Many people around the NFL thought that Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice was out of his mind when he stated that he would like to get the ball directed to wide receiver Randy Moss 40 percent of the time.
Others believe that if he can accomplish the feat, which is unheard of in the NFL, the Vikings could greatly improve over a 5-11 season in 2001, but it could be at a great expense.
Getting the ball to Moss 40 percent of the time would have to come at a great physical expense. Granted, Moss is in tremendous physical condition, but the pounding of a 16-game schedule makes the odds highly unlikely of it happening.
"If there is one player in the league that could take a 5-11 team to a 9-7 team, by just getting him the ball consistently, it's Randy Moss," a league source said. "The problem is going to be maintaining that consistency and keeping the player healthy. They (the Vikings) play a lot of games on artificial turf; the physical pounding will be tremendous."
"Despite what the Vikings attempt to do with Moss, just the threat of him in on practically every play will make (D'Wayne) Bates and Derrick Alexander better."
More Alexander: Throughout his career, Derrick Alexander has been a player that appeared to have the ability to turn his talents on when he wanted to. The problem also is that he has shown the same ability to shutdown when he has wanted to as well.
Since what many perceive as a calling out from Mike Tice a few short weeks ago, Alexander has been tremendous on the field and off. He has worked with and shown support to Bates, the player that is beating him out for the second-receiver spot presently.
Finally healthy, Alexander is again showing that he can again be an explosive receiver in the NFL. Understanding the offense and beginning to feel comfortable, Alexander just completed a tremendous week of training camp and is poised for a run at the starting wide receiver position opposite Moss.
Help Wanted: There have been indications that Mike Tice isn't sold on his team at the safety, linebacker, and possibly defensive tackle positions.
A league source tells The Insiders that the Vikings have been paying attention to rosters of numerous teams. As training camps wind down and the first roster cuts of the preseason are upcoming, the Vikings could be shopping.
"There is a need in Minnesota for help at safety, linebacker, and at the defensive tackle positions. The Vikings have inquired about the availability of a few players in the past week or two," the source said. "One team that could be a trading partner is Cleveland. They have a great amount of depth in the secondary and at the defensive tackle positions."
"We're not saying they (the Vikings) have talked to the Browns, but we aren't saying they haven't."
Something on McKinnie: Several attempts to contact Bryant McKinnie have gone unanswered. The reason is that McKinnie has been told not to speak to the media or anybody regarding his ongoing holdout, sources close to the offensive lineman tell The Insiders.
"Bryant isn't talking any longer. He feels that the negotiations with the Vikings and his representatives haven't been very productive in the past week to 10 days," the source said. "There was a period of a few days about two weeks ago that it looked like something would be worked out and he would be in camp. There were no promises made by either side of the table, but the McKinnie camp believes that they were more than misled on the Vikings' commitment to get McKinnie signed."
"Call it miscommunication, call it negotiation tactics, whatever. Don't expect a deal with the Vikings anytime soon until they (the Vikings) are willing to sit-down and get away from the 'take this offer and like it' approach they have shown with many players, currently and in the past."