• If you want my guess for the new Twins manager, look no further than bench coach Derek Shelton, who worked with Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey in Cleveland from 2007 to 2009. Shelton wasn’t Paul Molitor’s pick to be bench coach, but Falvey brought him here.
• Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes talked about shadowing Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey, who caught five receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game: “It’s nothing new. It’s not like the first couple of years when it was a surprise. Now you know I look forward to shadowing, but then again if the coaches change it this week, then I’m not going to shadow.”
• Vikings defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said the team’s defensive mistakes are smaller than you would expect: “Missed step here and coverage gets beat, coverage block, whatever it may be, didn’t wrap up and tackle, and it’s small things of that nature that make you great.” Richardson went against Wentz last year with Seattle and had two tackles and a forced fumble in a 24-10 victory.
• Pro Football Focus ranked the Vikings special teams unit No. 1 in the league last season. This year they are at No. 30, with this explanation: “A blocked punt for a touchdown, plus three missed field goals by fifth-round pick Daniel Carlson, basically cost them a win in Green Bay.” On the positive side, PFF wrote this about receiver Adam Thielen: “Through four games, no receiver in the league has logged more receptions as the result of being ‘open’ as Adam Thielen, who has 28 so far this year — eight more than the next closest receiver.”
• Could it be that Timberwolves coach and President of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau would rather keep Jimmy Butler and try during the season to talk him into signing here long-term? The word is that the Wolves are asking a lot for Butler in a trade, more than teams want to give.