LESNAR RECORDS FIRST SACK, SCRUM
Never mind the fact that it came at a time when quarterbacks are supposed to be off limits. Or that it happened against a team whose coach wanted an overly zealous Minnesota "shot in the head" for being too rough in joint practices a year ago. Former wrestler Brock Lesnar got his first sack on Friday, and that's all that mattered to him.
"I can't remember the last time I had this much fun," Lesnar said, adding that he "knows only one way to play, and that's 110 percent."
Lesnar sacked quarterback Damon Huard during joint drills between the Vikings and the Chiefs. Huard suffered a hyperextended elbow, and the Chiefs were generally pissed off by the move.
Lesnar showboated after dropping Huard, which touched off a "large brawl" between Vikings and Chiefs players. Afterwards, Lesnar removed his helmet and "stalked around the field."
Apart from the pro wrestling antics that Lesnar brings to the table, his football skills are genuinely on the rise.
"Brock is getting better every day," said assistant defensive line coach Jim Paganos. "He has a long way to go, but today he did some very good things. We saw him turn the corner in the middle of the week. Every day, it's better. Today was very good."
Regardless, Lesnar sparked a series of incidents that might bring to an end the training camp collaboration between the Vikings and the Chiefs. Several fights followed, and a big hit on Chiefs tight end Billy Baber by safety Brian Russell resulted in a serious knee injury for Baber.
"If you're going to get guys hurt, then there's no reason [to practice against the Vikings]," Kansas City quarterback Trent Green said. "It's better work because you get to come and face another team that plays a different defense. . . . There's a lot of good that can come from it. But if you don't control the tempo, you can't control [physical contact], and then there's that risk of getting hurt."
Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson disagrees. "I've never heard of being overly physical in football," he said.
Either way, it looks like the Vikings finally are putting together a defense that can properly complement its high-octane offense. If that happens, they might be capping their 2004 season with a trip to Jacksonville.