New Coach Theory?

Pat Williams returned to practice Monday after spending a week on the physically unable to perform list. Meanwhile, out in New York an eerily similar scenario played itself out with Jets wide receiver Justin McCareins and their new coach.

Call it coincidence. Call it discipline. Call it a new coach making a point. But the Vikings and the Jets have seen a very similar action play itself out with a veteran.

Nose tackle Pat Williams returned to practice Monday for the Vikings after spending a week on the physically unable to perform list following his showing up to training camp heavier than required by new coach Brad Childress. While his teammates practiced on the Minnesota State-Mankato fields, Williams practiced alone on an adjoining field with team staff doing indivdual workouts.

Halfway across the country, a similar disciplinary action was taking place with the Jets. New coach Eric Mangini didn't take well to wide receiver Justin McCareins failing a conditioning run and placed him on the P.U.P. list for a week. In both instances, neither player was injured, but didn't pass the conditions set by the new coach.

It would appear that the P.U.P. has become something that coaches are using not only to help players rehab but as a tool to send a message to the rest of the team that if you don't follow the team rules, you will be singled out.

While everything appears to be fine with Williams and the Vikings, the same may not be true with McCareins, who has seemingly found himself in Mangini's doghouse. But, both new coaches have sent a message to their respective teams -- nobody is too big for the team concept, even starters with a solid track record.

Childress didn't address the issue Monday other than to have a team statement saying that Williams had rejoined his teammates at practice.

* Tank Williams is scheduled to have surgery today on his fractured kneecap with famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews. The Vikings placed him on injured reserve Monday.
* Replacing Williams on the roster is defensive back Ahmad Treaudo, who was signed Monday. He spent last season with the Falcons.
* Former Viking Michael Bennett is expected to miss all week of practice with a sore hamstring.
* Chad Greenway and Chester Taylor returned to practice Monday after being sidelined with a concussion and a thigh strain, respectively.
* The Dolphins expect Daunte Culpepper to see limited game action Saturday when they open the preseason vs. the Jaguars.

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