- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"No yardage is too long!" Culpepper snapped. "I could have made it!"
When asked about the call after the game, Culpepper smiled. "I'm just certain about my ability," said Culpepper, who goes 6'4", 264 pounds. "No way it's too long to call my number there. I can take it the distance."
That was the reaction Tice wanted, but he shouldn't have been worried about his trusted leader. Culpepper had invited all of his teammates to dinner at his house last Friday night, and about 35 of them showed up. He was embarrassed by his two-game stats, but he wasn't hiding from anyone. Before grace was said, Culpepper wanted to look into each player's eyes, and he wanted each player to look into his--to see that he was still the confident quarterback who threw 39 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions in 2004. He still thought this was a very good team and wanted to reaffirm that. "Nobody's jumping off this ship," Culpepper told the group. "Oh-and-two's nothing." Two days later they all went out and proved it.
The win was the first for the Vikings' new owner, 55-year-old New Jersey real estate developer Zygi Wilf, who remains optimistic. "We need to let the team be for a while," he said. "We've got great talent. We just have to let the momentum develop."
Tice agrees: "We have issues, but look around this league. What team doesn't have issues now?" Minnesota is 1-2 and trails only woeful Detroit (1-1) in the NFC North. There's plenty of time for the Vikings to get rolling.
LEAGUE'S TOP RUSHER
This Cadillac Is A Smooth Ride
2. He was not a holdout. By avoiding a contract squabble and being in training camp for the first practice, Williams was able to get in step with the first-team offense quicker than a typical rookie.