mig28 wrote:I think Moe is the safest pick of the three. He's a good goal line back, and has produced TDs (2002) and decent yardage (2003). I'm not saying he'll be the feature in MIN, as Bennett is very talented; I just like Moe as a better value in the late rounds, as opposed to taking a bit of a chance on Bennett early.
Tell me about it...I'm waiting for Mr. Yellow Teletubby to pick in our mock so I get to see if Moe is still available. It's the 12th round, and I need another possible fill-in back since I have nothing after LT and Barlow...Williams gets a lot of catches and TD, so I'm sure he's worth something here at the end of our draft.
I have to agree with everyone else though; Bennett will start and the others will take his chance for big points.
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Healthy Bennett heads crowded Vikings' backfield Print story AIM story Email story DAVE CAMPBELL / Associated Press Posted: 14 hours ago
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Michael Bennett is healthy and in fine form. Now, the Minnesota Vikings are eager to get a full season out of their top runner.
"Bennett looks fantastic," coach Mike Tice said. Last season, Bennett needed two surgeries on his foot and was out until November after a freak accident on a treadmill in March 2003. Even when he came back his impact was minimal - 447 yards rushing, 132 yards receiving and one touchdown over the last nine games.
Though Bennett's absence was a major worry last summer, it hardly caused a ripple. The Vikings finished with the top-ranked offense in the league, and veteran Moe Williams had a career season as the featured back.
Rookie Onterrio Smith stepped in nicely, too, once he convinced the coaching staff his knowledge, maturity and pass-blocking ability were up to NFL standards.
The Vikings also still have Larry Ned, a practice-squad player they have liked for two years, and they drafted Mewelde Moore out of Tulane in the fourth round last month.
It's enough talent for some to wonder whether Bennett could find himself as a part-timer - or even as trade bait if Smith proves he's good enough to start.
"You hear about stuff like that," Bennett said this week. "I don't take it as criticism. He's a great running back. ... It's competition. That's what the sport is all about."
And, as the Vikings showed last season, running back is a position where a team can never have enough good players.
"It's a blessing that we have such talented guys throughout the depth chart, top to bottom," running backs coach Dean Dalton said. "They'll all contribute somehow."
Bennett, though, remains the centerpiece.
"When he gets into his rhythm and his groove, we're hard to stop because he can take it from anywhere on the field and score a touchdown," quarterback Daunte Culpepper said. "When you have a threat like that, it makes it easier for you to run the offense."
Bennett, who plans complete his criminal justice degree at Wisconsin this year through online courses, thought about running track this summer.
He changed his mind when the Vikings hired Mark Ellis as their assistant strength and conditioning coach. Bennett has used Ellis as a personal trainer, so the team's ramped-up offseason program is in line with what he's been doing.
"The foot's good," he said. "Definitely 100 percent. ... Hopefully everything works out and I can get back in there and give them a show."
Tice and Dalton are both pleased with the strides Bennett has made both physically and mentally. He recently bought a new computer, Dalton said, to make it easier to view game film at home.
"I almost caught myself just now saying he looks as good as Robert Smith in his prime, but I don't want to go there yet," Tice said. "Michael, he's one of those guys that has matured, wants to be a leader, wants to do great things.
A couple guys mentioned Moe Williams will be vulturing TDs - and while he may steal a few, the real TD vulture is CPepp. How many times last yr did you see that modified QB sneak off a rollout? over and over and over until someone comes up with a way to stop it.
Unless Bennett gets injured, expect Williams to be almost worthless this yr. Forget about Smith this yr too.
Okay, at the risk of being accused of piling on let me say along with the rest of the masses that Bennett is definately going to be the featured back at the start of the season. Having said that, let me also say that I have great questions about his durability. I personally doubt that he will last the season and if he goes down early it won't be Moe that will get his carries, it will be Ontario Smith (aka: SOD - Steal of the Draft). And if that happens, Ontario will not only get yards but also TD's. He is not replaced at the goal-line by Moe Williams like Bennett often is. Also the earlier post is very accurate. The real TD stealer in the Vikes running game is my man Culpepper. He is the stud at the goal-line! I just hope that Tice takes the reigns off of him this year and lets him run, run, run. NOTHING cranks my batteries quicker than when Daunte runs over DB's rather than out of bounds as he was instructed to last year!