Souhan: Vikings first-round pick Kalil hitting the right chord

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 16, 2012 - 7:19 AM

Vikings rookie Matt Kalil is mastering blocking on the field and strumming off of it.

Matt Kalil, the rookie Vikings tackle, likes guitars. I like guitars.

So instead of discussing his outstanding rookie season and love of music in a locker room filled with naked people, we met at my favorite guitar shop, Lavonne Music in Savage, where nudity is less often a problem.

During a conversation in which Zac Brown (the musician) was mentioned more often than Zach Brown (the Tennessee linebacker), Kalil explained why he got fined $7,000, dissed a powerful football conference and lobbied for Adrian Peterson to buy him something bigger than a bread box if Peterson breaks the NFL rushing record.

Q When did you start playing guitar?

I've always wanted to play. I never had time, and in college, I didn't have the money. Pretty much 90 percent of my stipend check went to rent, so I never had the time for an extra hobby. I figured now I'm done with practice around 5, and I watch film for a couple of hours, so I've got four or five hours a day of just sitting around, so I might as well get good at doing something.

Q This is a very important question for a guitar enthusiast: What kind of guitar do you play?

After training camp, I bought a Gibson Les Paul. Rhett Ellison, my teammate here and at USC, recommended it. He's a pretty good artist. I think he plays piano, and also drums and guitar.

Q If you were in a band with Rhett and punter Chris Kluwe, who plays bass, who would be the leader?

A Probably Kluwe. He's pretty good.

Q Do you ask Kluwe's advice on expressing public opinions?

He's the Twitter master. I always ask him to mention me so I'll have more followers. He has so many followers, including me.

Q Are you going to form a band?

A It's just a hobby, but I like to showboat a little.

Q Favorite band?

A Right now I love the Zac Brown Band. In college, I listened to AC/DC before games. Now I'm trying to stretch my range, so I'm all over the place.

Q Best friend on the team?

Right now, because I've known him for a few years, Rhett. Having Rhett here made it an easier transition.

Actually, now I hang out with John Sullivan a lot. He's a great guy. He's kind of the one that took me under his wing and taught me the ways around here about how to be an NFL player.

Q Do you talk about Notre Dame beating USC this year?

A No. Actually, we always joke about it. Obviously, I want Notre Dame to win the national championship, because I hate the SEC. Those schools bug me.

Q Why?

They think they're the best conference. But they're in the national championship game every year, so you can't complain about that.

Even at 308 pounds, you're lean for an NFL left tackle. Have you been able to keep your weight up?

A Yeah, it's gone down a little bit, but that's almost expected. I always lose a little weight during the season. It's been 100 times easier than in college because you eat breakfast in the morning, then go to practice and to class from 12 to 5 p.m., so I'd skip two whole meals and then eat dinner. It's hard to maintain weight on that schedule.

Now we get fed at the facility, and it's a lot easier to keep a schedule. Plus, now I can afford food.

I wanted to bring that up. I know [USC athletic director] Pat Haden is fighting for that, to get a bigger stipend for players at USC. Different colleges have different costs. We had a $1,200 check, and $950 of it went to rent, and that was for a horrible place. L.A. does not have good housing at that price.

Q Have you had what is known in the league as a "Welcome to the NFL" moment?

Yes, I did. Last week I was all high on my boat because I've been playing so well, and [Bears defensive end] Julius Peppers, on a running play -- which is even more embarrassing -- went inside. So I stepped in to recover, and he stepped outside, and I got into a bad position, and he bumped me and I went down on my butt. First time I've ever been put on my butt in my life. I'm just sitting there feeling like I'm naked, where everybody could see me.

Q Toughest guy you've blocked this year?

A Peppers. He's been playing for so long, 12 years now, and he's humongous. It says he's 290, but he's probably 300. He's humongous, strong, athletic, and he's got a number of different pass-rush moves. He's just the complete player.

I was looking forward to that game. My mindset was, 'This guy has played against every great tackle in the game. Who am I to him?' But I look forward to those kinds of challenges. My next big challenge will be looking forward to Clay.

Q Clay Matthews, the Packers star.

A He was hurt the first game we played, but I know he's going to be ready the next game.

Have you seen Leslie Frazier get angry yet?

I was late one time. He took me into his office, kind of a rookie learning moment, and talked to me. He fined me. I think that's this league. They don't get mad; they just fine you. It's not like college coaches, who call you in and give you a slap on the wrist. They just fine you $7,000. That's mtivating.

Q What should Peterson buy his offensive linemen if he breaks the NFL rushing record?

A Snowmobiles. I'm not all fancy. I don't need any watches. He can save the watches and buy me a $5,000 snowmobile instead of a Rolex.

Are there any similarities between playing guitar and playing football?

Same as the football field, it's being competitive. I always want to learn something, always want to get better. I'll research it, and look it up. I was even on YouTube, looking at songs. I haven't even taken lessons yet. I think once I get formal training, I'll get better.

Things I get into, I like to be the best at. I think in the next couple of years, once I start playing a lot, I'll be really good. You guys can come by and interview me later, and I'll show off a little with my fingers.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 71 4th Qtr 11:45
Utah 66
Denver 12 1st Qtr 6:20
LA Clippers 9
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 56 2nd Half 0:58
Alabama State 56
Prairie View 61 2nd Half 7:00
Ark-Pine Bluff 92
Texas 62 2nd Half 3:24
Iowa State 75
Texas Southern 69 2nd OT 5:00
Miss Valley St 69
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 2nd Half 2:33
Auburn 41
(15) Nebraska 61 1st OT
(20) Iowa 61
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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close