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Back In The Day

Back In The Day: Bud Grant Shapes Vikings For 1974 Super Bowl

June 30, 2011 by Nick in Back In The Day
Houston, Tex. – His name is Bud Grant and he is the mother hen of the Minnesota Vikings.  He is a no nonsense guy and his icy-blue state and straight approach to questions tend to put the inter-viewer rather then the interviewee on the spot.

Like Thursday, the last day the Vikings’ headquarters was open to the press.  “Why will the Vikings win Sunday?” someone asked Grant.

“Because we’ll score more points,” Grant replied coldly.

Pressed to explain how the Minnesota coach simply added. “You’re the analyst, I’m the coach.”.  Next question

The Vikings have been listed as six point underdogs against the Miami Dolphins Sunday.  THey have been getting the short end of the stick as far as practice facilities are concerned.  They are determined to lo leave here as Super Bowl winners.

There are several things in the Vikings favor.

–  A cold front (well, cool) passed through the area Thursday, dropping the temperature form 75 to a more comfortable 60 degrees.  The Minnesota workouts became much sharper.
– News from the Miami camp listed a hamstring injury to Paul Warfield, the Dolphins’ star receiver.  Warfield caught 29 passes this season.  More important, Warfield scored on one of every three catches.
– The Vikings are in shape.  Guard Milt Sunde has a minor knee problem.  Grant said Sunday’s adrenaline will take care of Sunde’s injury.

Having been in the Super Bowl before, the Vikings are more relaxed.  They’ve learned how to handle all the distractions.  Well, almost all.

Grant didn’t like the cramped dressing room facilities at Delmar Stadium, a training site set up by the NFL for the Vikings.  SO on Wednesday the Vikings used another site (Tully Stadium) and spent half the afternoon riding buses.

They bussed to Delmar to dress (20 minutes), headed back to Tull (30 minutes), returned to Delmar to shower (30 minutes) and then trekked home to the Sheriton Inn Town and Country (another 20 minutes).

“I can’t take 1 1/2 hour bus ride every day.” Grant said Thursday.  He feels the less the Vikings have to complain about, the better things will be.

So they returned to Delmar Thursday, will work there again Friday and test Rice Stadium (Super Bowl Site) for the first time 9:30am.

Grant is fully aware of Warfield’s value to the Dolphins.  ” I think it would make a big difference if he doesn’t play,” he daid.  “But it would not be as big a blow to Miami as to a team that throws more.”

Grant is more concerned with the Vikings’ ability to stop Miami’s running attack with Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris … and to force turnovers.

As the Green Bay Packers sadly found out, the Vikings have made a living off other team’s mistakes.  “We try to force the other team into making mistakes”, grant explained.  “For example, fumbles usually are the result of a good defensive play… and sometimes a mistake.”

On the other side of the coin, Grant preaches perfect football to the offensive unit.  “He’ll labor the point about not getting caught holding.” said tackle Ron Yary, “Everyone’s going to get beat physically sometimes.  but the key to our success is not getting beat mentally.”

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