Interview with Sean Salisbury
by Wally Langfellow
Sean Salisbury, former Viking now with ESPN
Former Vikings quarterback Sean Salisbury (1990-94) is now a regular part of ESPN's NFL coverage and co-hosts on ESPN Radio with Dan Patrick. Salisbury uses those platforms to voice his many opinions. We caught up with Salisbury to talk about the state of his former team.
WL: Are you surprised by the struggles that the Vikings have gone through this year?
SS: Not at all. I didn't expect them to be very good at all this year.
WL: What do you think about Mike Tice?
SS: He's got everything it takes to be a good football coach. He understands players. He understands offense. He's learned behind two of what I consider the best (Green and Billick). But you have to have players. The Vikings have players at certain positions, but they've got a lot of depth problems and a lot of postions they need to fill. You have to have the nucleus of 12, 15, 18, 20 good players, and the Vikings just don't have that.
WL: What did you like and dislike about the Dennis Green regime?
SS: The only thing I didn't like was that I didn't start every single game (laughing). There's nothing I didn't like. I thought he was fair. I've never been around a coach who could take the adversity that Denny or the football team was going through off the field. No matter what was going on around you, Denny knew how to get you ready to play. To me if I'm a general manager, Denny Green would not be broadcasting any more past this year. Let 'em fish for one year, then I'd hire him.
WL: You don't see him not coming back to the NFL?
SS: Heck no.If he doesn't get hired it'll be because he doesn't want to do it. I can't fathom that there's not going to be four or five jobs. If you're a team that fires a coach, other than getting Bill Parcells or Bill Walsh, and neither one of them are coming back right now, why wouldn't you go get Denny?
WL: You've been outspoken about the Terrell Owens Sharpie in the shoe incident, do you see Randy Moss in the same light?
SS: Aside from the fact that they're probably the two most gifted receivers we have in the league, there's no more gifted reciever that's ever walked on a football field than Randy Moss. Terrell Owens may be the best right now because he works the middle of the field. But I have never seen, covered, played with, or watched a guy that has the combination of athleticism as Randy Moss. And I mean this as a compliment, but I'm not so sure that he knows how to run routes just yet. I really don't.But he's so gifted, that his whole life he could line up and whip you without really having to whip you with preciseness.
WL: Why have the Vikings struggled to get the ball to Moss like they had in the past?
SS: Part of it is that Randy has got to play 75 snaps a game and want to takeover. And in talking to Mike Tice, Randy has never been better as far as practicing and wanting to win. But if I'm a defensive coordinator, there's no way I'd ever let that guy be in man to man coverage, 'cause there's not a player in the league that can stay on him man to man when Randy wants to beat you. Period.