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Lunchbreak: 3 Current Vikings Among 'Best MN Athletes' to Wear Respective Jersey Numbers

Athletes are associated with their jersey numbers, and some have established a stronger legacy than others.

Chad Graff of The Athletic pointed out that "there are some numbers in Minnesota sports lore synonymous with a player," specifying Kevin Garnett in No. 21 and Kirby Puckett in No. 34. And this writer would also opine Randy Moss in No. 84.

The Athletic decided to delve into every jersey number, 0-99, to determine which Minnesota athlete was the best to wear said number. Graff said that "some were more difficult to determine than others, and some have seldom been worn in Minnesota history."

As one might assume, the higher numbers were mostly Vikings, although not all. Graff also had to make a few tough calls, such as leaving off Kevin Williams (93) in lieu of Hall of Famer John Randle.

A trio of current Vikings – Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Danielle Hunter – made Graff's list. Below is the full group of Vikings with some of Graff's accompanying thoughts.

10. Fran Tarkenton

No surprise, but No. 10 produced more options than any other number. Still, Tarkenton, a revolutionary at quarterback, gets the spot, beating out a stacked list of entrants that included John Mariucci, Tom Kelly, Marian Gaborik, Miguel Ibarra, Wally Szczerbiak and Jonny Flynn (sorry, I couldn't resist).

19. Adam Thielen

22. Paul Krause

There have been quite a few talented players in Minnesota to wear this number. But the Pro Football Hall of Famer and Vikings 12-year safety, who notched 53 interceptions in that time, beat out Hannah Brandt, Laurence Maroney, Tony Sanneh and Harrison Smith for the honor.

26. Robert Smith

28. Adrian Peterson

30. Bill Brown

47. Joey Browner

50. Jeff Siemon

51. Jim Hough

53. Mick Tingelhoff

The undrafted Vikings center won an NFL championship with the Vikings and was first-team All-Pro five times and an eventual Hall of Famer, helping earn this spot over Gophers men's basketball star Dick Garmaker.

55. Scott Studwell

56. Chris Doleman

58. Wally Hilgenberg

59. Matt Blair

60. Roy Winston

61. Wes Hamilton

62. Ed White

63. Kirk Lowdermilk

64. Randall McDaniel

Sorry, Mikael Granlund and Willians Astudillo, but this was an easy call for the Hall of Fame guard.

65. Gary Zimmerman

66. Terry Tausch

67. Grady Alderman

68. Charles Goodrum

69. Jared Allen

70. Jim Marshall

71. David Dixon

73. Ron Yary

74. Bryant McKinnie

75. Keith Millard

76. Steve Hutchinson

77. Korey Stringer

79. Doug Martin

80. Cris Carter

81. Carl Eller

82. Kyle Rudolph

83. Steve Jordan

84. Randy Moss

Arguably the most electrifying player of his generation, Moss made the Vikings must-watch TV as a rookie in 1998. He spent his first seven seasons with the franchise that took a chance on him in the first round of the draft when others wouldn't.

85. Sammy White

86. Jake Reed

89. Jerry Reichow

90. Derrick Alexander

91. Ray Edwards

92. Roy Barker

93. John Randle

94. Pat Williams

95. Kenechi Udeze

97. Everson Griffen

98. Linval Joseph

99. Danielle Hunter

Who knows where Hunter will stand in the Vikings record books by the end of his career. But already, the 25-year-old rounds out this list after becoming the [youngest] player in NFL history to reach 50 sacks.

View photos of fans who traveled to Vikings road games during the 2019 season.

Coller: 'Gary Kubiak Can Keep it All Together'

After one season as Minnesota's assistant head coach/offensive advisor, Gary Kubiak has stepped into the role of offensive coordinator for the Vikings.

Matthew Coller of SKOR North took a look at Kubiak’s résumé and reputation to explain why he believes the longtime coach can "keep it all together" for Minnesota's offense. He highlighted Kubiak's rapport with players, his laid-back personality and the offensive scheme that he runs.

Coller spoke to former quarterbacks who have played under Kubiak, including Steve Beuerlein, Sage Rosenfels and Gus Frerotte, to get their take on Kubiak's professionalism and experience.

"His best salesmanship is his authenticity and steadfast realness," Rosenfels told Coller. "He doesn't blow smoke, he doesn't lie to guys, he is extremely fair. He talks about when you are in the pros to act like a pro and when you come to a situation, whether it's out at night or in the weight room, it's, 'what would a pro do? What would a professional athlete do who's truly dedicated to his craft?' "

And Frerotte, who played for Kubiak's Broncos in 2000 and 2001, said that Kubiak has a "leg up" in instructing quarterbacks because he played the position himself.

Kubiak's calm demeanor also works to his advantage, as Beuerlein explained:

"Gary's not going to blow a gasket and jump on your butt and say, 'What the hell are you doing?' He's going to come over and say, 'What did you see?' …To have him understand and see it from your perspective was huge."

Coller wrote:

There will be times in 2020 in which Kubiak's nature is necessary. […] The Vikings could very well have a new No. 2 receiver in free agent Tajae Sharpe or they could select a top receiver in the draft. Either way, teachable moments will be required. They will also be relying heavily on '19 rookies Garrett Bradbury and Irv Smith to take significant steps forward.

"The people-business aspect of the NFL is understated, and I think it's one of the reasons everyone likes Gary Kubiak," Rosenfels told Coller. "You just can't find somebody who doesn't like him, and a lot of times those guys have success, but they also coach for a long, long time and their teams consistently do well because he's a guy that you want to play for."

Hutchinson announces HOF presenter

Former Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year and recently announced his presenter: Rob Tobeck. The former center played alongside Hutchinson in Seattle from 2001-05.

Hutchinson said he made the decision a few years before even finding out he'd be in the Hall.

"I told Robbie, 'If I get in, you're gonna do it.' He was always the guy who was 'too small' or 'not strong enough,' and his career was the definition of perseverance," Hutchinson said. "He just showed up to work every day and played."

Added Hutchinson: "The way he approached his job and the way he did it every day was just an example to everybody."