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Five questions with Vikings beat writer and PFW correspondent Judd Zulgad

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Posted Nov. 03, 2010 @ 7:49 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Pro Football Weekly hits up PFW correspondent and Vikings beat writer Judd Zulgad on five hot issues surrounding the team.

PFW: Who comes out of this mess looking worse — Brad Childress or Randy Moss?

Zulgad: Both come out looking bad for different reasons. Moss is Moss and if the Vikings did not know what they were getting, then shame on them. The fact that Moss lasted only a month means Childress and Co. donated a third-round pick to New England for 16 quarters of football. Moss, meanwhile, showed little interest in playing football once he realized this wasn't the high-flying Vikings of the late 1990s and early 2000s that he had joined. Things didn't go like Moss wanted and thus he began to trigger an exit plan that worked sooner than anybody could have expected. Because of that everybody ends up with egg on their faces.

PFW: Owner Zygi Wilf traditionally has been hands-off in terms of personnel, but does he believe the chain of command failed in this transaction?

Zulgad: Yes, because Childress did not immediately inform him he planned to waive Moss after the wide receiver surprised everyone by deciding to speak to the media following the Vikings' loss at New England. Moss praised the Patriots, his former team, and criticized his new team — that obviously left Childress furious. No matter how mad Childress was, though, there is a way a roster move as important as jettisoning Moss is supposed to work and leaving out the owner isn't included in that plan.

PFW: What current Viking loses the most with Moss gone?

Zulgad: This appears to be a big loss for Percy Harvin, who had 19 catches for 287 yards and two touchdowns with Moss on the roster. Moss' presence, and the safety help he drew, meant Harvin found favorable coverage. It also meant Harvin could go back to being a slot receiver, a spot at which he's far more effective. Not having Moss around means Harvin is going to be back in a role in which he's not as effective.

PFW: What does Childress need to do to keep his job, starting with Sunday's game?

Zulgad: It might be too late. The fans have turned on Childress — some have never forgiven him for the way he acted during his first season in 2006 — and the owner is upset with him. There was some feeling Childress might be fired over the Moss stunt. The fact he doesn't get along with Brett Favre all that well certainly doesn't help. Childress appears to be safe for this Sunday's game against Arizona but this is now a week-to-week existence for a guy who got a contract extension through 2013 last season.

PFW:  When can we realistically expect a contribution from Sidney Rice?

Zulgad: Childress said Wednesday that Rice would be activated from the PUP list and would start working with the scout team and in walk-throughs this week. This triggers a three-week window for him to be activated to play. When Rice might return to the active roster remains a bit unclear, and if the Vikings really go south, there is a chance he could shut it down. But if he's going to play it will probably be in late November.

 

Judd Zulgad covers the Vikings for the Star Tribune and Pro Football Weekly. Be sure to check out his Access Vikings blog on the Star Tribune's Web site and follow him on Twitter @JuddZulgad.

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