Browns Bring History to the Table

The Vikings open the 2002 season tonight with several connections to the Cleveland Browns.

Earlier this week, VU talked about Derrick Alexander preparing to his play his first game as a Viking vs. the team that drafted him -- the Cleveland Browns.

That won't happen, with D.A. sidelined with a quadriceps injury, but there will be several connections that bind the teams that have met just once in their history -- Cleveland's first home preseason game in 1999 was a 24-17 loss to the Vikings.

While much of the focus of the matchup has been on former Vikings Dwayne Rudd, Robert Griffith, Corey Fuller and former defensive coordinator Foge Fazio coming back to Minnesota, there is just as much, if not more, of a Cleveland connection with the Vikings.

Aside from Alexander, Spergon Wynn, Everett Lindsay, O.J. Santiago and Darius Holland all played for the Browns and are looking forward to reuniting with old teammates. While Rudd, Griffith and Fuller will be the key to many Vikings fans, the Vikings have plenty of players looking for some payback for their old team.

SATURDAY NOTES
* Mike Tice has told VU he intends to play Daunte Culpepper in the first quarter tonight, Todd Bouman in the second, Shaun Hill in the third and Spergon Wynn in the fourth.
* Tice added that all of the starters will play about a quarter except for the offensive and defensive linemen, who are scheduled to play the entire first half.
* After having some promising signs in the previous couple of days, the Vikings and OT Bryant McKinnie have got no closer to an agreement and his holdout has extended into a 15th day.
* In a poll conducted on ESPN, the validity of which could be questioned when you see player No. 3, 26,000 people responded to a question "Who would you pay the most money to see in an NFL game?" Randy Moss finished fourth with 9.9 percent of the votes, behind Marshall Faulk, Brett Favre and second-year man Michael Vick. The Falcons must have a prime-time game on ESPN coming up soon to set up such a ridiculously lopsided vote.

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