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.

Find him on Twitter

Posts about Vikings coaches

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.

Thanks.

@Souhanstrib.

Mike Grant on his future, Bud's past

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 21, 2014 - 2:51 PM

I’ve been interviewing people for a long time. The hour or more I spent with Eden Prairie football coach Mike Grant might represent the best on-the-record conversation I’ve had in 30 years.

Grant said he’s contemplating retirement, so he can write books. He may write about race relations, after watching the demographics of Eden Prairie change dramatically during his tenure. He may disappear into the woods with his father, Bud, the legendary former Vikings coach.

He also told me that his father came close to never playing sports or coaching football. When Bud graduated from high school, he told his father he wanted to live off the land, to hunt and fish and forgo college. Instead, he attended the University of Minnesota on the GI bill, subsisted on five-for-a-quarter candy bars and a all-you-can-eat-for-a-buck spaghetti at Café di Napoli in Minneapolis, and lived off the generosity of Star Tribune sports columnist Sid Hartman.

Bud is 87. Mike is 57. Mike says he wants to spend time hunting with his father while he can, and that may mean leaving a program that is trying for its fourth straight and 10th total state championship tonight at TCF Bank Stadium.

``My dad didn’t want to go to college,’’ Mike said. ``He got out of the war he wanted to go hunting. He just wanted to go live in the woods. My uncle tells the story of him and my grandfather arguing, fighting, my Dad saying, `I want to go into the woods and hunt. That’s it.’

``His brother says it’s truly what he wanted to do. He would disappear for days when he was 15 or 16 and be gone hunting and fishing, where he has his cabin now. My grandfather would say, what, you want to be a `Hunyuk’ your whole life? I don’t know what that is. Whatever a Hunyuk is, it can’t be good.’’

I’m writing about Mike’s future and Bud’s past tonight. It’ll be in the Saturday paper and online at startribune.com. If you want to hear our full conversation, in which Mike weighed in on race, Jerry Kill, college recruiting, Red McCombs, Rick Spielman, high school coaching, hungry kids, Tim Brewster, Glen Mason, Jeff Diamond, Sid, Tom Kelly and John Gagliardi, you can find it on my podcast at Souhanunfiltered.com, along with conversations with Paul Molitor, Michael Russo, Mark Craig, Ross Bernstein and Sean Barnard.

Thanks for reading, and listening.

@Souhanstrib

Peterson got what he deserved

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 18, 2014 - 8:37 AM

In suspending Adrian Peterson without pay for the rest of the season, Roger Goodell made the right decision, and probably for the wrong reasons.

When the photographs of the damage Peterson did to his four-year-old son were made public, with the caveat that the wounds had begun healing before the photos were taken, it was clear that Peterson had behaved inhumanly, using his incredible physical power to damage someone innocent and defenseless.

The courts in Texas, where child brutality is often mistaken for strong parenting, barely blinked before cutting Peterson a favorable plea deal. Vikings’ management tried to reinstate him after one missed game, with general manager Rick Spielman saying `` We believe this is a case of a parent disciplining his child.’’

The only person with the power and willingness to discipline Peterson would be Goodell, the NFL commissioner. And he did.

To think he punished Peterson severely strictly because Goodell was concerned with the child’s safety would be naïve. Goodell punished Peterson severely to offer a warning to other wayward players, to challenge the players’ union, and to reestablish himself as an authoritative figure months after he was made to look either foolish or corrupt with his handling of Ray Rice’s act of domestic violence.

Goodell is severely punishing Peterson because he so lightly punished Rice, initially handing Rice a two-game suspension even while knowing that Rice knocked out his then-fiancee in an elevator.

There will be howls of protest from Vikings fans, and fantasy football owners, but Goodell got this right. He had two choices moving forward: To remove himself as acting judge and jury of player misconduct cases, or to make an example of a star athlete who harmed a child.

Peterson earned this level of punishment. Whether Goodell has the right to impose it is a matter for the courts, and Goodell probably won’t mind watching Peterson’s legal team fighting him in the courts, where Goodell for once will get to wear a white hat.

-------------

There are new podcasts up at Souhanunfiltered.com, and this afternoon I'll be at Devil's Advocate bar in downtown Minneapolis with Star Tribune hockey writer Michael Russo, from 4-5 p.m. Jeff Dubay will host his podcast right after us.

Michael has covered the NFL before, so we'll talk about Peterson a bit before getting into how Michael went from a guy hanging around the offices at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel to becoming one of the best hockey writers and reporters in North America. You can listen live at Souhanunfiltered.com - or listen anytime. That's the cool thing about podcasts.

My full column on Peterson, with different thoughts on his predicament, will be up tonight on startribune.com and in tomorrow's paper. Thanks.

I'll also be live at Shamrock's in St. Paul on Wednesday at 8, talking about the NFL and other topics. That will preceed a music showcase for the @Aliveandsocial network, as local acts Nathan Anderson and The Last Ride will take the stage. They are remarkably talented and I'd love to see our towns support them and other rising talents.

@Souhanstrib

Vikes lose defining game

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 16, 2014 - 2:59 PM

 

The Vikings didn’t just lose a game on Sunday in Chicago. They lost the game that promises to define their season, in a way that erases delusions of grandeur.

While getting grotesquely outplayed, their rookie quarterback, rookie running back and even star rookie linebacker looked overmatched and overwhelmed during the Bears’ 21-13 victory at Soldier Field.

If not for a fake punt that led to an offensive touchdown, the Vikings would have been blown out by a team that had given up 50 points in consecutive games.

This was systemic failure. The offense barely moved after its first drive. The defense missed tackles and watched cornerback Josh Robinson get toyed with by receivers who seemed twice his size. The coaching staff stuck with man-to-man coverage that would have worked only if the pass rush had been effective, which it wasn’t.

As of Sunday morning, the Bears were known as a dysfunctional group of underachievers. By Sunday afternoon, they were winning a laugher.

At 4-6, the Vikings are out of reasonable contention. On Sunday, 2014 became a rebuilding season.

-------------------------------------

My actual column will be up tonight on startribune.com and in the actual newspaper tomorrow.

My podcast can be found at http://souhanunfiltered.com  or via subscription on ITunes at http://tinyurl.com/l7wp96m .First two episodes feature Paul Molitor, Mark Craig and Ross Bernstein.

                                  

Vikings-Bears pick from Chicago

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: November 16, 2014 - 9:02 AM

Chicago _

Before I head to Soldier Field,here's my view of today's game between the Vikings and Bears.

Jay Cutler is just enough to a contrarian to play well today. Remember, earlier this season he led a stunning comeback victory at San Francisco.

But I can't pick that way. It's not so much that Cutler throws silly interceptions .It's that Cutler looked like he didn't want to be playing football in his last game, at Green Bay. He refused to set his feet and throw accurately even on swing passes and screens. Your franchise player not only has to play well, your franchise player has to set a standard of intensity and commitment. Cutler doesn't cmoe close in either way.

I like Mike Zimmer's defense to keep Cutler confused enough that he'll fold. Zimmer has done his best work with the front seven, creating pressure, and that should be the deciding factor today.

When the Vikings have teh ball, I look at the fact that most offenses have moved the ball very easily against the Bears this year. I think Jerick McKinnon has his best game of the season, and Teddy Bridgewater is made comfortable enough to move the offense. The return of Kyle Rudolphi - the guy I thought would be the key to the passing game this season - should be very important. Rudolph can be both the safe option for Bridgewater when he's facing pressure, and perhaps the Vikings' best deep threat.

So, my pick is Vikings 26, Bears 20.

Please don't bet the kids' college fund on that.

--------

I've joined the @aliveandsocial podcast network, the same one that employs my old friend Jeff Dubay. Sean Barnard is my new boss.

My first podcast featured Paul Molitor and local author Ross Bernstein, who is close with Marc Trestman and has done a book with him. Ross was great on Marc's mindset.

My second was with Strib NFL writer Mark Craig, who told some great stories and offered perspective on the changing nature of the league and how we cover it.

Moving forward, I'll continue to feature my favorite writers, and peopole like Matt Birk, Craig Leipold and Roy Smalley have agreed to come on.

The podcast can be found at http://souhanunfiltered.com  or via subscription on itunes at http://tinyurl.com/l7wp96m .

I'm a newbie at this, and hope to get better at is as I adapt to the format. My hope is to have conversations that will be different than what you can hear anywhere else, or at least to have some fun with some great people.

The cool thing about the @aliveandsocial network is that we also want to promote great local music. Wednesday I was at Shamrocks, and got to listen to The Last Ride and Nathan Anderson, and they are remarkably talented people.

At some point, we hope to be able to put together full nights of music.

Anyway, thanks for any support you can lend the network and my new venture.

@Souhanstrib.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post By Category

Professional baseball (159) Vikings (237)
Gopher coaches (50) Gopher quarterbacks (14)
Gopher recruiting (2) Gopher road games (3)
Gophers disciplinary action (2) Gophers recruiting (3)
Gophers spring football (4) TCF Bank Stadium (24)
The Big 10 (25) NCAA: football (15)
Gophers coaches (63) Gophers players (42)
Tubby Smith (38) Williams Arena (16)
Gophers post season (6) Gophers roster moves (4)
Golf (38) Soccer (4)
Twins news (39) WNBA (8)
Wild news (52) AFC (10)
Bears (29) Ex-Vikings (19)
Football on TV (97) Lions (23)
NFC (78) NFL draft (35)
NFL post-season (36) Packers (56)
Super Bowl (53) Vikings coaches (126)
Vikings defense (61) Vikings fans (43)
Vikings injury report (15) Vikings management (85)
Vikings off the field (29) Vikings offense (72)
Vikings quarterbacks (46) Vikings road games (16)
Vikings rookies (4) Vikings roster moves (3)
Vikings special teams (2) Vikings training camp (6)
Off the field (6) On the road (25)
Quarterbacks (37) Rookies (6)
Roster moves (1) Vikings draft (42)
Ron Gardenhire (121) Target Field (155)
Twins fans (161) Twins management (213)
Twins offense (116) Twins transactions (97)
NBA playoffs (41) Wolves coaches (73)
Wolves draft news (29) Wolves guards (38)
Wolves injury report (7) Wolves management (79)
Wolves players (61) Wolves trade talk (14)
Wolves training camp (11) All-Stars and honors (91)
Fighting (2) Wild coaching (43)
Wild management (54) Wild off-season news (9)
Wild player moves (8) Adrian Peterson (80)
Anthony Herrera (2) Antoine Winfield (16)
Ben Leber (1) Bernard Berrian (7)
Brad Childress (30) Brett Favre (57)
Brian Robison (3) Bryant McKinnie (3)
Cedric Griffin (5) Chad Greenway (11)
Chester Taylor (5) Chris Kluwe (3)
Darrell Bevell (6) E.J. Henderson (4)
Jared Allen (29) John Sullivan (6)
Kevin Williams (6) Leslie Frazier (55)
Madieu Williams (2) Pat Williams (3)
Percy Harvin (27) Phil Loadholt (3)
Ray Edwards (1) Ryan Longwell (9)
Sage Rosenfels (1) Sidney Rice (10)
Steve Hutchinson (7) Tarvaris Jackson (12)
Tyrell Johnson (2) Visanthe Shiancoe (5)
Brad Childress (30) Darrell Bevell (6)
Leslie Frazier (55) NHL news (9)
2010 Winter Games (13) Olympic curling (1)
Olympic hockey (8) Olympic skiing (4)
Olympic village (11)

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT