Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks coach who was on the Vikings staff from 1985 to 1989, said he confers with Bud Grant on a regular basis.
Grant was the Vikings coach in 1985 before Jerry Burns took over the following year. Grant and Carroll became what you might call father and son during that time.
One of the things that Carroll consulted with Grant on was the drafting of quarterback Russell Wilson, asking Grant whether Wilson, who is listed at 5-10, could be a success in the NFL.
Well if there was any doubt about the height problem, Grant reminded Carroll that a quarterback named Fran Tarkenton was 5-10, and he did pretty well.
Apparently that word from Grant removed any doubt by Carroll about taking Wilson in the third round. In fact, Carroll said last week he wanted Wilson in the second round but the team decided to wait.
What a pick that has been. Wilson continued his perfect record against Minnesota football teams with the Seahawks’ 41-20 victory over the Vikings on Sunday. In the past three seasons, Wilson has beaten the Vikings twice and the Gophers once, a 42-13 trouncing during his one season at Wisconsin in 2011.
Wilson completed 16 of 17 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns in that game for the Badgers. Then in 2012, his rookie season with Seattle, he completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns while rushing nine times for 27 yards as the Seahawks beat the Vikings 30-20 last November.
Sunday, Wilson continued his perfect streak, completing 13 of 18 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-20 victory over the Vikings.
Put it all together and since 2011 Wilson has completed 45 of 59 passes for 581 yards and nine touchdowns while not throwing a single interception.
Last season, Wilson posted a 100.0 quarterback rating for Seattle, throwing for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. This year he has been even more efficient with a 105.2 rating, 2,362 yards passing and 19 touchdowns to six interceptions for a team that leads the NFC with a 10-1 record.
No doubt Carroll believes that he has in Wilson what Grant had in Tarkenton, a franchise quarterback.
Jerry Kill and the Gophers football coaching staff watched both the broadcast and the tape of Wisconsin’s dominant 52-3 victory over Indiana on Saturday.
And Kill said there’s going to be a lot of challenges as his team gets ready to face the Badgers on Saturday.
“We’ve watched,” said Kill. “The big thing is we’ve had an opportunity, the way things work in the video world is we get things pretty quick, and it’s always good to watch and be able to run it back on what you’re doing.
“Watching on TV, you get one look at it and you move on, but yeah we’ve watched them on film and the Indiana game. They’ve done a good job, I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
Kill said Badgers defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who worked for new coach Gary Andersen at Utah, brought in his particular 3-4 defensive scheme to Wisconsin and found a perfect player for that system in Chris Borland, whom Kill called maybe the best linebacker in the country.
“He’s a great player. They utilize him and what he does, they’re strong up front and I think they’re better on defense than they’ve been and offensively they haven’t missed a beat,” Kill said. “They are who they are. They’ve been that way since coach [Barry] Alvarez was coaching, and they’re not going to change. They’re going to run that scheme and be physical and [receiver Jared] Abbrederis, if you stop the run, then he beats you with the play-action.”
Kill added, “I think they’re a very good football team, and I think they’re the most underrated defensive team in the county.”
Kill mentioned the Badgers running backs and how good they are and how hard they will be to stop.
“They have three of them,” said Kill. “The kid that is a young freshman, No. 6 [Corey Clement], he comes in and he rushes for  yards, they always have running backs and they’re always going to be big up front, and they’re going to run it, run it, and by the time you put nine of them up there they call the play-action. …
“They’re a very good football team and I think they’ll climb the polls quickly.”
The Badgers opened as a 14½-point favorite according to the Las Vegas oddsmakers. The Gophers have lost nine in a row to Wisconsin with the last victory in 2003.
• Kill was asked if he thinks there’s a chance that some of his assistant coaches leave after the success they have had this year — most of them have been with Kill for nearly 19 years. Apparently two coaches were offered other opportunities after last season. “Every year we’ve had somebody [get an offer],” said Kill. “[Assistant head coach/linebackers] Billy Miller was offered, I think, to go to Tennessee a year ago or whatever; Billy Glasscock, our recruiting coordinator, was offered a job at North Carolina State last year. We don’t tell everybody all that, but you know, some have stayed here for less money just because they love coming to work every day. We have a great work atmosphere here whether we’re winning or losing, we all stay the same and we don’t turn our back on each other. There’s not a lot of people that can say that.”
• Twins owner Jim Pohlad was recently appointed to Major League Baseball’s highly influential Executive Council by Commissioner Bud Selig. Jim’s father, the late Carl Pohlad, served on MLB’s Executive Council for many years, and helped Selig develop the game’s current revenue-sharing program. Like his father, Jim Pohlad is quickly becoming one of the game’s most influential owners. In addition to the Executive Council, Jim also serves on MLB’s Finance Committee and the board of directors for Major League Baseball Advance Media.
• Rashad Vaughn, the superstar basketball prospect who used to play at Cooper High School, is telling friends that he won’t make a college decision until the spring. Incidentally, Vaughn, now at Findlay Prep School in Nevada, was in attendance Sunday for Iowa State’s 77-70 upset over No. 7 Michigan in Ames, Iowa.
• Flying under the radar for the Princeton football team, which is 8-1 and 6-0 in the Ivy League, is former Star Tribune Scholar Athlete of the Year of Matt Arends. The Prior Lake High School product is a starting safety for the Tigers and has 48 tackles, six pass deflections and a fumble recovery.