Notebook: Former Vikings Tearing It Up

While the current Vikings enjoy the bye week, former Vikings around the league are enjoying a resurgence in their careers with some very impressive performances (an unlikey one even doing good off the field). Plus, we look at Tampa Bay's moves since reports of interest in trading for Mewelde Moore and look at a record Adrian Peterson is on track to break.

While the Vikings enjoy their bye week, former Vikings around the league are preparing for another week of bumps and bruises in the NFL, some of them with changing roles and others coming off of impressive performances last weekend.

On the field, former Vikings receiver Randy Moss leads the league with 505 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. Off the field, however, Moss has a chance to make a big impact as well.

Long considered one of the bad boys of the game, Moss does appear to have a soft spot for kids. This week, Moss was announced as the official spokesperson and advocate for American Youth Football. His Grabman clothing line, which will be unveiled in December, was also named the official uniform supplier of the youth group.

Moss is also launching Deep Threat Equipment, "which will include receiver gloves, compression garments, skins, skullies, headbands, wristbands and more," according to a published report.

"Giving back has always been important to me and this is an opportunity for me to make a real difference in the lives of young people, and contribute to youth football on a national level," Moss said. "AYF continues to demonstrate their commitment to children and I'm just excited to partner with them."


Daunte Culpepper's motivation against his former team, the Miami Dolphins, may have been high, but his production was even higher. Culpepper started the game last weekend for the Oakland Raiders, and while his completion numbers weren't all that impressive, his overall performance was incredible.

Culpepper completed 5 of 12 passes for 75 yards, but two of his completions went for touchdowns – of 7 and 27 yards, and both to Jerry Porter – and he had a 102.4 quarterback rating, surpassing the 100 mark that hasn't been reached by a Vikings quarterback yet this season.

Culpepper's ground presence also would seem to indicate his surgically repaired knee is doing fine. He rushed seven times for 28 yards and a whopping three touchdowns, meaning he accounted for all five touchdowns in Oakland's 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins.

His 27-yard touchdown pass also demonstrated his ability to improvise and read a defense, something he was criticized for in Minnesota.

"I'd like to take credit for that pass and say I drew it up that way, but I really didn't," coach Lane Kiffin said. "Daunte told J.P. (Porter) in the huddle, 'If they give you a certain look, go up.' It had to be a great throw. It was either going to be a pick or a great throw, and he nailed it. I guess he's going to want to be offensive coordinator, too."

Said Porter: "It was something we had worked out based on the defense they were throwing. It was a tendency breaker."

The Raiders rushed for 299 yards against the Dolphins, limiting the need for Culpepper to throw more than 12 times.


Former Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte will start Sunday for the St. Louis Rams, who are also getting a new play-caller, as head coach Scott Linehan, the former Vikings offensive coordinator, is resuming those duties.

Last year, Linehan stopped calling the team's offensive plays in November, and the Rams won four of their last six games. This year, however, the Rams are 0-4 with what is considered a potent offensive lineup.

Linehan said offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who had been calling the plays, will assist him in calling the game.

"I think it'll be an even better situation now that we have the familiarity after working together now for a year and a half," LInehan said. "He knows exactly what I'm looking for. He did an outstanding job for me and is an outstanding coordinator and play-caller."

Linehan also indicated that changing the play-calling duties sends a message to players that everyone is accountable, including those on the coaching staff.

"I think sometimes the urgency of our offense has to improve. It's not Greg's fault, it's not the quarterback's fault, it's all of our (faults). I think when you are willing to address that as the head coach and the person that's primarily in charge of the offense, it does get the attention of the other players," he said. "What I want them to see is a different urgency from our group – tempo and everything."

Linehan said the move to start Frerotte was because starter Marc Bulger had been playing injured.

"I watched the pass plays, and there was no way in my mind that some of the throws Marc missed, he would miss in his sleep," Linehan said. "I truly believe that. I don't want to be stubborn about it and stick with him. I'm very protective about Marc Bulger and what he can do. I know what he's going to do for our football team. I think it's my responsibility to see and act upon a position that's not performing at the level we expect it to perform and find out the reason why. There is no question in my mind that it's because he's in extreme discomfort as he's trying to throw and move in the pocket."


Former Vikings receiver Nate Burleson, who has 12 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns for the Seattle Seahawks so far this season, could get even more action in the return game this weekend. He has 14 punt returns for 145 yards to date, but only two kickoff returns. That could change, as the Seahawks are looking to change up their kickoff return men and Burleson appears to be a prime candidate.


Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson is the conference's top rusher and aims to be the first rookie to lead the NFC in rushing yards since Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders did it in 1989 with 1,470 yards. Peterson currently has 383 yards in four games, which projects to 1,532 yards through 16 games.


Reports of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers inquiring about a trade for Mewelde Moore may decrease, depending on the Bucs' performance this weekend. They already were making contingency plans after the loss of Carnell "Cadillac" Williams for the season.

The Bucs this week signed running back Kenneth Darby from their practice squad and replaced him on the practice squad with another Moore – running back DonTrell Moore.


Brett Favre's record 421st touchdown pass, a 16-yard completion to Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings against the Minnesota Vikings, has made its way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where it is displayed in a specially prepared exhibit case. The ball is displayed in the Hall's "Pro Football Today" exhibit.


The Vikings released cornerback Mike Hawkins from their injured-reserve list.

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