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News » Charley Walters: Tarvaris Jackson is the Minnesota Vikings' man for '09


Charley Walters: Tarvaris Jackson is the Minnesota Vikings' man for '09


Charley Walters: Tarvaris Jackson is the Minnesota Vikings' man for '09
Forget Matt Cassel, Donovan Mc-Nabb, Tim Tebow and other possibilities. The Vikings have settled on their quarterback for the future.


A little birdie says Tarvaris Jackson, who will start his first playoff game Sunday against the Eagles at the Metrodome, also will be the Vikings' starting QB when training camp opens in 2009.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, who invested nearly $60 million in guaranteed player contracts to improve his team this season, indicated Monday he will continue to spend "if there's a player or players (the front office) feels we need," he said.

Wilf, by the way, said he had not invested with Bernard Madoff, the New York Ponzi schemer who allegedly bilked clients out of $50 billion.

Ex-Vikings coach Mike Tice, now a Jaguars assistant, is expected to be in the hunt for the Jets', Browns' and Lions' head coaching jobs, but especially the Jets.

Bryce McNeal, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Breck wide receiver with 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash, plans to decide Saturday among the Gophers, Clemson, Oregon and Colorado for college. McNeal, who decommitted from Michigan, said Monday he has no favorite, not even Minnesota.

McNeal is in San Antonio, Texas, for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl that will be televised at noon on NBC. He is the only Minnesotan in the game.

Also in San Antonio is former Cretin-Derham Hall top Football assistant Andy Bischoff, who has signed a two-year contract extension with the Montreal Alouettes. Montreal recently lost to Calgary in the Canadian Football League Grey Cup championship game. Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman of St. Louis Park has three years remaining on his deal. Bishoff is director of Football operations for the West team in the U.S. Army game.

Former Gophers Football coach Glen Mason is in Los Angeles for the Big Ten Network's coverage of the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl that will begin airing today.

Condolences to Tim Laudner and family on the death of his father, Pete, a former pitcher who died at age 76 from complications of a stroke and pneumonia.

"One of the first times we ever played catch, my dad threw me a knuckleball that hit me in the mouth, and I wanted to quit," the former Twins World Series catcher said Monday. "My father's responsible for teaching me perseverance."

The Gophers' Football strength of schedule ranked 77th among 120 Division I teams this season, according to cbssports.com . Kansas, which Minnesota plays Wednesday in the Insight Bowl, had the ninth-toughest schedule.

Wonder why so many women's college basketball recruiters spend so much time in Minnesota? The Wisconsin team that played host to the Gophers on Monday is led by Cretin-Derham Hall grad Alyssa Karel, a 5-7 sophomore guard who averages 13.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.

The Penn State team the Gophers host on Thursday has 6-3 sophomore Janessa Wolff, who is from Park Rapids and leads the Lions in rebounds (77) and field-goal percentage (.520).

And the Illinois team that hosts the Gophers on Saturday is led by 6-3 junior Jenna Smith of Bloomington Kennedy. Smith is averaging 18.5 points (third in the Big Ten), and is third in blocked shots (25) and eighth in rebounding (7.8 average).

And, New Mexico junior Amy Beggin, a Roseville grad, has been selected Mountain West Conference women's basketball player of the week twice already this season.

Robert Meisterling, 61, the noted Stillwater orthopedist who for 30 years kept premier athletes competing through knee and assorted other surgeries, is retiring.

New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter says in the most recent Sports Illustrated that the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, who played for Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, and the Devils' Zach Parise, son of ex-North Star J.P. Parise and another Shattuck-St. Mary's alum, are the hardest-working players he's coached.

Fastest player at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Ottawa is Eden Prairie's Danny Kristo.

The Minnesota Swarm, which the team reports had average attendance of 11,400 last season and begins this season Jan. 3 at Portland, is picked to win the Western Conference title and play for the National Lacrosse League championship by Inside Lacrosse Magazine.

DON'T PRINT THAT

Though his Vikings are in the playoffs for the first time in four years, owner Zygi Wilf steered clear when asked if he felt the team's success would be a positive in the quest for a new stadium.

Wilf was ebullient Monday over Sunday's victory and still wearing his division title cap.

It's unclear how the price increase for tickets will sell for Sunday's Vikings-Eagles playoff game at the Metrodome, but for the regular-season finale against the Giants, tickets outside the Dome were tough to find. On-street brokers were getting $50 just to get in the door, and $100 to $200 for lower-level tickets.

A sellout this Sunday could be difficult, though.

The best bid on an Internet ticket service for $800 seats for Monday's Timberwolves-Memphis game at Target Center was $65.

Crazy trade rumor: Rashad McCants and Sebastian Telfair of the Timberwolves to the Knicks for former Wolf Stephon Marbury.

OVERHEARD

Vikings coach Brad Childress, asked Monday if he celebrated Sunday's playoff-clinching victory over the Giants: "I did have a little of the grape last night."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 30, 2008

Brodrick Bunkley Name: Brodrick Bunkley
#97
Position: DT
Age: 24
Experience: 3 years
College: Florida State
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