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Continued: Hartman: Vikings' Sullivan feels confident

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 25, 2013 - 12:20 AM

In the book Grant says he wanted to be paid $1 less than the highest-paid coach in the NFL at the time. Grant told McCombs, “I was a head coach for 28 years and we won many championships and went to four Super Bowls, so that’s my counteroffer.”

But McCombs and the Vikings simply couldn’t pay Grant that much money.

The truth is that Grant also turned down the opportunity to be the first Vikings coach when he was working in the Canadian Football League for Winnipeg and also received a formal offer to coach the Lions, which he turned down.

Kill sees players make big jump

Gophers football coach Jerry Kill was asked which players have really improved their standings on the depth chart going into the season opener against UNLV on Thursday.

“Off the top of my head, we’ve had a lot of guys,” Kill said. “Roland Johnson [defensive lineman] has played really well. He is coming off that knee surgery and he really dominated at the line of scrimmage, I thought. [Thieren] Cockran [defensive end] has stood out in camp and has really rose up to the top of the depth chart.

“The two junior college linebackers … I mean, you walk out on the practice field and Damien Wilson and De’Vondre Campbell — it’s easy to spot those guys. We’ve had a lot of guys get better. Marcus Jones is playing in the secondary... and showed the speed he had when he first got here. He’ll be a big influence on special teams.”

SID’s JOTTINGS
• For a while during the Twins season, the rumors were strong that Ron Gardenhire would not be back with the Twins. But if you are a betting man now, make a bet that Gardenhire will be back again next season, likely with a one-year contract and some type of option.

• Mark Dienhart was the senior vice president
at St. Thomas for the past five years, and has been at the university in various major roles since 2001. In his time the Tommies became a power in almost every sport because of his ability to hire the right coaches and make sure programs were run the right way. But now he has left that position to run the Schultz Family Foundation, so the future of St. Thomas athletics should be interesting.

• The Timberwolves have 14 players under contract now and have a 15th spot for another player. “We’re going to probably bring guys in at training camp and let those guys really kind of fight it out for that last spot,” said Flip Saunders, team president. “[Robbie] Hummell is going to be one of those guys that we plan on coming in, [Lorenzo] Brown is going to come in, too, that one last spot, unless there’s some potential trade that happens.”

• Yes, the big three of Tyus Jones of Apple Valley, Rashad Vaughn of Findlay Prep in Las Vegas and formerly of Cooper, and Reid Travis of DeLaSalle have been getting the big write-ups of the 2014 class of recruits. But J.P. Macura of Lakeville North has been offered scholarships by Auburn, St. Louis, Butler, Texas Tech, Xavier, Kansas State, Purdue and Minnesota. Incidentally, Travis, an outstanding quarterback, is giving up football because of a leg injury.

• One of the most recruited football players in the
state is Frank Ragnow of Chanhassen. He has either visited to plans to visit Arkansas, Florida State and Nebraska.

 

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  • Center John Sullivan is the one who starts things for the Vikings offense, and he’s feeling good about the team’s starting point this season because he is healthy and his offensive linemates are all back from last season.

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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 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
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Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
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Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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