Cottrell acknowledged there are a "few more wrinkles" in the scheme that he elected to hold back against the Buccaneers. The 3-4 look, which Cincinnati is sure to see Sunday, enabled the energetic Newman to get on the field. In one situation, he pressured quarterback Brian Griese into making a poor throw that was picked off by cornerback Fred Smoot.
Bengals second-year starting quarterback Carson Palmer will have the advantage of being able to study some of the Vikings' tendencies in the scheme.
While starting corners Smoot and Antoine Winfield played well, it will be worth noting whether the Vikings use Brian Williams or Ralph Brown in the nickel package. Williams, a starter last season, was demoted from that role in Week 1 after a poor first half.
In the first quarter, Williams was beaten by receiver Joey Galloway for a 30-yard reception on third-and-9. The Buccaneers scored on that drive to tie it at 7. In the second quarter, Williams failed to wrap up receiver Michael Clayton on another third-and-9 pass play. That drive ended with another Buccaneers score.
Vikings coach Mike Tice said this week that Williams is still the starter in the nickel but it's obvious the coaches will keep a close eye on the situation and won't hesitate to switch to Brown.
Veteran Sam Cowart looked good in his debut as the Vikings middle linebacker but his status for the Cincinnati game is uncertain. Cowart strained his left calf muscle late in the first game and will be evaluated this week. If he can't play, Rod Davis likely would get the start.
The Vikings also could move E.J. Henderson from the weak side back to his natural spot in the middle, but Tice is hesitant to shift Henderson around.
On offense, rookie right guard Marcus Johnson was benched in favor of Adam Goldberg in the fourth quarter of the opener. Tice, though, indicated Johnson would get another shot this week.
That might come out of necessity, as Goldberg could be needed to start at left tackle. Veteran Bryant McKinnie sprained his left foot in Week 1 and had an immobilized boot on the injured area for two days. He did not practice Wednesday. Tice is hopeful McKinnie can play but said Goldberg said he would practice at left tackle Wednesday.
Johnson wasn't the only offensive lineman to struggle against the Buccaneers, as the Vikings managed only 26 yards on the ground. Center Cory Withrow also had a poor afternoon and recent acquisition Melvin Fowler was expected to get some reps with the first team in practice. Withrow, however, will remain the starter.
The Vikings are expected to start Michael Bennett at running back after having veteran Moe Williams on the field for their first play from scrimmage last Sunday. Coming off a performance where he rushed for a career-low minus-1 yard, Bennett could use a good day to boost his confidence.
Look for Williams to be used as the third-down back and Mewelde Moore also is likely to get some work if his sore left ankle is all right. Moore did not touch the ball on offense in the first week.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Vikings coaching staff has a combined 66 years of NFL playing experience. That number is the highest of any NFC team and tied for third in the NFL, trailing only Pittsburgh and Denver's coaching staffs.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think the only one on a week-to-week basis around here is me." - Coach Mike Tice when asked if a strong showing in the Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay would give rookie punter Chris Kluwe some job security.