Tice doesn't stay patient with all young players

By Dave Campbell

Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings made some minor roster moves Monday and Tuesday, releasing two players on the active roster and another pair on the practice squad.

Most of the waiver-wire work was done to add depth in the secondary, but rookie fullback James Lynch was released to send a message. With a roster loaded with players in the second season or younger, the Vikings can't afford to be patient with too many of them.

Especially if they're not showing a desire to work hard and learn, which Lynch apparently wasn't.


"I cannot be afforded the opportunity to keep young men around that are not passionate about the opportunity that we've given them," coach Mike Tice said. "So when I don't see passion around here, we'll bring another guy in."

He later added, "What I'm looking for is a guy that carries something to write with in the meetings each day, take good notes, watch extra film, work extremely hard in practice, follow exactly what's on the card and give the offense or defense -- respectively -- a good look, play with high energy, stay out after practice and try to get better."

Tice didn't rule out the possibility of bringing Lynch back later in the season. He was released to make room for Charles Stackhouse, who was signed after a tryout Tuesday.

STACKED BACKFIELD: Stackhouse, a rookie starter for the New York Giants in 2002, was released after training camp last week.

"I hoped when I was cut hopefully I'd be with another team soon," he said. "I didn't want to sit out of football too long."

Stackhouse drew the ire of Giants coach Jim Fassel during an August practice when he took an errant swing at a teammate during a drill. Fassel, ornery that day because of several scuffles that had broken out, ordered Stackhouse to run laps around the practice field.

Stackhouse, who played at Mississippi, politely declined comment about the incident.

"I guess I really don't want to talk about it," he said. "I'm on a new team."


Tice said he wasn't sure how Stackhouse would be used.

"We're looking," he said. "He's a big, promising, good-looking athlete who needs to stay off the ground more than he's shown on film."

OUCH: Tice has tried to make the Vikings, especially on defense, into a team that's more aggressive and physical. Their scrimmages against Kansas City early in training camp involved plenty of hard hits and a couple of scuffles, and the defense continued to exhibit that style in the preseason games and the opener in Green Bay Sunday.

Tackle Chris Hovan still sees the NFC North as the old Black-and-Blue Division.

"You're going to wake up Monday morning feeling like you've been through a train wreck," he said.

Hovan isn't sure if the Vikings can be categorized as one of the league's most-physical teams yet, but he does know that the style they're playing is a reflection of Tice.

"That's the mentality of the team," he said. "The mentality comes from the head coach."

What To Read Next
Get Local