JOTTINGS

• Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck said when it comes to planning out his roster he relies heavily on Marcus Hendrickson, director of player personnel: “[He] used to be a former NFL scout and he has been a huge asset to this program, and when you see him at practice he kind of looks like the GM. He has this mustache, his arms are folded, and that’s pretty much what he does. He observes practice. He’s not a coach. He’s there to evaluate the talent every single day, evaluate our depth, basically see if we need to continue to build in that area, no matter what position it is. He is thinking years ahead.”

 

• Former Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said he is excited about the direction of the Browns, despite their history of losing. “The young guys are eager to learn. The old guys are the same thing. Guys are trying to be great, get in and move forward to try build this franchise back to where it used to be.”

 

• Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson said there’s no doubt Stephen Weatherly can start. “He has the talent to be a starting player in this league, there is no question about that. I think he proved that last year when he started six games for Everson [Griffen] when he wasn’t here.”

 

• Does Vikings offensive lineman Riley Reiff see an improved group? “Talk is cheap right now, all we can do is come out and work and we have the guys,” the left tackle said. “We just have to put in the work.”

 

• The Houston Astros showed what you do if you really want to win a World Series, picking up Zack Greinke at the trade deadline. It’s too bad Greinke had the Twins as one of the 15 teams on his no-trade list because they could have made a better prospect offer than Houston.

 

• The Twins’ World Series odds in Las Vegas took a hit after the trade deadline, dropping from 9-1 to 14-1. They still have the fifth-best odds, but they are now tied with Cleveland.