When the Vikings took Willie Offord on the third round of the draft, many draft observers said the team reached too high to take him. When Louisiana-Lafayette's Kyries Hebert was signed as a free agent, the word was that he would just be a body-filling space.
That was then, this is now and, as it stands right now, if the two youngsters keep up the play that the team has seen from the developmental and minicamps, the Vikes may have two rookie starters this season.
Hebert has been wowing people at Winter Park every time he steps on the field and has a very good chance to supplant projected starter Tyrone Carter at the spot. Carter didn't make points with coach Mike Tice by grousing about playing strong safety. Tice obliged, but told VU that Carter "would have no excuses" if he didn't produce to his liking. Well, guess what? He hasn't, Hebert has and Tice is likely going to give him every chance to win the job in training camp.
The same could be true for Offord, who was expected to be behind veteran Ronnie Bradford at free safety -- and still may end up behind him -- but he has made a strong statement to earn himself a starting job as well.
While few teams succeed with two starting rookie safeties, neither has done anything to make Tice and the coaching staff not believe they can get it done. While still a long way from September when the final decisions will be made, both rookies are making a strong case for stepping in and being the first to try to make Vikings fans forget Robert Griffith and Orlando Thomas.
* This week, VU will lay out the case for believing in Randy Moss again. But, the first and perhaps most significant point to be made in that regard is this -- Moss hasn't missed a practice or meeting in the offseason and is showing the leadership Tice expects from his $70 million man.
* While the Vikings continue to say they don't have an interest in free agent DT Sam Adams, the primary reason was Adams was demanding huge money, including an $8 million signing bonus. Since he has found no takers and training camps are a month away, VU has been told his demand has dropped all the way down to $4 million for a signing bonus and he still hasn't found a taker. If the numbers continue to drop, don't be shocked if the Vikings get involved and fill in the one void they don't believe they addressed in the draft.
* The Vikings lost out on free agent Jim Flanigan, but word is they're going to turn up the heat to try to sign DE Cedric Killings. Whether the interest in Adams rises or not, Killings could be the last free agent signing this month if the Vikes can get him to agree to a contract.
Two Rookie Safeties to Start?
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