• New Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck was asked what he expects his “Row the Boat” slogan can do for the program. “What these colored oars are going to do is raise awareness for a lot of organizations that are going to be driven by ‘Row the Boat,’ ” he said. “We’re going to bring a lot of awareness around our Twin Cities area and our entire state and university by having different colored oars, unsolicited, given out to so many people across our wonderful state. We look forward to doing that in the next coming weeks.”


• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was asked if he believes he can get a good player in this year’s NFL draft without having a first-round selection: “Yes, and we’re going to have to do a great job in the draft this year. It’s always the best way to improve your football team is through the draft, as opposed to free agency. Obviously it’s a better way for your franchise to go, as far as monetarily, and the way the league is now, a lot of these young players need to come in and get ready to play, and plus you get them for a longer period of time. We feel like, and I believe [General Manager] Rick [Spielman] will do a great job as far as getting us where we need to get to. If there’s some guys there in the first round that we need to get up, then I’m sure we’ll do that, as well.”


• Pro Football Focus ranked 38-year-old Terence Newman as the ninth-best cornerback in the NFL last season, which is a good sign that the free agent will get a deal somewhere for a 15th NFL season if he doesn’t return to the Vikings in 2017.


• recently ranked the Vikings as having the 10th-best continuity in the NFL. Since 2012, the team has employed one general manager, two head coaches, three offensive coordinators, two defensive coordinators and three primary quarterbacks. The Patriots ranked first, as they have had the same general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and starting quarterback for each of the past six seasons.