> Having played in two Super Bowls, with the Patriots and the Panthers, in his four NFL seasons, tight end JERMAINE WIGGINS knows what it's like to shine on the big stage. With defenses locking in on Randy Moss, the Vikings believe Wiggins, whom they signed as a free agent in the off-season, can put up big numbers as a receiving threat underneath.
ENEMY LINES An opposing scout's view
They've done exactly what they needed to do to compete for a division title. They went to town on defense, and they brought in Ted Cottrell, who's a heck of a coordinator. With ends Kenechi Udeze and Kenny Mixon, the front four should be solid.... In the secondary I like Antoine Winfield. He plays like a guy with a short man's complex: pester you all game and then hit you in the mouth. Brian Russell is a little stiff, more of a straight-line guy, and a lot of those interceptions he got last year came on tipped balls.... E.J. Henderson doesn't have great speed, but he's heady and productive.... Daunte Culpepper has leveled off. He's also very streaky. He can make bad plays at costly times, but when he's hot, look out.... Marcus Robinson will help take some heat off Randy Moss. You can't let Moss get behind you, and you have to bang him when he catches the short ball. The man will stand there and watch sometimes, but when he turns up the juice, he's scary.... Their center [ Matt Birk] and both their tackles [Mike Rosenthal and Bryant McKinnie] are good players, and that's why they get away with having average guards.
" Daunte Culpepper is streaky and can make bad plays at costly times, but when he's hot, look out."
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2003 statistics
2003 RECORD: 9-7
NFL RANK (rush/pass/total):
COACH: Mike Tice; fourth season with Minnesota (15-18 in NFL)