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Continued: Hartman: Parcells thrilled by Vikings' choice of Zimmer

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 17, 2014 - 12:31 AM

Timberwolves President Flip Saunders was asked Sunday how his team can turn around their 0-10 record in games decided by four points or less. That record fell to 0-11 following their three-point loss to the lowly Kings at home Wednesday.

“To win close games down the stretch you have to shoot free throws, you have to not turn the ball over, you have to make multiple defensive stops, and unfortunately for us in a lot of those games, three of those things we haven’t been able to do at times,” he said. “It’s part of a growing-up process for some of our players, some of our young players.

“But I think the biggest thing where we can make our biggest improvement is going to be at the defensive end, and when we defend and don’t turn the ball over, we’re a pretty good team. And when we don’t defend and we turn the ball over, we’re not a very good team.”

O’Brien moves up

Dan O’Brien was director of football operations for the Gophers, but he was recently promoted to senior associate athletic director overseeing the football program and athletic facilities. That means O’Brien has replaced David Benedict, who was in charge of football but left for Auburn.

This is a move coach Jerry Kill wanted so that only athletic director Norwood Teague is involved in final big decisions on football. Adam Clark will do a lot of things O’Brien did in his previous position.

As for O’Brien, he is so good at what he does. He is Kill’s right-hand man, and a good one.


• One of the hot rumors in downtown Minneapolis is that the Pohlad family, which just spent some $40 million in remodeling the old Ford Center, might build a skyway from Target Field to the Ford Center and make part of the building into a museum. And the word is the Pohlads have some big plans for the Shapco Printing building in the area that they recently purchased.

• Former Gophers receiver Eric Decker is taking on a different role for the Broncos in the postseason, as he is now the team’s punt returner after handling only one punt during the regular season. Decker had three punt returns in the Broncos’ 24-17 victory over San Diego on Sunday, including a 47-yard return. Decker told the Denver Post this week, “I feel like it’s a strength of my game — to help out as much as possible with the ball in my hands. … The more chances I get, the more opportunities I get. I love it.”

• With Jim Caldwell being hired as Detroit Lions coach, the Baltimore Ravens need an offensive coordinator. A number of reports coming out of Baltimore, including the Ravens’ own website, say that former Vikings coach Brad Childress is a candidate. Childress spent this season with the Kansas City Chiefs as a spread game analyst.

• In addition to Gophers safety Brock Vereen playing in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game, the all-star football game in St. Petersburg, Fla., will also feature North Dakota State cornerback Marcus Williams of Hopkins High School and Wisconsin defensive lineman Beau Allen of Minnetonka.


Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. •

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Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
Miami 7
Toronto 55 3rd Qtr
Philadelphia 49
Golden State 43 2nd Qtr 5:20
Brooklyn 49
Phoenix 26 2nd Qtr 9:51
Miami 29
LA Clippers 15 1st Qtr 6:09
Minnesota 10
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Nashville 0 2nd Prd 11:02
NY Rangers 2
Carolina 7:30 PM
Montreal 9:00 PM
San Jose
Virginia 40 2nd Half 13:23
Syracuse 29
Baylor 35 2nd Half 13:25
Texas 34
SE Louisiana 31 2nd Half
Northwestern St 44
Central Arkansas 21 1st Half 1:24
Sam Houston St 33
Norfolk State 6 1st Half 16:24
Howard 2
Bethune-Cookman 17 1st Half 7:26
NC A&T 23
Hampton 8 1st Half 15:27
Delaware State 8
Lamar 13 1st Half 15:31
McNeese State 9
Nicholls 11 1st Half 14:45
New Orleans 4
Incarnate Word 6 1st Half 12:49
Stephen F Austin 10
Prairie View 7:30 PM
Alabama State
NC Central 7:30 PM
Savannah State
Texas Southern 7:55 PM
Alabama A&M
Jackson State 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Grambling St 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Boston College 8:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 81 2nd Half 2:32
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 28 2nd Half 4:44
Alabama State 56
Jackson State 48 2nd Half 11:58
Ark-Pine Bluff 54
Grambling 48 2nd Half 3:00
Miss Valley St 58
Tulsa 51 2nd Half 10:33
Cincinnati 43
(1) Connecticut 68 2nd Half 13:40
South Florida 43
UCF 39 2nd Half 12:19
East Carolina 50
Central Conn St 34 2nd Half 13:17
Bryant 35
Wagner 37 2nd Half 13:01
Robert Morris 46
Sacred Heart 56 2nd Half 11:00
Fairleigh Dickinson 63
St Francis-NY 62 2nd Half 6:00
Long Island 39
Mount St Marys 56 2nd Half 15:37
St Francis-PA 55
Temple 7 1st Half 12:49
Houston 6
Texas Tech 1 1st Half 14:50
(6) Baylor 10
Iowa State 5 1st Half 14:50
Kansas 9
SMU 9 1st Half 12:12
Memphis 9
Oklahoma 2 1st Half 14:30
Oklahoma St 6
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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 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




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