(9/4/03) Despite his incompetence, QB Daunte Culpepper was rewarded with a $100 million+ contract during the offseason that will keep him as the Vikings’ starting QB for many years to come.
The Vikings have four white starters on offense and either 2 or 3 on defense, depending on which depth chart you read. Offensive starters are LG Chris Liwienski, C Matt Birk, and RT Mike Rosenthal. Jim Kleinsasser is the TE. Hunter Goodwin and Sean Berton are backup TEs. The receivers are all black; Nick Davis, a white receiver who was used as a punt returner last year as a rookie, is on the PUP list but may be on the team later in the season.
On defense, tackle Chris Hovan looks to have a breakout season with better help surrounding him on the line this year. He was double and triple teamed last year. More than one pundit has proclaimed one of the very best d-linemen in the league. He is ferocious off the snap and pretty much unblockable by one man.
Veteran Greg Biekert is the starting middle linebacker. Brian Russell, a second year safety, is listed as a starter on Minnesota’s NFL.com site, though other depth charts have a black, Willie Offord. At any rate, Russell is obviously an up and coming safety.
Billy Lyon is a backup d-lineman. The Vikings get an improved grade this year.
LIKELY NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 6-7
APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF WHITE PLAYERS ON 53-MAN ROSTER: 18
(11/14/02) Head Coach Mike Tice finally benched Daunte Culpepper in the fourth quarter in Week 10 against the Giants. “Backup” Todd Boumann came in and presto!