Hartman: Sullivan says Vikings can't have letdown

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 7, 2012 - 9:25 AM
John Sullivan, the leader of the Vikings offensive line, said the team has done well to start 3-1, but at the same time, this is one of those situations where they have to guard against getting too high.

"We've won two games straight against good teams in the NFC, but at the same time if we go out and lose this weekend it's right back to being nothing," said the future Pro Bowl center. "We have to go out and execute and keep the momentum going.

"I think we have good leadership, a good core group of guys, in terms of the players. And I think the coaching staff is doing a good job of conveying that message that we need to continue to go out there, and Sundays are a direct reflection of how we practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday."

Sullivan still believes the offensive line can get a lot better.

"I think every NFL offense is always a work in progress, so I don't know if you ever really get there," he said. "We just need to continue to improve. We didn't score any touchdowns last week, which is disappointing. We need to finish better in the red zone. It's not like we're not moving the ball, we just need to execute at the end of drives."

Asked about how he would describe the performance of Adrian Peterson as the star running back comes back from two torn knee ligaments, Sullivan said: "I understand from a media angle you might think of the big picture, but for us, it's so focused down to, we're just focused on their defense and what our offense can execute and doing what our coaches tell us we need to do.

"I thought [Peterson] was back to pre-injury form right from the start. I understand that a lot of people have said that he looks better each and every week, but he's looked like Adrian to me the entire season. I think we're getting more comfortable as an offense, we're doing some better things in the run game, but at the same time we need to improve."

If you looked into the equipment room when Steve Hutchinson and Sullivan were teammates, you would often see them working on crossword puzzles in their free time, and it was quite a rivalry.

Sullivan looks forward to playing against the Titans, with Hutchinson now starting at left guard for them.

"It will be interesting to see him as an opponent for the first time in the NFL," Sullivan said. "I wish him luck every other game of the year; I don't wish him too much luck against us. I hope he comes out of the game healthy, but other than that I hope our D-line has a great game.

"We texted a couple weeks ago, and he seems to be really enjoying himself. I got to watch him on tape a week ago when we were playing Detroit because they had played Tennessee a week before and he looked like he was doing a great job. It's the status quo for Steve."

Brunansky interested

I would be surprised if Tom Brunansky, who has been a Twins minor league batting coach for 2 1/2 years, doesn't succeed Joe Vavra in that role in the majors. All this season, when hitters from Class AAA Rochester were called up, all they did was praise the job Brunansky, 52, did coaching them.

The very popular former Twins outfielder said: "If [the offer to coach for the Twins] were true and that comes out, that would be exciting, but so far, right now I'm under contract with Rochester, and we'll see what happens next year.

"We'll find out sooner or later, but as I said, worst case is I'm ready to go back to work at Rochester. We'll see how it goes."

Brunansky said he loved the Red Wings job.

"I really do enjoy it. I love working with the hitters and breaking down the pitchers. It's an enjoyable thing to do, and I love being in the cage. It's long hours and a lot of work, but it's fun."

"Bruno" said the only negative was being so far away from his family on the West Coast. He had been coaching high school ball in Poway, Calif., before joining the Twins minor league staff in July 2010.

"The coaching and the baseball part of it, that's fun," he said. "But the being away from home and not being able to see the family, that was a little tougher."

Four-year maximums?

In the October issue of Twin Cities Business, there is an interesting side note in a cover-story feature about Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. President of Basketball Operations David Kahn said that when the Wolves signed Kevin Love to a four-year, $62 million extension in January, it was not a preventive measure to allow the team to sign point guard Ricky Rubio to the NBA maximum five-year extension in the future, as many members of the media assumed at the time.

"That's inaccurate," Kahn told the magazine. "We have a set policy where four years [for extensions] is the way we want to manage this. We are mindful that our [star] players should be treated the same."

Love's extension was widely questioned at the time because it gives him an out clause after three years, and Love did have some quarrels initially with not being given the maximum extension allowed. But apparently the Wolves believe four-year extensions are the safer play.

JOTTINGS

• Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was asked about Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, the veteran who will replace the injured Jake Locker on Sunday. "Just going back even a year ago when he was a starter, he was second to Drew Brees as far as taking sacks in the league,"Frazier said. "He doesn't turn the ball over a whole lot. ... He presents some problems because of the success he's had in our league and the experience that he has."

 Titans returner and former Vikings player Darius Reynaud just got a nice accolade, being named AFC special teams player of the month for September. He had a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Week 3 against the Lions, and in that same game threw a cross-field lateral on a punt return that resulted in another TD. And Reynaud was out of the NFL last year after getting cut by the Giants.

• The Vikings should have a great advantage against the Titans when it comes to protecting quarterback Christian Ponder. Tennessee has only six sacks, tied for fifth-worst in the NFL. And the Vikings have given up just eight sacks, tied for ninth-best. Look for Ponder to have a lot of time to find open targets down the field if those trends continue Sunday.

• Timberwolves star Kevin Love has enjoyed participating in USA basketball events in the past, having won an Olympic gold medal this year and a world championship two years ago, and he said he will play with the team again, if called on. Love was the team's top rebounder (7.6 per game) and fifth-leading scorer (11.6) in London.

• On Monday night at Manny's Steakhouse in Minneapolis, Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway will have another of his charity events for his Lead the Way Foundation, which provides support and resources to children in need throughout the Twin Cities.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
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
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 86 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
Phoenix 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 108
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 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
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 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
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close