O-Line Shuffles to Accommodate

The offensive linemen continue to shuffle positions to accommodate injuries and holdouts. But by the time training camp is done, Mike Tice hopes to have his "dream line" intact.

A couple of weeks before training camp opened, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice had his "dream line," what he thought his best five offensive linemen packaged together.

Now with three days of training camp complete, his offensive line looks nothing like he envisioned.

"Right now, we've got 10 guys who are healthy, and they're working their butts off. You move forward with the guys you have here," Tice said today after the morning practice.

Tice's "dream line" included first-round draft choice Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, with Chris Liwienski at left guard, Pro Bowler Matt Birk at center, David Dixon at right guard and Lewis Kelly, who had a strong season in the NFL Europe, at right tackle.

However, McKinnie remains unsigned, and Kelly returned from the Frankfurt Galaxy with an injured leg and has missed some of each practice. So Tice has reworked the line, moving Liwienski back to right tackle, where he started all 16 games last season, and inserting veterans Corbin Lacina at left guard and Everett Lindsay at left tackle.

"The offensive line is off to a good start," Tice said. "They have a good bond, good communication. They're aggressive, experienced. I like what I'm seeing."

PRACTICE NOTES
* The defense wore yellow jerseys for the first time at Monday morning's practice. The team has traditionally donned purple or white jerseys for practice, but the yellow jerseys are worn instead of purple on extremely hot days. It's one of the changes the team has made to training camp to better deal with heat in the wake of Korey Stringer's death last year.

* Running back James Wofford, who is battling for a backup running back spot, suffered a knee injury during an 11-on-11 drill. Tight end Hunter Goodwin had a pulled hip flexor, and receiver Cedric James had a minor knee injury.

* Safety Tyrone Carter put a big hit on Randy Moss as the Vikings receiver made a catch over the middle. The defensive backs have been noticeably more physical during training camp. "This team likes to hit," Tice said. "Especially those (defensive backs)."

However, Moss came back with several acrobatic catches, and D'Wayne Bates had two long touchdown receptions.

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