Defensive Backs Respond

Coming off a tongue lashing from head coach Mike Tice on Monday morning, the defense — especially the secondary — responded in Tuesday morning's practice.

The Minnesota Vikings' starting cornerbacks were on their games at Tuesday's morning practice, flying around the field and making plays.

Corey Chavous, a five-year veteran who signed with the Vikings after spending four seasons with Arizona, was strong in 7-on-7 drills, making a nice interception of a pass by Romaro Miller.

Chavous also had a diving pass breakup later in practice, and he returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Eric Kelly, who started 11 games as a rookie last season, also had a nice breakup.

"I really like the guys we have there," coach Mike Tice said.

The play of the cornerbacks mirrored the rest of the team Tuesday, as Tice prepared his players for tonight's team scrimmage. The team was supposed to practice Tuesday morning in shorts, but Tice, who held an animated chewing-out session with the team Monday morning, got out the shoulder pads, hoping for a more intense workout.

"Without a doubt, this was our best practice to date," Tice said.

PRACTICE NOTES
* Three more rookies received their hazing Monday as receiver Nick Davis, punter Nick Murphy and offensive lineman Chad Beasley each showed up at practice with their heads shaved. And as the team stretched before practice, veteran Randy Moss let out a warning: "Raonall Smith, we're coming after you."

* Running back Doug Chapman was not on the field Tuesday, a day after aggravating a turf toe injury. Tice said Chapman will not likely play in the second preseason game Friday at Buffalo. Because starter Michael Bennett (knee) and backup Moe Williams (shoulder) are banged up, second-year running back James Wofford was working with the first unit.

* Beasley's first workouts with the offensive line had mixed results. Beasley, a seventh-round draft choice from Virginia Tech, was switched from the defensive line over the weekend. In one-on-one drills with the defensive linemen, Beasley was beaten badly on the first two tries, drawing jeers from teammates. However, he did a good job on his third try against Cedric Killings, and his linemates cheered.

* Davis, who struggled holding onto the football during punt-return drills early in camp, has looked better. On Tuesday, he fielded a punt, made a couple of quick moves and blew past three tacklers. Davis also had a nice return in Saturday's preseason game with Cleveland, showing a burst of speed to get outside the coverage. Coupled with David Allen's poor showing Saturday, Davis seems to be back in the picture as the team's return man.

* The big hit of Tuesday's practice came from rookie safety Willie Offord, who smacked rookie Atrews Bell and broke up a pass.



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