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Black and Blue all over: Rosenfels competing

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
The forgotten man on Minnesota's quarterback depth chart remains convinced he will get a fair competition with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson. Sage Rosenfels, acquired last month from Houston, told Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune that the battle will make both players better.

Rosenfels: "He's going to push me, I'm going to push him. At the end of the day it's going to make the Minnesota Vikings better. But he and I, I think, have gotten along pretty well and I'm sure I'll learn some things from him and I'm sure he'll probably learn a few things from me as well."

Rosenfels and most of his teammates began working in the Vikings' offseason strength and conditioning program Monday. Other than learning the offense and working out, Rosenfels has been negotiating with receiver Sidney Rice to obtain his traditional No. 18 jersey.

I'm going to be fascinated to see how this plays out. I remain convinced that Jackson holds a distinct advantage as the incumbent. But Rosenfels has been in the league for eight seasons and knows this likely is the best opportunity he'll ever get to win a starting job. He won't make the decision easy.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press talks with second-year center John Sullivan, who is expected to take over for the departed Matt Birk. Sullivan: "Nobody has the starting job until you're actually out there on opening day. I just know there's a lot of hard work that comes first."

  • The Vikings are hosting about 30 draft-eligible players at their practice facility this week. Among them is Oklahoma offensive lineman Phil Loadholt, according to Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

  • Lambeau Field and Soldier Field are two of 70 potential sites for the World Cup if the event returns to the United State in 2018 or 2022, according to this Associated Press story.

  • So is Ford Field, according to Scott Bell of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Detroit defensive linemen are pigging out at the team's cafeteria and loving every minute of it, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News. Coach Jim Schwartz is encouraging defensive linemen to get as big and as strong as they can this offseason.

  • New Chicago left tackle Orlando Pace is hoping his career can be revitalized in a new environment, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times.