An interesting assignment
Friday, January 19th, 2007
by Judd Zulgad

Vikings safety Darren Sharper will serve as a correspondent for the NFL Network this weekend, covering the Bears-Saints matchup in the NFC title game. This means Sharper could end up interviewing Bears quarterback Rex Grossman. That would be interesting considering the harsh words Sharper had for Grossman a couple months back.

Sharper, you might recall, was upset by the trash talking Grossman did at the end of the Bears’ victory over the Vikings in late September at the Metrodome. Grossman’s dreadful performance in the Bears’ ugly win over Minnesota in December — he had a 1.3 rating — led to more criticism from Sharper.

But Sharper said it won’t be an issue if he has to talk to Grossman. “We had a little thing going with how he said some things after that first game,” Sharper said. “I’m more interested now in seeing how he plays on the big stage. I don’t think I’d have a problem with going up to him and interviewing him. We both have respect for one another.”

Sharper has enjoyed his role as a correspondent but said his long-term goal is to become a game analyst. He expects to work a few NFL Europe games this spring. “This is kind of practice for me because I want to get good,” Sharper said. “The more things I can do with broadcasting the better.”

Although he has been busy traveling, Sharper also has been keeping an eye on what is happening with Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin. Tomlin is one of three finalists for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coaching job.

“I wish him good luck but I’m also a little selfish and hope he stays on board because of how he was able to help us,” Sharper said.