- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
MANKATO, Minn. -- Here are five observations on the Minnesota Vikings, based on Aug. 2 practice:
1. The wide receiver who is stepping up the most after the departure of Randy Moss is Nate Burleson, who caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Now in the spotlight, Burleson is starting to develop an on-the-field personality.
During Tuesday's practice, Burleson streaked down the left sideline and was covered closely by veteran Ken Irvin. Burleson made an incredible catch behind Irvin's back, kept his feet and went the distance for an 80-yard touchdown. He moves to the role of flanker, acting as Daunte Culpepper's main threat.
A healthy Michael Bennett, and the emergence of Nate Burleson, should help the Vikings survive without Randy Moss.