It's a brown start to December in Minnesota, but in Chicago, the city has been pelted with snow and ice the last two days. It would seem logical that the Vikings would expose their players to the ugly conditions they can expect Sunday, right? Wrong.
Brad Childress practiced the team inside Friday, saying that, considering the conditions the Bears have for practicing, there is no "competitive advantage" to taking practice out into the cold.
"It's just not as good of a teaching environment," Childress said of practicing inside. "I'd venture to say that Chicago probably wasn't outside with six inches of snow either. You practice inside; you get your game plan installed and you adjust to those elements. We got two cold-weather games here, this one and Green Bay and then three dome games, and there's a certain amount of work you have to get done. These guys get used to it walking from this place to their car."
There is a quiet belief that a windy, cold stadium may actually favor the Vikings more than the Bears, who were more likely to try to air out the ball on offense.
* Childress made some adjustments to the team's injury report Friday. While Artis Hicks and Marcus Johnson remained questionable, Cedric Griffin was upgraded to probable and Pat Williams was upgraded from doubtful to questionable – although Bill Belichick and, as of this year, Tony Dungy have made the injury report little more than a joke, expect to see both Griffin and Big Pat on the field when the first defensive snap is taken. Although he was upgraded, Williams didn't practice Thursday or Friday – as Childress pointed out to the media "Doubting Thomases" – his words, not ours.
* Five other starters – Chester Taylor, Steve Hutchinson, Marcus Robinson, Napoleon Harris and Dwight Smith – are all listed as probable.
* The national media has made a big play of the smack talk that Rex Grossman made in the earlier meeting between the Vikings and Bears. The bigger question should have been what is the problem? Grossman looked in the first meeting like he has to Vikings fans just about every time they've seem him – a half a click above awful. The Brett Favre comparisons that were drawn were laughable. Favre throws dumb passes, but completes many more. Grossman throws dumb passes…not much more to say.
* Brad Johnson will likely wear gloves on the field for one of the few times in his pro career. He is a believer in gloves giving him a more natural feel in adverse conditions and, while the snowstorm that blanketed Chicago Thursday and Friday will be gone, the wind will likely be an issue, so Johnson will probably don the gloves.
* Unlike the rest of the team, Ryan Longwell and Chris Kluwe had to do their Friday work outside to simulate potential conditions for game day.
Weather? What Weather?
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