Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL—Former Minnesota Vikings coach Les Steckel was on a Colorado ski vacation with his family on Thursday night when he flipped on the television to watch the premier of ESPN's 30 for 30 film "The Two Bills." Early in the film, a picture of Steckel flashed on the screen. He did a double take.
MINNEAPOLIS — So much for dinner. Interrupted by a phone call, Jon Gruden was asked about the famous "Tuck Rule" playoff game in January 2002 in which New England quarterback Tom Brady's lost fumble was overturned on replay and the Patriots came back to beat Oakland in overtime. Gruden was the Raiders coach that season, and last month he returned for a second stint with the team. "I was just going to eat dinner with my coaches and I hate that you spoiled dinner for me by bringing that up," Gruden said.
A decision on whether Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's contract will be tolled could come down to a fight between the NFL and the players association.
ST. PAUL—As receiver Kenny Britt watched New England quarterback Tom Brady over the years, he formed an interesting impression. "I thought he was a robot watching him on TV," Britt said Monday, Jan. 29, during Super Bowl media night at the Xcel Energy Center. Then last month the Patriots picked up the nine-year NFL veteran after he was waived by the Cleveland Browns. So what does Britt think about Brady now that he's seen him up close for a month?
MINNEAPOLIS—If the Minnesota Vikings try to toll Teddy Bridgewater's contract to next season, they would be in for a fight. A source said there are those with the NFL players association who believe it is "highly, highly doubtful" the Vikings could be successful with any such move. If the Vikings did attempt to toll the quarterback's $1.354 million contract to 2018, a grievance almost certainly would be filed.
Each day Doug Williams reports to work, he is reminded of the greatest game of his life. Williams is senior vice president of player personnel for the Washington Redskins, but he's best known for being MVP of Super Bowl XXII 30 years ago. The day the quarterback threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns in Washington's 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos is celebrated at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va.
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson wants to be an NFL head coach, but knows he must pay his dues. Jackson said he is finalizing paperwork to be a graduate assistant with an emphasis on quarterbacks at Alabama State, his alma mater. Jackson last played in the NFL in 2015, and spent the past two seasons as a high school assistant.
MINNEAPOLIS — When Tarvaris Jackson heard Wednesday, Jan. 24, that Darrell Bevell has a shot to again be Vikings offensive coordinator, he was giddy. Jackson played quarterback for Bevell when he was Minnesota's coordinator from 2006-10 and later for him in four seasons with Seattle. CBS Sports reported that Bevell will interview Friday, Jan. 26, for the job that came open when Pat Shurmur was hired Monday as coach of the New York Giants. "I'm really excited,'' Jackson said. "I think he'd be a great hire. He does a great job of calling the offense.''
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings center Pat Elfein will have surgery on the left ankle he injured Sunday, Jan. 21, at Philadelphia in the NFC championship game. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer declined to give any details except to say that Elflein is bound for surgery. A source said the rookie suffered a fractured left ankle and that the procedure is expected to be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson next Monday in Green Bay, Wis. Before surgery is performed, the source said swelling needs to go down. If all goes well, the hope is Elflein will be ready for spring drills.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings finished first in scoring and total defense during the regular season, but that didn't mean much in the playoffs. After allowing an average of 15.8 points and 275.9 yards a game during the regular season, they gave up averages of 31 points and 407 yards in two postseason games. It got especially ugly in Sunday's 38-7 loss in the NFC championship game at Philadelphia. The Eagles' 38 points and 456 yards were season-highs for the Vikings' defense.