EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Most of the Minnesota's established players are well-versed in the verbose ways and means of New Orleans safety Darren Sharper, dating back to his four-year tenure with the Vikings. That understanding, however, doesn't mean they were willing to let slide Sharper's most recent public proclamation -- that the Saints would be targeting quarterback Brett Favre's surgically-repaired left ankle in the Sept. 9 season opener.
(Sharper's full tweet from last Friday: "Well y'all seen Brett had surgery on that ankle we got after in the championship game. Come Thursday night 1st game. X marks the spot.")
Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe's response: Turnabout will be fair play.
"That's all good," Shiancoe said. "But Sharper had surgery, too. And it was a knee. If 'X' marks the spot on Brett, I wonder what marks the spot on Sharper?"
Indeed, Sharper had microfracture knee surgery earlier this offseason before re-signing with the Saints.
Shiancoe said he thought Sharper's tweet was a joke and noted it wasn't the first time Sharper had targeted someone.
"I know Sharp," Shiancoe said. "That's my boy. We hang out. It's like he said before the NFC Championship Game. He told me their whole goal was to aim for my knees. And they didn't do it. I know he talks trash."
Not everyone is totally convinced, considering the Saints left that same ankle battered and bruised through a series of nasty hits in that game. Right guard Anthony Herrera said "every team" targets injuries and said: "we'll handle that when the time comes." And in a preview of what promises to be a contentious run-up to the game, Herrera added:
"I'm happy that he feels that way. They did their thing in that game. They won. They're NFL champions. But when a team plays you and has [five] turnovers and still is in it in the last series of the game, I wouldn't open my mouth too much."
"I'm waiting for him to get on [Twitter] again so I can say something and start a little controversy," McKinnie said. "I think he's taking a shot, so I'm going to take one back. We're going to have a beef on Twitter and it will carry over to game day."
A four-month Twitter battle? Bring it on! What you call nonsense, I call blog fodder.