ITWASSOOTED: lions at vikings today*snore*

Sunday, November 06, 2005

lions at vikings today*snore*

Vikings coach Mike Tice has changed his focus in practices this week and the Lions are counting on Joey Harrington.


The Vikings offense has undergone some fine-tuning this week as Brad Johnson takes over for the injured Daunte Culpepper at quarterback. But coach Mike Tice is spending much of his time this week overseeing a defense that is ranked 27th in the NFL.

Tice, known as an offense-first guy, told his players he would be more involved on the defensive side of the ball on Monday and he has followed through in practice.

Defensive end Darrion Scott said Tice has been more engaged this week than in the past.

“As far as walkthroughs he’s real active, which he really hasn’t been since I’ve been here,” said Scott, in his second season. “He’s really involved in everything we do and our checks and our alerts. ... He’s just making sure that everybody is on the same page.”

Tice’s decision came after Carolina’s 38-13 victory last Sunday. In that game, Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme threw for 341 yards and receiver Steve Smith set a team record with 201 yards receiving.

Afterward, cornerback Antoine Winfield complained about the fact the Vikings had worked all week on double-teaming Smith in practice but then abandoned the plan in the game and had cornerback Fred Smoot play man coverage much of the time.

“I’m trying to get them to think a little bit more, think a little bit faster,” Tice said. “I’ve tried to pick up the tempo in some of the things we’ve done and how we’ve practiced defensively more than anything. I got myself involved a little bit Monday with the game plan, so I was able to be there when it was put in. This way, I had the same type of familiarity I have with the offense.

“So when things are going on at practice, I could interject more to players. I did this week, probably for the first time, what I usually do offensively during the week in practice, where I stand by drills and interject and repeat things and maybe change a couple of things. Just trying to pick up the energy a little bit.”

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