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Two of the bigger personnel questions heading into the offseason are the status of wide receiver Troy Williamson and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. After dropping two critical passes and finishing the season on the bench, most thought Williamson's Viking career was over. Perhaps not…

Childress still backs Williamson

Head coach Brad Childress talked philosophically when asked about the future of wide receiver Troy Williamson recently.

Most fans are ready to give up on the talented but erratic first-round bust to this point, but Childress does not sound like he is completely out of patience just yet.

“It’s a forward-looking business,” he said in this KSTP.com interview.  “If any player is worried about what happened last – whether you’re a cornerback and they threw the ball over the top of your head – the old short-term memory really comes to mind.  You’ve got to be able to forget, stick it in the box and stick it behind you.  You can’t cast your gaze backwards.”

At this point Williamson is still under contract and part of the team’s offseason plans, but that doesn’t mean there will not be additional competition brought in to challenge T-Will for his roster spot.

Another key question is at quarterback, where the sense remains that the soft market for available options indicates that Tarvaris Jackson remains the best option at this point.

Early mock draft tally

It’s still about three months away, but there is no shortage of mock drafts on the internet.  There are more than 100 alone that have been posted in the past couple weeks or so.  Who is being projected to the Vikings at this point?

Based on about 60 of the most recent mock drafts online, here’s the breakdown of who the Vikings are being projected to take at No. 17:
 
DE Derrick Harvey, Florida (8)
DE Calais Campbell, Miami (Fla.) (6)
WR DeSean Jackson, California (6)
CB Reggie Smith, Oklahoma (6)
WR Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma (5)
QB Brian Brohm, Louisville (4)
DE Phillip Merling, Clemson (3)
S Kenny Phillips, Miami (Fla.) (3)
QB Andre Woodson, Kentucky (2)
CB Leodis McKelvin, Troy (2)
CB Antoine Cason, Arizona (2)
CB Aqib Talib, Kansas (2)
DE Quentin Groves, Auburn (2)
QB John David Booty, USC (2)
WR Mario Manningham, Michigan (1)
WR Early Doucet, LSU (1)
OT Sam Baker, USC (1)
DE Vernon Gholston, Ohio State (1)
OT Ryan Clady, Boise State (1)
TE Fred Davis, USC (1)

This site here tracks the mock drafts about as well as anyone.

Extra Points

Nobody deserves the Hall call more than former Viking great Randall McDaniel, one of the finest offensive guards to ever, ever play the game.

Football legend Jim Brown was in Phoenix for his second annual “Jim Brown Celebrity Golf Classic” at the Kierland Golf Club at The Westin.  Among those who broke out their clubs for the event were Brown, basketball star Bill Russell, boxing champ George Foreman, football Hall of Famer and former Patriot Mike Haynes, Minnesota Vikings Troy Williamson, legendary running back Eric Dickerson, pigskin big whig Ronnie Lott, former Green Bay Packer turned ESPN analyst Sterling Sharpe and his former Denver Bronco’s bro Shannon and Detroit Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis.  All proceeds from the event benefited Brown’s charitable foundation with Russell and Foreman, Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change.

Tight end Stephen Spach, who was cut by the Vikings following training camp this summer, considers himself the luckiest man in the world.  Two weeks before Christmas he was looking for work, but injuries to Kyle Brady and Benjamin Watson forced the Patriots to dip into the free-agent grab bag and came up with Spach, who was about to start substitute teaching.  “Everything happened fast and it was a blur,” he told the Sun Chronicle newspaper.  “I've just kept my head down and tried to do my job.”

Other stories:

>Peterson top offensive players to watch in 2008
>Two minutes with Adrian
>Peterson masters art of draft talk dodging
>The (play) book of life
>Peterson named NFL’s top rookie
>Knee woes catch up with ex-Viking Avery
>Eight-year-old earns trip to Super Bowl

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