The year was 1992. Dennis Green was in his first season as Vikings head coach. He had a starting quarterback named Rich Gannon, a scrambler previous coach Jerry Burns loved. He had a backup named Sean Salisbury, a player who didn't meet a microphone he didn't like and seemed destined to be a broadcaster when his career was over. On the practice squad, he had a rookie QB named Brad Johnson, who Green hoped in time could develop in his system as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Flash forward 11 years. Gannon, whom Green had little time for and traded to Washington, is now the league's MVP and one win away from his first Super Bowl. Johnson, who was also traded by Green to Washington, is Tampa's starter and also one game away from his first Super Bowl.
Are the Vikings becoming the QB training ground for the NFL? Jay Fiedler has blossomed in Miami and many thought the Dolphins had a shot at the Super Bowl. Maybe with this track record, teams may be more interested in Todd Bouman, because there's a good chance both starting QBs in the Super Bowl can claim they were teammates on the Vikings.
* Aside from Gannon and Johnson, Bucs center Jeff Christy and Raiders backup OL Brad Badger and both looking for their first Super Bowl appearance.
* Former Viking Jack Del Rio will be announced today as the new head coach of the Jaguars.
* The Vikings are expected to hire Rusty Tillman as their new special teams coach as early as today. Tillman was the coach in Seattle during the entire career of Vikings head coach Mike Tice.
* In a somewhat surprising move, following the trades of numerous No. 1 draft picks for coaches Bill Parcells and Gruden, the NFL announced Thursday that it has banned the trading of draft picks for a coach.