Culpepper To Start, Changes Abound
Daunte Culpepper
Daunte Culpepper

Posted Nov 12, 2002

With several lineup changes in the offing, Daunte Culpepper won't be one of them Sunday -- at least not at the start.

Mike Tice refused to say who his starter would be at his Monday press conference, going as far as to say he knew who it would be but it was "for me to know and you to find out."

Before any of the media members was going to be told that his dad could beat up your dad, the decision came to ask Culpepper himself.

He confirmed that he will start Sunday and that he hopes to use his benching as a way to focus on doing everything he can to minimize mistakes and maximize his effort.

As VU reported after the game, the internal discussions never centered around a long-term benching, despite rampant speculation in the local media and the overwhelming approval of Todd Bouman from the fans at Sunday's game.

For Culpepper, the benching -- the first of his football life -- is a wake-up call, because we're being told that if he is benched again he may end up sitting for awhile.

* There's the Lido Shuffle, the Curly Shuffle, the Icky Shuffle and one can even Shuffle Off to Buffalo. But Tice is taking his Lineup Shuffle seriously. At one point or another this year, just about every player other than Matt Birk, Chris Hovan and Randy Moss has been benched or sidelined for some period of time. His changes announced Monday just add to a growing list of lineup configurations. He announced that Bryant McKinnie will start at left tackle, Corey Chavous will move to strong safety and that Brian Williams will start at cornerback. With the passing attack the Packers and the next several opponents bring to the table, a change may be necessary.
* Tice has toyed with the idea of completing his originally planned offensive line sooner than later -- moving RT Chris Liwienski to left guard and inserting Lewis Kelly at right tackle. That was the plan at the beginning of the year, but it was scrapped when McKinnie didn't sign. However, he may hold off a week or two before actually making it permanent.
* WR Cedric James will miss two to four week with a sprained ankle suffered in the second half of Sunday's loss to the Giants.
* Former Viking Sean Dawkins is working out with the New York Giants and may be signed this week as a replacement for the injured Ike Hilliard, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Related Stories
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 -by  Nov 12, 2002
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 -by  Nov 13, 2002
Dixon injury further reduces receiving corps
 -by  Nov 11, 2002

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