The Sound of Silence

Brad Johnson may have to scream Sunday to combat crowd noise. The Vikings are preparing for it, but not by creating their own noise in practice.

For years, selected opponents of the Vikings have pumped in crowd noise to simulate that deafening noise Vikings fans can create at the Metrodome. The Vikings are planning for the same thing Sunday in Seattle, where the 12th man for the Seahawks have made it miserable for road teams.

But unlike other teams that have cranked up fan noise or even airplane engines to replicate the din created by fans, Brad Childress said the Vikings won't be doing that. They practiced their silent snap count in practice Wednesday, but did so in silence -- without the benefit (or lack thereof) of pumped in noise.

"Most of the time, it ends up with coaches with a headache and players with a headache and bad vocal chords," Childress said. "You have to work on the silent count."

But not necessarily with artificial deafening crowd noise. Childress was quick to add that there are ways of minimizing crowd noise -- play well and get ahead.

"It's amazing if you make something happen how things tend to settle down," Childress said.

* Russ Knocke, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Wednesday that there is "strong skepticism" about web reports that a concerted effort of terrorist activities would target seven NFL stadiums this weekend, including the Vikings-Seahawks game. The report claims that terrorists would detonate seven radiological "dirty bombs." The Vikings and Seahawks would be one of the late afternoon games, so if any stadiums are targeted in the early games, extreme precautions would be taken in the late games Sunday.
* The injury report was released Wednesday and only two Vikings were on it. LB Ben Leber and QB Tarvaris Jackson were both listed as probable with knee injuries.
* The same isn't true for Seattle. Three players -- RB Shaun Alexander (foot), WR Bobby Engram (illness) and guard Pork Chop Womack (knee) -- are listed as out and two others -- LB D.D. Lewis (toe) and DE Joe Tafoya (knee) -- are listed as questionable.
* Packers QB Brett Favre criticized the NFL for the timing of the Koren Robinson suspension, saying it should have waited until the end of the season instead of doing it mid-stream.
* The Packers are conducting tryouts at wide receiver, including a pair of former Vikings -- veteran Kelly Campbell and "cup-of-coffee" Viking Todd Pinkston.
* Troy Williamson and Bethel Johnson alternated returning kickoffs Wednesday.

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