- Ben Goessling, ESPN Staff Writer
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Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
Josh Freeman's Monday evening conference call with Twin Cities reporters was nothing out of the ordinary; Freeman said how excited he was to be in Minnesota, remained diplomatic when asked about his relationship with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and sidestepped questions about the length of his contract and how soon he'd get into the Vikings' lineup. But according to the Minneapolis weekly magazine City Pages, Freeman might have had some help getting to those benign answers.
The magazine's Aaron Rupar went back and listened to the audio of the call, posted on the Vikings' website, and could hear someone whispering suggestions to Freeman on a handful of questions throughout the call. That someone, Rupar discerned, sounded an awful lot like Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.
Now, it's certainly nothing new for coaches, executives or PR people to steer a player's answers one way or the other -- PR representatives often huddle with players or coaches right before a news conference to brief them on what they might get asked about -- so Monday's instance doesn't break any new ground. It's mostly amusing to hear it happening in real time and recorded live.
Here are today's other Vikings stories of note:
We looked at the "windfall clause" in the Vikings' new stadium lease, and how it protects the state in the event the Wilf family would sell the team shortly after the facility opened.
Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton -- probably the greatest QB in Vikings history and writing for the St. Paul Pioneer Press -- thinks the team could have a circus on its hands with Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Freeman.
The Vikings might develop more of a downfield passing game with Freeman in the lineup, writes Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.