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  1. #1
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    Vikings state case for continuity

    Posted on Sun, Dec. 18, 2005

    [size=18px]Vikings state case for continuity[/size]

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press


    Question the Vikings' opponents in the midst of their six-game win streak.

    Question their offense, their coach and even their long-term chances of landing a coveted stadium.

    But there are indisputable facts emerging at Winter Park that build a strong case for continuity.

    The entire coaching staff, player personnel and football administration staff — upwards of 34 employees — all have contracts that expire after this season, including Rob Brzezinski, the team's vice president of football operations.

    Overall, the Vikings assorted departments are respected among their NFL peers. Opposing journalists appreciate the accessibility provided by coach Mike Tice and public relations director Bob Hagan; Steve LaCroix's sales and marketing departments were always praised by demanding former owner Red McCombs; Phil Huebner's tickets and suites are always sold; and Breck Spinner's operations department is frequently heralded by Tice.
    All of them, however, do not sign contracts, and ultimately the ones who do play the most critical part in the team's on-field success.

    Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday that there will be "no major overhaul" next offseason, adding that he'll only supplement his staff. But the question is to what degree he maintains continuity at Winter Park.

    In NFL front offices, where there's never a shortage of egos, Wilf must be mindful of the chemistry among his key decision-makers. While the current team headed by Tice, Brzezinski and college scouting director Scott Studwell has endured their ups and downs, the results are hard to question. Especially when compared to NFL teams such as the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans, where dysfunction annually reigns.
    The Vikings' salary cap is healthy.

    They will be about $22 million under the projected 2006 salary cap of $92 million to $95 million, and Wilf has given the preliminary green light to spend as necessary to recruit veterans in free agency.

    The Vikings' roster is loaded.

    Key players such as cornerbacks Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield, safety Darren Sharper, defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper and Brad Johnson, left tackle Bryant McKinnie and receivers Marcus Robinson and Travis Taylor are under contract through next season.

    The Vikings' draft picks have been sound, most notably Kevin Williams (all-pro), receiver Nate Burleson (1,006 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season), and young starters such as defensive ends Darrion Scott and Erasmus James and right tackle Marcus Johnson.

    Even the Vikings' late-round picks and undrafted college free agents are making meaningful contributions, including cornerback Dovonte Edwards, linebacker Heath Farwell, defensive tackle C.J. Mosley and defensive end Spencer Johnson.

    And while his roster is among the youngest in the NFL, Tice said he trusted this team more than any other, noting that he can count on them to have efficient practices without pads.

    "I've had teams that, if I took the pads off, I got a bad day of work," Tice said.

    Early indications are that Wilf will not be shy about investing in his coaching staff, and ensuring that they no longer are the lowest-paid in the NFL. While this staff has done an admirable job, the Vikings clearly need more experienced coaches, which comes with a sizable price tag.

    Had he owned the team earlier, Wilf certainly wouldn't have pushed Tice to promote from within to fill his offensive coordinator vacancy.

    Wilf hasn't given Tice the same vote of confidence that he has given Brzezinski, and Wilf also has indicated that he would like to add a personnel executive to the fold. Regardless of who he adds, Wilf must be wary of adversely impacting the chemistry of the staff.

    Bucking the trend, the Vikings have thrived with a front office by committee approach, without an omnipotent decision-maker. Though Wilf would be wise to outline the chain of command, he would also be remiss if he added someone with the wrong type of personality.

    There's no question about that.

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings state case for continuity

    ...Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday that there will be "no major overhaul" next offseason, adding that he'll only supplement his staff.
    There is only so much supplementing that he will put up with in the long run. If you have to continue to hire consultants, which are costly to say the least, to do the job of someone that you hired....then the consultants or someone else will eventually have the job.

    The Vikings' salary cap is healthy.
    I have been impressed with their salary cap management, what I know of it anyway. Redneck, although not related to the salary cap, was way too much of a tightwad regarding hiring the best coach available.

    Early indications are that Wilf will not be shy about investing in his coaching staff, and ensuring that they no longer are the lowest-paid in the NFL. While this staff has done an admirable job, the Vikings clearly need more experienced coaches, which comes with a sizable price tag.
    I am excited about this, there was no chance of this happening with Redneck at the helm.

    Had he owned the team earlier, Wilf certainly wouldn't have pushed Tice to promote from within to fill his offensive coordinator vacancy.
    That's what happens when you demand excellence. The best organizations typically hire the best available people with a nationally (minimally) or internationally competitive job announcement. Sometimes the 'within' person is the best. Redneck did it purley to save coin, not to hire the best.

    Wilf hasn't given Tice the same vote of confidence that he has given Brzezinski, and Wilf also has indicated that he would like to add a personnel executive to the fold. Regardless of who he adds, Wilf must be wary of adversely impacting the chemistry of the staff.
    As any good leader would do....

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Vikings state case for continuity

    good stuff..

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