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Bud mellows: Legendary coach Grant prefers indoor games

MINNEAPOLIS — Legendary coach Bud Grant had his best seasons when the Vikings played outdoors at Metropolitan Stadium, but he actually would have preferred being indoors.

Sunday's high temperature in the Twin Cities is projected to be 15 degrees with a low of minus-7. But it will be warm indoors for the divisional playoff.

"If had a choice, I'd rather play indoors, of course,'' Grant said. "But we played outdoors. We practiced outdoors because we played outdoors, and we didn't have to worry about it. Other teams had to worry about it because we were here and we did it every day. But I don't think there was an advantage. Everybody is slipping on the field or if the field is hard, everybody suffers from that.''

Grant coached the Vikings from 1967-83 and in 1985. His teams played outdoors during his first 15 seasons and indoors at the Metrodome his last three.

The Vikings made their only four Super Bowl appearances while playing outdoors, but Grant said that was because they then had better teams. He believes playing outdoors can be somewhat of an equalizer for the lesser team.

"If we were a better team, we didn't want the elements,'' Grant said. "If you have a better team, you'd rather have better conditions.''

Johnson seeks sack

Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson didn't get to hit quarterback Drew Brees in practice when he played for the Saints from 2011-13. He'll get that chance Sunday.

"I want to get a hit, I want to get a sack, I want to get a win,'' Johnson said.

In two previous Minnesota games against New Orleans, Johnson has yet to sack Brees. In Week 1, he had a sack on Brees that was nullified by a roughing-the-passer call, which Johnson disputed.

"He's Drew Brees, so they want to call the flag on it," Johnson said.

Briefly

  • Xavier Rhodes wasn't surprised at recently being named first-team All-Pro at cornerback. What jumped out was also being named to the second team at defensive back. "I was surprised,'' he said. "I didn't know you could do that.'' Overall, Rhodes said, "I was pretty excited I was able to get those accolades.''
  • Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott expects to be ready for the start of spring drills after having surgery Monday to repair a labrum. McDermott, whose season ended because of a dislocated left shoulder suffered Dec. 23 at Green Bay, said the procedure will prevent his shoulder from popping out. He said his arm will be in a sling until mid-February but he will be able to do movement exercises.
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