Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Posts about Vikings fans

Rhodes rates Calvin No.1, Jordy No.2

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 10, 2014 - 2:11 PM

Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes calls Lions star Calvin Johnson the toughest receiver he has to face.

``He broke Jerry Rice's record, didn't he?'' Rhodes said. ``Anybody else do that?''

Rhodes pick for his second-toughest receiver to face might surprise you. Or not, if you pay attention to the NFC North.

``Jordy Nelson is the next-toughest guy I've faced,'' Rhodes said. ``The way he reacts to the ball, the way he runs his routes, the way you can tell that he's studied so much film, looking for an edge. That makes him very tough.''


After reading Mark Craig's cool piece on Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson in today's Strib, and hearing Vikings coach Mike Zimmer continue to hope aloud that Patterson will become a great receiver, it's pretty evident that Patterson hasn't or doesn't know how to apply himself.

With his size, speed and talent, Patterson doesn't have to become a latter-day Jerry Rice in terms of route running, or a latter-day Cris Carter in terms of competing for the ball. He just has to become a reliable and competitive route-runner.

You wonder whether he has that nasty compettive streak that other great receivers have.

Rice once told Bill Walsh to run a sweep on the first play of a playoff game, so Rice could start the game by flattening the corner assigned to him. Carter became one of the most dedicated athletes I've ever met.

Patterson seems like a nice guy who doesn't understand what it takes to be great.

It's interesting that Zimmer has taken a positive approach with him, while pushing harder with other young players. It's almost an admission that pushing Patterson might not do much good.


Did a short video with Michael Rand, speaking about Zimmer's work this year. Should be up on startribune.com shortly.


Today's podcast at SouhanUnfiltered.com is with Strib hockey writer Michael Russo. Tonight's will stream live on that website at 5 p.m. from Kieran's Irish Pub in downtown Minneapolis. My guest is Jayhawks frontman Gary Louris, who is playing Thursday night at the Cedar Avenue Cultural Center with Haley Bonar. We'll do an hour of music and conversation, mixing in a little sports talk. Please stop by and say hello.

Previous podcasts on the site feature Chad Greenway, Mike Grant, Mark Craig, Glen Perkins, Craig Leipold, Russo, Paul Molitor and Ross Bernstein.


Instant overreaction to Vikings beating Jets

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 7, 2014 - 3:22 PM

By Jim Souhan

In sports, you always have to grade on a curve.

An NFL team improving to 6-7 with a victory at home over a two-win team? Not impressive.

An NFL team without its star running back, playing a rookie quarterback, with its most talented defensive rookie out winning at a juncture of the season when some losing teams lose interest? Not bad.

When you factor in that two recent and talented first-round draft picks – left tackle Matt Kalil and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson – have become, respectively, abominable and invisible, what rookie head coach Mike Zimmer is doing is fairly impressive.

I picked the Vikings to go 8-8 when I expected Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and Patterson to have big years. Without much production from those three, the Vikings are one game below .500.

They beat the Jets, in overtime, on Sunday, without much of a running game, with the offensive line looking leaky, and without a lot of high-end talent available.

Bridgewater made winning plays, and that’s the best thing that can happen to this franchsie – the quarterback inspiring belief.

If you’re willing to grade on a curve, that’s pretty good.


Latest podcast at SouhanUnfiltered.com is up, featuring Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway on his career goals, and his new thoughts on Mike Zimmer.


Greenway on Zimmer

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: December 5, 2014 - 8:42 AM

I wrote about Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway in today's paper.

The most interesting aspect of the interview that I didn't include in the column is this:

Greenway said new coach Mike Zimmer is far different than he expected when it comes to the treatment of players.

Asked to finish the sentence, ``I was wrong about...'', Greenway laughed and said, ``I was wrong about the way that coach Zimmer would handle us as players. He handles us as professionals. He gives us breaks when he knows we need them. He's really been good at that. I thought he'd be harder....

``He loves football and loves coaching. He understands his team and when to pull off. He's been phenomenal about that.''

I asked Greenway about being a public figure, jokingly asking if he has ever knocked a fan's hat off.

``You try to keep yourself private from the fokls who might be crazed about being a fan or might be upset about the way a game went, or about how you’re playing,'' he said. ``You try to keep yourself distant from those folks because you don’t want your family to have to deal with that...

``I think just based on the way you go about your business, you set yourself up…Even though they may not appreciate the way you play, you try to set yourself up to be treated a certain way in public. When you act a certain wa you receive a certain amount of respect.

``If you’re a jerk and actin ga certain way in pubcli you’re giogn to be treated that way. I've never done that. It's important when you are a guy who’s active in the community and your face is on TV - whether or not you want to be a role model, you're going to be treated that way because kids see you on TV.''

Today's column quotes Greenway on his hopes and plans for the rest of his career.


My last two podcasts at SouhanUnfiltered.com are with Twins closer Glen Perkins and Greenway.

Perkins talked about learning to brew his own beer, being a lifelong Minnesotan and why I'm wrong about Kevin Slowey.

Greenway spoke of his love of country music, and how his life has changed since he arrived as a rookie. He expounded on his thoughts on Mike Zimmer.

Next Wednesday at 5 p.m. I'll be at Kieran's Irish Pub with Gary Louris, the frontman for the great band The Jayhawks, who is playing on Dec. 11 at the Cedar Cultural Center. The following Wednesday, Dec. 17, I'll be back at The Local at 5 p.m. with Roy Smalley, my favorite baseball storyteller, as my guest.

All the podcasts, including previous versions with Wild owner Craig Leipold, Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant and Paul Molitor, can be found at SouhanUnfiltered.com.

In this Sunday's paper, I'm writing about the obvious landing spot for Adrian Peterson.

Vikes win a laugher

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 30, 2014 - 2:52 PM

The Vikings beat the Panthers, 31-13, on Sunday largely on the strength of two blocked punts returned for touchdowns.

The more interesting stories involved key young offensive players.

Teddy Bridgewater for once was sharp from the start, leading the Vikings on an opening-drive touchdown that concluded with a scoring strike to Kyle Rudolph.

Cordarrelle Patterson barely played on offense in the first half, and dropped the only pass thrown his way. He appeared to give up on at least one route. He was healthy enough t oreturn kickoffs, but didn't attempt to field kickoffs deep into the end zone, which is unusual for him.

On a day when the Vikings' offense, defense and special teams all thrived, perhaps the most talented athlete on the roster was nearly invisible.

I'll be asking questions about that in the postgame lockerroom, and that will probably be the subject of my column tomorrow.


New podcasts up at Souhanunfiltered.com with Kevin Seifert and Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony, to go with earlier conversations with Paul Molitor, Mark Craig, Michael Russo and Ross Bernstein.


Vikes-Packers pick

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 23, 2014 - 9:57 AM

In 1988, the Bears and Eagles played in what became known as ``The Fog Bowl'' at Soldier Field. It was an atmospheric, beautiful mess of a game.

It's a bit foggy at TCF Bank Stadium this morning, but the players won't have any trouble seeing the ball unless things get much worse.

On to my worthless prediction:

The Packers are on an almost historic roll. The Vikings are at the juncture of their season where they know they're not going to make the playoffs, figure they probably won't have Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season, and have been visited by the Ghost of Controversies Past, in ESPN's Ed Werder. Whenever Ed shows up, something bad or crazy is happening.

So...I'll guess Packers 43, Vikings 17.

I think Teddy Bridgewater has a chance to be a good player...next year. Right now, I see a lost young man with little help around him.

The Packers have been incredible opportunistic on defense, and I think Bridgewater will give them some opportunities.

I also didn't like the way the offensive line or Jerick McKinnon played last week, and with Matt Asiata out, I can't see Ben Tate making much of a difference after a few days of preparation.

This, to me, is what you call a bad matchup.


Had a great conversation with Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant this week. It's up on Souhanunfiltered.com, along with conversations with Paul Molitor, Michael Russo, Mark Craig and Ross Bernstein.

Mike told a great bunch of stories about his father, Bud, as well as Rick Spielman, Jerry Kill, Glen Mason, Red McCombs. He also talked about the most rewarding aspect of his job, and his future.




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