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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE NFC / CENTRAL

Green Is Undaunted

September 01, 2000|HOUSTON MITCHELL

Daunte Culpepper's promising exhibition season has prompted Minnesota Coach Dennis Green to suggest the Vikings could reach the Super Bowl. Green forgets the one thing that will always keep the Vikings from reaching that goal: Dennis Green.

Will Brett Favre play for Green Bay? "If I'm going to play Sunday, I'm going to cut it loose," Favre said Thursday. But it doesn't matter whether he plays. It's not 1995 anymore. The Packers will be lucky to avoid the cellar in the Central. Favre threw 23 interceptions as the Packers stumbled to an 8-8 record last season. This year, he and Green Bay's coaches are trying to modify the gambling, off-the-cuff playing style that made him a star by adding a little more common sense--both on the field and in the training room.

"Brett knows what we want him to do, and he's given us what we need," Coach Mike Sherman said. "I also realize that Brett has a history of making something out of nothing. That's where we have to find the balance."

Tampa Bay starts what it hopes will be a run toward a Super Bowl in its own stadium against New England. The acquisition of Keyshawn Johnson could help with the game plan in the first game. He faced the Patriots twice a year in his four years with the Jets.

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