The Free Press, Mankato, MN


July 31, 2007

Veteran Moore getting it done

MANKATO — MANKATO — When running back Chester Taylor left the field Tuesday, grimacing and holding his right wrist, there was not only great concern among Minnesota Vikings fans, but a lot of opportunities opening up for running backs who haven’t had a lot of chances so far at training camp.

Veteran Mewelde Moore took the extra opportunities, and literally ran with them.

“(Reps) are not parceled out equally,” coach Brad Childress said. “You have to make the most out of your turns.”

Taylor’s injury is not considered serious. Childress said an X-ray showed that it was only a bruised forearm. But without incumbent Taylor, who rushed for 1,216 yards and six touchdowns last season, on the field, and Wendell Mathis out with a leg injury, suddenly the Vikings’ backfield was a little thin.

Rookie Adrian Peterson took the majority of the early snaps in the full-team contact drills, and Moore, Ciatrick Fason and Artose Pinner split the rest. Moore was the most impressive, taking two short passes and turning them into long gains down the sideline. He then ran an inside trap play, which was wide open, allowing him to score easily from about 30 yards out.

“I have to do everything I can possibly do to help the team,” Moore said. I have to take advantage of the opportunities and be productive.”

Last season, Moore rushed 24 times for 131 yards and had 46 receptions for 468 yards and one touchdown. Childress said that Moore has been having “a very nice camp.”

Instant role model

On draft day back in May, Marcus McCauley had two wishes: that he’d be drafted by either Denver or Minnesota.

If one of those came true, he’d get a chance to learn the cornerback position from the Broncos’ Champ Bailey or the Vikings’ Antoine Winfield. Now with a couple of months’ practice with the Vikings, things have worked out even better than the third-round draft choice from Fresno State could have imagined.

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