Don’t include new Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin among the critics of the Metrodome. “I’ve always, even when I was down in Tampa, loved playing indoors,” he said. “Schematically you always want a fast surface. This defense is built for speed, so you look forward to playing on a fast surface. “
Vikings safety Darren Sharper leads the NFL in interceptions since the 2000 season with 40. Last season his nine was one short of the Vikings’ single season mark of 10 set by Paul Krause in 1975.
Jake Mauer talking about his trip to baseball’s All-Star game last month and how grandson Joe provided first class travel accommodations including limousine service and police escort: “I never knew about ‘red carpet’ treatment before, but I do now and I like it.”
Sporting News’ Big Ten football preview magazine is more candid than the usual publications. Among the features are quotes from an anonymous scout or conference coach. Here are excerpts on the Gophers: “I think Mason (Glen) is a good coach. He’s a hard-nosed guy. That’s a hard-nosed team. … They are kind of like Northwestern on defense. They won’t ever have the horses.”
The Gophers’ offensive line is being rebuilt with changes that include replacing all-Americans Greg Eslinger and Mark Setterstrom, and Tony Brinkhaus moving from tackle to center to replace Outland Trophy winner Eslinger. Still, Brinkhaus expressed optimism about the line earlier this month. “We think once we get that cohesiveness as a line we’re going to be one of the best in the Big Ten (Conference),” he said.
Former Gopher coach Jim Dutcher, who became an outstanding TV basketball analyst, will receive the Minnesota Magic Basketball Club’s Lifetime Service Award at Golden Valley Country Club on October 26. Television partner Dick Bremer will emcee.