Vikings Notebook: Assessing the Possibilities

The Vikings were continuing a visit with quarterback Gus Frerotte Wednesday evening, and other former Vikings are making their moves around the league. Before that, head coach Brad Childress was discussing the roles of the newest Vikings as well. Get team-related notes from several different angles inside.

Free-agent quarterback Gus Frerotte remained in the Twin Cities Wednesday night on a visit with the Minnesota Vikings, but there were no indications if a contract agreement was on the horizon.

Agent Marvin Demoff told Viking Update that he believes the Vikings and Frerotte would be a good fit, but no contract agreement looked imminent early Wednesday evening.

Frerotte played for the Vikings in 2003 and 2004, with the first of those two seasons providing one of his strongest seasons as a pro. Despite being a backup to Daunte Culpepper at the time, Frerotte completed 38 of 65 passes for 690 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions, registering a career-high 118.1 passer rating.

Since his two seasons in purple, Frerotte joined former Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan with the Miami Dolphins for the 2005 season and then followed Linehan to St. Louis for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

The Vikings were serious enough about Frerotte's visit to have assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier review film of him from the perspective of a defensive coordinator and offer input to head coach Brad Childress.

Childress has stated in the past month that he is looking for a veteran quarterback to compete for the No. 2 spot. The team previously made attempts to trade for Houston Texans quarterback Sage Rosenfels, but the Vikings and Texans were unable to agree upon the proper draft pick in exchange. On Wednesday, the Texans were visiting with former Jacksonville quarterback Quinn Gray, according to the Web site Pro Football Talk.


Earlier this week, Childress offered his perspective on several of the new Vikings signed via free agency.

  • On defensive lineman Ellis Wyms: "Can play multiple positions. He's lined up at defensive end for Seattle a good bit and rushed from there. The great thing is he can swing inside at the nose (tackle, Pat Williams' position) or the three technique (Kevin Williams' position). … This guy has demonstrated a level of being able to play from all those spots, which is a great thing for us."

    Childress said Wyms accepted less money to sign with the Vikings.

  • Childress said linebacker Dallas Sartz started as a safety at USC, gained weight and "came down in the box, so you've got a more athletic guy that can run pretty well."

  • On linebacker Derrick Pope: "Can play all three of the linebacker spots. We'll start him at the Mike (middle linebacker) and see how he looks there. He started games for Miami last year when Zach (Thomas) was out. We like what he does. He can run, he's a very, very good special teams player."

  • On running back/kick returner Maurice Hicks: "Aside from being a good running back, is an excellent special teamer. He can return, but he also has value in covering down the field on kickoff and on the punt team. He's got a chance to be a four-phase special-teams guy."

    Childress wasn't ready to hand the kickoff return job to Hicks, but said he's a definite possibility there. "I wouldn't say he's earmarked, but he's another candidate. He's viable. … I don't think we'll be crowning him the guy right now."

    Hicks isn't considered as strongly in the punt-return game, but he may get a look there.

  • On re-signed wide receiver Robert Ferguson: "It was good to get him back in the fold. He did lend some toughness to that group, some leadership to that group – some veteran leadership. I know that one of his goals is to add in terms of receptions this year, as well as adding to what he's already done blocking. He helps that buy-in factor out there with that (receiver) crowd. He helps that toughness out on the edge that it takes. That's not something that receivers love to do – some of them don't even think it's in their job description. It is here."


  • Defensive end Darrion Scott had a tryout with the Washington Redskins on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Childress declined to comment on the Vikings' interest in retaining him.

    "Not much has happened with him. I won't commit one way or the other," Childress said.

    But he also added that he isn't satisfied with the position.

    "I'm never satisfied. You're always trying to get better, but you can't fabricate somebody," he said.

  • Former Vikings linebacker Raonall Smith had a tryout with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday.

  • Former Vikings safety Greg Blue, who was a bit of a surprise release last year before the start of the regular season, was re-signed by the Detroit Lions.

  • Former Vikings defensive end Earl Cochran was retained by the Houston Texans.


    Players are rotating through Winter Park this week for the start of the offseason workout program. They are working out in three groups and also meet with their position coaches, but they aren't allowed to be in the building for more than four hours a day.

    "By and large you've got a lot of people down there working," Childress said.

  • The coaches' scouting reports on draft prospects are due at the end of this week, Childress said.

  • The NFL schedule will be released on April 3.

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