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Tony Dungy Pens Memorial of Dennis Green

Plenty of heartfelt memorials have poured in since former Vikings Head Coach Dennis Green passed away Friday at the age of 67.

Former Minnesota defensive coordinator Tony Dungy wrote a moving tribute on The Monday Morning Quarterback site in which he remembered his former boss and friend.

Dungy told a story of how Green was always willing to offer advice, even when the two were no longer coaching together with the Vikings.

Dungy wrote:

In 1998, we were coaching against each other in the same division. I was in Tampa, Denny in Minnesota. We'd started to play better and had become a playoff contender. That year we got two Monday night games, and I had forgotten exactly how Denny adapted the schedule around Monday night games when we were together. Even though we were now competitors, I felt comfortable calling him and asking him for his advice on setting the schedule, and of course he helped me. It wasn't in his team's best interest to help the opposition, but Denny did it because he wanted to see me, one of his guys, do well. And he did it because Dennis Green always helped.

The majority of Dungy's tribute focused on how Green deeply cared for his staff and assistants while also being an incredible coach.

When Denny died last week, it was heartbreaking to lose a good friend, and to see his family lose a loving father and husband. But I also began to think how indebted I am to him, and how indebted so many coaches — African-American coaches and white coaches — are to him. I've never been around a head coach who cared so much about the members of his staff, and wanted to put his staff in position to succeed the way he did.

Denny was an excellent football coach. He took struggling college teams, Northwestern and Stanford, and made them so much better. He got the Vikings to two conference title games. He was terrific in raising the Arizona program. But to me his legacy is that of a coach who made other coaches better.

Dungy later added:

Denny wanted to win. He wanted to win Super Bowls. But he sensed the bigger picture. For him, it was about helping every player, every coach, reach his potential. For him, when it came to coaches, it wasn't just about the African-American coach, like me and Tyrone Willingham. He helped us both immensely, but he did the same things for Brian Billick and Mike Tice, and so many others. He wanted to see the league be better by having guys climb the ladder like he did, and maximize their potential.

Tom Johnson buys uniforms for former high school

Tom Johnson is getting ready to don a purple Vikings jersey later this week at training camp, but he had another jersey on his mind Monday.

Johnson bought new uniforms for the football program at Moss Point High School, Johnson's former school in Mississippi.

Veto Roley of the Sun Herald was on hand to capture Johnson’s generous act.

Johnson said he wanted to give back to the community and school that gave him his start in football, so he purchased the team's new uniforms.

"This is where I am from and made me who I am," he said. "This city is a blue collar city, and the people in the city have to work for anything they get."

Roley said Johnson's big-hearted act was ironic because he almost didn't wear a Moss Point jersey in the first place.

Johnson is set to begin his third year as a Viking, but he almost didn't play football in high school. As a sophomore, Johnson wasn't even on the football team.

One of Johnson's friends persuaded him to go out for football, however, and after a few weeks of hitting the weights and running, Moss Point coaches and teammates started seeing a difference in Johnson's body. By the end of his junior year, when the Tigers won the Class 5A title, he was a regular part of the Tigers' defensive line rotation and started his senior year, when they lost the championship game to Starkville.

"I fell in love with football," he said.

Johnson was third on the Vikings with 5.5 sacks last season.

Vensel: O-Line competition will be highlight of training camp

It's no secret that the position battles along the Vikings offensive line will be one of the hottest storylines of training camp.

Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune continued his position-by-position breakdown and delved into the linemen, a group that he thinks will be must-see theater.

The Vikings added Alex Boone and Andre Smith in free agency and now have eight linemen who have started all 16 games in a season. Minnesota currently has 15 linemen on the roster,

Vensel wrote:

The competition along the offensive line figures to be the most intense of camp and the Vikings storyline of the summer. With the addition of Boone and Smith and the return of John Sullivan from injury, the Vikings now have eight linemen who have started at least 16 NFL games. You might recall that teams typically start only five linemen. The left side of the line, with Matt Kalil at tackle and Boone at guard, is pretty much set in stone. But we should get to see some compelling battles at center and right guard. We'll see about right tackle.

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