Sid Hartman: Negativity over Vikings is big mystery to Birk

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 28, 2007 - 10:23 PM

The Pro Bowl center is optimistic over the upcoming season for the Vikings, both for himself and his teammates, after a season of adjustment in 2006.

Matt Birk -- ready for a big season after perhaps being a little rusty in 2006 -- doesn't agree with the pessimism a lot of people seem to have over the 2007 edition of the Vikings.

"You know, every year the so-called experts try to predict who's going to be good and who isn't and they rarely are right. You'd have better luck probably just throwing darts," Birk said.

The former Cretin-Derham Hall athlete looks at last year and said he believes it was one of transition for the Vikings, with a new coaching staff and a group of new players.

"There's definitely an adjustment process; you get a bunch of new people working together for the first time, you know, you've got to iron out the kinks," he said.

Birk is convinced the Vikings will be an improved team in 2007 and win more games. "I'm an eternal optimist," he said.

"I mean the difference between success and failure, winning and losing, it's a very slim margin in the NFL."

The Vikings were 6-10 last year. But they lost six games by a total of 26 points: 19-16 to the Bears, 17-12 to the Bills, 9-3 to the 49ers, 23-17 and 9-7 to the Packers and 24-20 to the Dolphins.

Coach Brad Childress looks back on his first season and says with a break or two here and there, they could have reversed the record and been 10-6.

As for Birk, he still made his fifth Pro Bowl following the 2006 season even after he sat out 2005 because of hip surgery. Asked about his performance this year, Birk said: "I'll definitely be more comfortable. I mean that's my goal every offseason, to work harder and work better and to improve."

Birk, the second-highest paid center in the NFL to Chicago's Olin Kreutz, has two seasons left on the seven-year, $31 million extension he signed before the 2001 season, and he is to be paid $4.6 million in 2007. There was thought of redoing Birk's contract, but he said: "Nope, we're just going to keep it as is. We visited it but ... we both decided we'll just keep it the same."

Johnson optimistic

Hennepin County Commissioner Randy Johnson said a scheduled March 30 meeting to bring the Twins stadium problem to a head has been postponed until April 10 because there are too many details up in the air, including trying to find a solution over what to do with the railroad connected with the stadium.

"We were going to meet on March 30th in a close legal briefing, and a board meeting. I'm in the process of canceling that and rescheduling it to our April 10th meeting," he said.

Johnson said no deal is in place for the acquisition of the land but added: "Oh yes, I'm definitely optimistic. I'm optimistic about this and I'm optimistic about merging the [Minneapolis city and Hennepin County] libraries too, I'm an optimist."

In regard to the problem with the railroad, Johnson said: "Well, in order not to build over the existing tracks, which is a construction challenge, we are working with them to move their tracks, that becomes a question of how much more of a spur line they need and how much of that we should pay for and then the air-rights," Johnson said.

About the negotiations for the land -- with the Pohlad family to pay for the difference if the price comes in higher than the $13.35 million the county has offered -- Johnson said, "I think that's a detail that's pretty well set."

Johnson said he didn't think the start of construction would be delayed. "We're very close," he said.

Spending not solution

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:07 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:30 PM
Toronto
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Houston
Miami 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Chicago
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Utah
Sacramento 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Denver 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Dallas 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Colorado
Carolina 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Columbus 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 7:00 PM
Chicago
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close