VikingBuzz BLOG: 6/29

Vikings WR Martin Nance played for Terry Hoeppner at Miami (Ohio), where they were ranked No. 10 in the nation in 2003. Nance and others reflect on the passing of Hoeppner, the Indiana coach, due to complications from a brain tumor early last week.

>Nance reflects on Hoeppner
Vikings WR Martin Nance reflected on the passing of Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner, who died of complications of a brain tumor last week.  Hoeppner was the head coach at Miami (Ohio) when Nance and the Steelers’ Ben Rothliesberger led the RedHawks to a 13-1 record and No. 10 overall ranking in the country in 2003.  “I think in 2003 we were a championship team, and it was just the closeness everyone felt,” Nance told the Cincinnati Inquirer.  “It was never a feeling of us and the coach.  It was always like a family, and he was responsible for creating that.”

>Peterson interview
Here’s a link to the full Adrian Peterson interview with Rich Eisen from NFL Network at the rookie symposium.

>AP wallpaper, anyone?
Here’s the link to a nice Adrian Peterson wallpaper, in Viking purple, if you’re interested.

>Vikings still in great shape with salary cap
According to published reports the Vikings are still slightly more than $20 million under the salary cap, ranking them third-best in the league. 

>Childress being proved right by Culpepper
Chili was ripped by media and fans for jettisoning quarterback Daunte Culpepper when he took the Vikings job last year.  But a year later, it appears the quarterback has already worn out his welcome with two separate coaching staffs in Miami.  Meanwhile Tarvaris Jackson loves being coached by Childress and quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers.  Hindsight being 20-20, Culpepper would have been much better off playing nice with Chili in Minnesota.  Culpepper has found out that the grass isn’t always greener somewhere else, or, if it is, you still have to mow it.  On another note, Adam Schein of reports veteran Kelly Holcomb having interest in the Vikings as veteran insurance behind Jackson and Brooks Bollinger.

>Vikings assistant has good bloodlines
Kevin Stefanski , who is the coaching assistant to head coach Brad Childress, comes from a family with good bloodlines .  His father, Ed, was a college basketball television color analyst for the Atlantic 10 and ESPN before joining the New Jersey Nets as Director of Scouting.  He is now the general manager of the Nets.  Stefanski’s playing career was cut short at Penn due to a knee injury.  He first became acquainted with Childress during the Philadelphia Eagles training camp in 2005 while working in the team’s operations department.  Childress hired Stefanski to his initial coaching staff upon joining the Vikings.

>Former Vikings running back defends NFLPA
Ex-Vikings running back Robert Smith joined Mike Morris on KFAN this morning to talk some Vikings’ football.  Smith strongly supports the work of the NFLPA and specifically Gene Upshaw.  He certainly offers the other side of the issue as it has been reported of late.  He also weighs in on Adrian Peterson, predicting he will eventually surpass all his career rushing totals, and Smith sees an optimistic outlook for the Vikings in 2007.

>Sharper appears poised for TV career after football
Charley Walters reports that Darren Sharper and KMSP Ch. 9 are discussing an analyst position for the Vikings safety for the coming season.  Sharper has also done plenty of work with NFL Network and is obviously going to transition into that career when his playing days are over.

>Who does Zygi support?
It’s not football but he does own the team.  See who owner Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, or anyone for that matter, has supported with political contributions at

>NFL Europa calls it quits after 16 years
It looks like the end of the developmental league that’s been in existence since 1991.

>Camp Pat today and tomorrow
Vikings All-Pro DT Pat Williams is holding a football camp back home in Monroe, La.

>No longer the stragglers
It used to be that the Vikings were traditionally the last team to report for training camp, especially under the legendary Bud Grant.  Not anymore as the Vikings are right in line with virtually every other team.  Here are the reporting dates for all 32 teams.

>Hosack signs with Saints
WR Aaron Hosack, who spent a couple seasons in camp with the Vikings and on their practice squad, has signed a free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints after a successful campaign in NFL Europa this summer.  Hosack also played his college ball in Minnesota with the Golden Gophers.

>Culpepper hearing postponed to next Monday
According to the Sun-Sentinel in Miami, former Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper’s grievance hearing was postponed because arbitrator John Feerick's flight from New York was delayed due to weather, and he couldn't get on a later one.

>Vikings offering 5-game ticket packages
“The five-game packages were introduced last year,” said Vikings Director of Ticket Sales, Phil Huebner.  “We found that we needed another option for Viking fans as far as time and cost were concerned and that was confirmed while talking to several fans who purchased these packages.”  Available are a Purple and a Gold package for five games each.  Go to the Vikings Website for more specifics.

>Best unsigned free agents left on the market?
Are there any still unsigned free agents worth considering for the Vikings?  Probably not, but here’s the list according to Pro Football Weekly.

>Talk it up
Discuss any of these stories at the Forums.

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