to take kicker Mike Nugent -- who was the anticipated selection of the Vikings one pick later.

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