Changes In the Making

Chris Liwienski

Although nothing is set in stone in February, Vikings coach Mike Tice announced Thursday that Chris Liwienski will shift from left guard to right guard next season for the Vikings.

The future of David Dixon was cast into some doubt when Mike Tice, at the Super Bowl pre-game festivities, made his first announced change in the 2005 Vikings lineup.

Tice said that guard Chris Liwienski will move from the left side to the right side -- opening a spot on the left side and replacing current starter David Dixon on the right side.

Although Dixon is aging, he had a very solid 2004 season and wants to return for 2005. But, if his starting job isn't there, that might change the plans both he and the Vikings have for his position.

The plan is to move Liwienski to the right side and let Adam Goldberg and Anthony Herrera battle it out for the left side -- which might leave Dixon as the odd man out. Stay tuned for minicamp updates to follow up on this decision.

FRIDAY NOTES
* While the Vikings continue to look at potential quarterbacks coaches, Tice said Thursday that newly appointed offensive coordinator Steve Loney will get the opportunity to call plays. It was expected that any new hire as QB coach would have that opportunity, but Tice said Loney will get the first crack at handling the chores.
* In an era where any sort of scandal has to have the term "gate" put on the end of it, several national news services have run with the latest "Bling-gate" scandal. For those who missed it, Daunte Culpepper was in Jacksonville with Peyton Manning for an awards ceremony and a 17-year-old kid paralyzed in a freak football accident asked Daunte Culpepper if he could get some "ice" -- referencing Culpepper's $100,000-plus diamond necklaces. Culpepper got up and gave the kid (J.T. Townsend) a chance to wear his bling, but after the presentation was over, he retrieved it. Sources blamed an Associated Press writer for blowing it out of proportion, as several news outlets picked up the story that had Townsend's parents making comments like "we need to buy a safe" -- thinking that the $100,000 necklace was a gift. Instead, both Culpepper and Townsend's family were said to be mindful that the gesture was just Culpepper's sense of humor and that it wasn't a gift. But, why let the facts get in the way of a juicy story?
* In a vote of NFL players, the Vikings turf was deemed the third worst in the NFL -- behind only the antiquated Astroturf of the RCA Dome in Indy and the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. As a team, no field got worse marks than what the Lions gave the Metrodome -- perhaps because the Lions have sustained so many injuries on the field or maybe because they just lose so often on that turf.

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