StarTribune.com

June 2007


Hosack joins Saints

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Former Gophers receiver Aaron Hosack, who went to training camp with the Vikings last year, has signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

The 6-5, 229-pound Hosack was a member of Frankfurt in NFL Europa this season. He had nine receptions for 289 yards and four touchdowns for the Galaxy, which finished as the runner-up in the World Bowl.

Hosack spent the 2006 NFL Europa season with Frankfurt, making 36 catches for 473 yards with four touchdowns. He was a two-year letterman with the Gophers, finishing with 1,463 receiving yards and 11 touchdown catches.

That’s it

Friday, June 29th, 2007

It’s official, the Associated Press reports NFL Europa has been folded. The league began in 1991. According to reports, NFL Europa was losing about $30 million a season.

Vikings get new training camp sponsor

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

With Midwest Wireless having been purchased by Alltel Wireless, the Vikings training camp now will be sponsored by Alltel. What does that mean to you? Not much. But in the world of corporate dollars and sports, the Vikings certainly are pretty happy about this.

During a news conference Thursday in Mankato, Alltel did reveal some special fan opportunities that will be available at camp. In particular, fans visiting Alltel’s Freedom rig on July 28th will have the opportunity to register for the ultimate fan experience. The “instant winner’s circle” will reward 50 lucky participants with two tickets to Alltel’s VIP tent, sideline passes, and a tailgate party.

On a football-related note, former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper will have his grievance hearing on Friday. Culpepper is trying to get out of Miami.

Peterson to be featured

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Vikings first-round running back Adrian Peterson will be featured next week in a five-part series on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and “NFL Live.” The segment on Peterson, which will air Wednesday on “SportsCenter” and Thursday on “NFL Live,” will show him on his trip home to Palestine, Texas, when the town held a parade in his honor.

Others to be featured include Miami defensive end Jason Taylor, Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia, San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman and Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney.

Am I missing something?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

I realize that turning things around in a single season in the NFL these days is very possible and that a team can go from very bad to contender in a short time. But that being said it’s still surprising that Detroit Lions players are so confident that all of a sudden they are going to be very good.

First, it was quarterback Jon Kitna saying the Lions would win more than 10 games in 2007. Now, wide receiver Mike Furrey has said the Lions should win 10 to 12 games — easily! Huh?

The Lions were 3-13 in 2006. As this blog points out they are 24-72 since Matt Millen became team president in 2001. So why don’t these guys all calm down a bit and just say they think they won’t play like, well, the Lions in 2007. An 8-8 season for these guys would be progress.

Take a look at the Lions schedule and see if you can find 10 victories on it.

By the way, keep reading the blog entry from the Detroit Free Press. It has an interesting item about receiver Kevin Curtis, whom the Vikings really wanted to sign in free agency.

Curtis makes it clear that he fired agent Tom Condon because he felt pressure to sign with the Vikings. Curtis, who also was pursued by the Lions, ended up agreeing to a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I just felt as if I was kind of put in a corner with my first visit,” Curtis told the Free Press. “I felt like I was being rushed into a decision, where to me it wasn’t about trying to find the quickest deal to make the most money. It was about the right fit for me.”

No more NFL Europa updates?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Apparently our Monday morning NFL Europa updates will be a thing of the past in 2008. According to Yahoo! Sports, the NFL is expected to cease operations of NFL Europa after 17 years because of increasing costs associated with running the league. The folks at profootballtalk.com had this story last week and had another good reason for why NFL Europa is about to be retired.

In the old days, NFL teams liked to send some of its players to the developmental league because it enabled them to get valuable experience. But with minicamps and organized team activities being so important now — much of the installation is done during this time period — being away from your team actually hurts more than it helps.

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