Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie had a nightmarish performance against Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers in a 26-7 loss last season.

McKinnie was benched after giving up two sacks and being called for two penalties as Peppers kept him on his heels all game. McKinnie later said his technique got "out of whack" and said he was playing on an injured foot.

McKinnie now must face Peppers twice a season after he signed with the Chicago Bears as a free agent. McKinnie was asked whether he's excited or worried about having Peppers in the same division during a live chat on NFL.com on Thursday.

"First off, I was hurt when I played against him," McKinnie wrote. "I'm really excited to play against him again and get another shot at that. I'm looking forward to playing him twice per season."

McKinnie also weighed in on the Vikings needs in the draft when asked what is the team's biggest need for improvement this season.

"Probably the safety position," McKinnie wrote. "We could use some help there. As a team, I would like to see us improve on penalties. Our special teams was strong last year too."

Like most everyone else, McKinnie also said he believe Brett Favre will return next season. You can read the transcript from the live chat right here.

-- Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is scheduled to attend the Pro Day workout of Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen today. Clausen is widely regarded as the No. 2 quarterback in the draft but there has been speculation that he could fall in the first round after Washington traded for Donovan McNabb. 

UPDATE: McKinnie received national criticism for blowing off the Pro Bowl and has been the target of criticism this offseason, including on this blog. But we feel it's only fair to also make note of a heartfelt gesture McKinnie made to help a young girl in a tough situation.

McKinnie tweeted about it this morning and he wrote in a text to us that he's fine if we share it here with his quotes.

Here was his tweet in full:

"Found a girl who is a Senior n High School, has good grades and a good role model. Right now her mother is n the hospital battling cancer. ... And she is left 2 take care of her 2 younger siblings. A lot of there money goes 2 household bills and mother's hospital bills so that ... Makes it hard 4 extra money 4 her 2 enjoy her senior prom! That's where I come n! I had ppl research 4 the perfect candidate and she won! ... I will be paying 4 her entire prom from clothes 2 make-up, 2 transportation. On her Prom nite I will go with her 2 the hospital so her [mom] ... Can see her dressed up 4 the prom! We will be filming this whole process, so I will let yall know 4 sure when this will air."