Tice Calls Out McKinnie

When Mike Tice is pissed, he doesn't bottle it up. Thursday, he showed that by calling out -- and beating -- top draft pick Bryant McKinnie in a foot race.

The differences between Denny Green and Mike Tice have been very obvious to those of us who cover the Vikings on a regular basis. But Thursday at the conclusion of the day's first developmental camp of the three-week camping phase, Tice made an unprecedented move -- calling out top pick Bryant McKinnie.

Tice, who has openly criticized McKinnie's conditioning, challnged McKinnie's conditioning earlier this week, but put his feet where his mouth was. At the end of practice, he challenged McKinnie to beat him in a practice-ending wind sprint, saying he would take part as someone McKinnie has to beat.

As it turned out, he was good to his word. Not only did Tice partake in the final wind sprints, he beat McKinnie by default. After falling behind, McKinnie quit running the sprints, which should make for some good commentary from the vocal Tice if things don't improve in the coming weeks and months. But he clearly has put McKinnie on notice. This ain't college, son, get it in gear, especially with the Vikings backing up the money truck to pay you to be an All-Pro.

* While the cut period for players techically begins today, don't expect to see much if any activity over the weekend. The NFL doesn't have the offices open on the weekends to accept waiver selections in the off-season, so those decisions will likely be pushed back to Monday, when the hunt for Derrick Alexander begins.
* While Alexander and Keenan McCardell are both expected to be available Monday, the same may not be true for Antonio Freeman. The Packers will likely release him, but aren't forced by any bonus-related reasons to make a move. Therefore, the Packers may wait to see how the bidding goes for Alexander and McCardell before lopping Freeman, who still may work out a restructured deal with the Pack at a greatly reduced salary.
* Matt Birk sprained his ankle Friday, but the injury isn't deemed serious. However, he was taken for precautionary X-rays.
* The Vikings will conduct a full-blown minicamp next week from Friday to Sunday.
* The Vikings worked out Fernando Smith Friday, but didn't sign him to a contract.

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