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RandBall: Revelations on Zimmer's style and Love's future

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • May 29, 2014 - 5:24 PM

 

Flip Saunders, in his element

Flip Saunders, in his element

It was one of those hectic but good days. Sometimes we spend double-digit hours in front of a computer (just ask Sid, who calls us "Mr. Computer), but sometimes the stars and stories conspire to get us out of the office and even outdoors on a gorgeous May afternoon.

 

After a day that saw us start at Twins pre-game access, move along to Vikings OTAs, shift over to Target Center later for Wolves availability and then finally back to Target Field for the final inning of a long Twins/Rangers game, here are two key takeaways for whatever they are worth:

1) New Vikings coach Mike Zimmer -- not be confused with new Vikings player Mike Zimmer, who we are writing about for tomorrow's Page 2 feature -- has a reputation for being a no-nonsense guy. His actions and words are bearing that out early on. Two responses from his post-OTA session with the media stood out. First, we asked him about how much he was working with members of the secondary and how receptive they were to his coaching. He paused for a few seconds -- maybe he was admiring our new Ray-Bans, but we doubt it -- before saying this:

"I think they are receptive, I don’t know; I don’t worry too much if they are receptive or not, we just try to coach them up. I mean they want to be coached, so I’ve spent a lot of time back there in the past so that is really nothing new."

The upshot, at least as we gleaned it, was that they had better be receptive, but if they weren't he didn't really have time for them anyway. Later, he was asked by someone else if players are buying into his system. Again, the same theme:

"I don’t worry about that. I don’t worry about if they are buying in. My job is to coach them hard and try to get them to be the best players they can be. You’d have to ask them if they are buying in, really. My job is to coach them."

Again, we're not getting the sense of this being a "my way or the highway" attitude. Rather, it's an expectation that everyone is on board, and from there good coaching will be the key to improvement.

2) Wolves boss Flip Saunders ran workouts with six pre-draft hopefuls, including ex-Gopher Austin Hollins. He looked awfully natural barking instructions. Just saying ... OK, joking aside, Saunders slipped out when media availability started so there was no chance to get any Vinny Del Negro updates (if any are to be had). But GM Milt Newton talked, and he had some interesting things to say about a possible Kevin Love trade. Our guy Jerry Zgoda tweeted the money quote:

Milt says team wants to keep Love, but said, "If that’s not the case, you best believe we’ll be a better team based on what happens."

That's not quite an admission that a trade is inevitable, but there is a certain amount of reading between the lines to be had in that statement.

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