VikingBuzz BLOG: 9/14

For the latest news, information, analysis and commentary on the Minnesota Vikings, the VikingBuzz BLOG is your daily source.

Cook vs. White in key matchup

Second-year right tackle Ryan Cook has shown quiet but steady improvement over the past month or so.  This coming Sunday will be another key step in his development as he faces a much-improved Detroit Lions defense, and specifically prize free-agent acquisition Dewayne White.

It was impossible not to notice Cook’s two illegal procedure penalties against Seattle during the preseason, but it seems some have used those two errors to disqualify an otherwise steady performance the past few weeks.

In that same game against the Seahawks, Cooks decisively won most of his matchups with Patrick Kerney, including a couple plays in which he absolutely buried the left end on running downs.

Last week, Cook held Falcons rookie Jamaal Anderson pretty well in check.  This week’s opponent will be another good yardstick of how far along the Vikings right tackle is.

Belichick faces punishment by league, offers weak apology

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has fined the New England Patriots $250,000 for videotaping New York Jets' defensive coaches Week 1.  The team will also give up their first-round draft pick in 2008 if they make the playoffs.  The team will lose their second- and third-round picks if they fail to make the postseason.

Head coach Bill Belichick himself was fined a league maximum of $500,000, but was not suspended.

Belichick released a statement regarding the fines and penalties the NFL issued to him and the Patriots for videotaping New York Jets' defensive coaches Week 1.  "I accept full responsibility for the actions that led to tonight's ruling.  Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused.  I also apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their support during the past few days and throughout my career.  As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no impact on the outcome of last week's game.  We have never used sideline video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.  Part of my job as head coach is to ensure that our football operations are conducted in compliance of the league rules and all accepted interpretations of them.  My interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect.  With tonight's resolution, I will not be offering any further comments on this matter.  We are moving on with our preparations for Sunday's game."

So, an apology, followed by the excuse that Belichick’s fault was in his “interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect.”

That above-the-law arrogance is why many think Goodell should have gone farther in punishing Belichick.

“I specifically considered whether to impose a suspension on Coach Belichick,” Goodell wrote in the league's statement announcing the penalties.  “I have determined not to do so, largely because I believe that the discipline I am imposing of a maximum fine and forfeiture of a first-round draft choice, or multiple draft choices, is in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension.”

Culpepper appears poised to get first start with Raiders

It looks like ex-Viking quarterback Daunte Culpepper is on the verge of seeing his first NFL start since joining the Oakland Raiders. 

With Week 1 starter Josh McCown injured, Culpepper worked with the first-team offense during practice yesterday, according to head coach Lane Kiffin.

Other stories:
>Peterson appreciates coach Bienemy
>James isn’t ready; Taylor might play
>Robison providing much-needed help at defensive end
>James not ready yet
>James might sit until after bye week
>Childress on Holcomb
>Peterson, Marinelli speak fondly of one another
>Taylor’s chances for Sunday don’t look good
>Week 2 scouting report:  Vikings
>Rookie runoff set for Sunday
>Key to victory:  pressure, pressure, pressure
>Tailgating returns
>Ex-Viking Robinson files for reinstatement
>Goodell visits Everett in hospital


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