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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Wilf explains structure for personnel decisions

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    [size=18px]Vikings | Wilf explains structure for personnel decisions[/size]

    Fri, 20 Jan 2006 18:59:21 -0800

    Kevin Seifert, of the Star Tribune, reports Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf explained how the Vikings will make personnel decisions this off-season.

    Head coach Brad Childress will have the biggest say during free agency and when composing the team's 53-man roster, but will need agreement from the personnel director, who has yet to be hired, and vice president of football operations, Rob Brzezinski.

    Due to time factors during the draft, the personnel director will be in charge of draft-day decisions. Wilf referred to the structure as a triangle with Childress at the top and Brzezinski and the personnel director as the other two corners. Wilf said of himself, "I'm in the middle, not touching any of the sides, and hopefully I don't have to interfere.

    As long as I'm informed about what's going on in that triangle, I don't have to interfere."

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

  2. #2
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Wilf explains structure for personnel decisions

    Sounds like a solid game plan to me, just get that wallet ready Ziggy......LOL

    And I bet he does.....


  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Wilf explains structure for personnel decisions

    Posted on Sun, Jan. 22, 2006

    [size=18px]Division of power[/size]

    Using his family business as the model, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has determined that the team's key decisions will be handled by a 'Triangle of Authority.

    Pioneer Press

    Vikings owner Zygi Wilf spoke with NFL luminaries such as New England owner Bob Kraft, Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in brainstorming his organizational structure over the past few months.

    The Patriots and Steelers are among the teams with omnipotent head coaches, while teams such as Carolina and Chicago empower an old-fashioned general manager.

    Ultimately, Wilf settled on a familiar setup. After re-signing vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski to a three-year contract extension and hiring Brad Childress as head coach, Wilf is interviewing candidates to become his director of player personnel, completing what is known as the "Triangle of Authority."

    That approach helped turn Wilf's real estate business into a multi-billion company, and he is optimistic it can turn the Vikings into Super Bowl champions.

    "It follows the guideline that we established in our family business, and that is to communicate and come to a consensus and not to have that much disagreement," Wilf said. "And if you do (disagree), keep it in the family and work it out.

    "What I felt was very important is to make sure that there would be much more communication by all three parties. That necessitates we put three minds together in solving whatever issue is at hand, so we don't rely upon one individual to make these decisions."

    In building Garden Homes Development, Wilf, his brother, Mark, and his cousin, Lenny, were the three points of the company's triangle. Fittingly, Mark and Zygi's father, Joseph, and Lenny's father, the late Harry Wilf, were the patriarchs at the center of that triangle approach.

    Inside the Vikings' triangle are Zygi and Mark Wilf, with Childress, Brzezinski and the personnel director acting as the key points.

    Baltimore executive vice president and general manager Ozzie Newsome said there's a common thread that runs through some of the NFL's most successful teams.

    "As I see the league and what I consider good franchises, they have three strong, talented people in charge," Newsome said. "Those are teams with an involved owner, a head coach and general manager. Those three have to work together and take advantage of each other's strengths."

    For instance, Newsome said Patriots coach Bill Belichick clearly has a solid handle on personnel decisions, but he doesn't revel in dealing with the media.

    "So Mr. Kraft and (vice president of player personnel) Scott (Pioli) pick up some of that," Newsome said. "Here, Brian (Billick) is excellent with the media and fans, but (owner) Steve (Bisciotti) and I don't like it as much.
    "So, Brian picks that up for us. There are different ways to get the important things done, but I think it takes three talented people who use each other's strengths to the utmost and work together well."

    Given those parameters, the Vikings' setup would be a pentagon, including Wilf and his brother, Mark. But Brzezinski said he doesn't anticipate Zygi Wilf micromanaging.

    "He hires good people and lets them do their job. But he wants to be informed and involved in what's going on," said Brzezinski, who will be entering his eighth season with the Vikings. "He also has a ton of credible business experience, and a lot of what he's applied in his experiences can help us win as a football team."

    Childress was not available for comment.

    The arrangement, however, isn't entirely original. Vikings owner Red McCombs used a similar setup in recent years, with Brzezinski and coach Mike Tice the key principles, with college scouting director Scott Studwell providing input in his area of expertise.

    "It's the same approach, except it's not a two-prong approach," Brzezinski said. "It has everyone do what they do best: the coach coaches, the personnel evaluator evaluates and I do the business part."

    Under McCombs, however, there were two embarrassing draft-day gaffes that highlighted the Vikings' atypical committee approach and their lack of a clearly defined power structure.

    In 2002, the Vikings allowed their 15-minute time limit to expire and failed to land the player they coveted, defensive tackle Ryan Sims, with the seventh pick. In 2003, while discussing trades with two teams, the Vikings again missed the deadline and ended up choosing ninth instead of seventh.
    Neither blunder, though, cost the Vikings, because they landed all-pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams in 2003 and left tackle Bryant McKinnie in 2002. Sims, meanwhile, has been a colossal disappointment.

    "There's a lot of ways to do it successfully," said Eddie Jones, who worked closely with Hall of Fame coach Don Shula and was Miami's longtime president. "There's nothing to say that a triangle approach won't work. But someone, it always seems to me, has to have the final say. When someone doesn't have that, you find some bickering."

    For the most part, Tice and Brzezinski worked well together the past four seasons. But their relationship deteriorated last season, including a difference of opinion on the need for a third quarterback, J.T. O'Sullivan.
    Wilf recalled asking Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver if he stepped in when his head coach and personnel director had a conflict.

    " 'Do you make the decision?' " Wilf recalled asking Weaver. "He said, 'No, I throw them back into the room and tell them, don't come out until you have one.' "

    Wilf said the Vikings will rely on "consensus building" but that each of his three top football executives will have autonomy over their areas of expertise. For instance, Wilf said, the director of personnel would have the final say if the trio cannot come to an agreement on draft day and the deadline is approaching.

    "We would hope that each time, everyone is happy," Wilf said. "But if all of a sudden there is a gut call to be made, it's going to be (the personnel director). That authority is going to be him, just as much as on game day the final authority is with the coach."

    Wilf, though, does expect consensus during free agency.

    "We should want to have that person collectively," Wilf said.

    Initially, after publicly addressing his decision to fire Tice a day after the season ended, Wilf indicated that he planned to hire the personnel executive first, then the head coach. But the team's pursuit of Tom Heckert, Philadelphia's vice president of player personnel, was thwarted when the Eagles promoted him to general manager.

    Wilf acknowledged that the scope of the personnel executive has changed since then, "due to the nature of the process of hiring my first coach, and getting to know more of my people better, as the season unfolded."

    Still, Wilf clearly wanted to put his own imprint on the Vikings as he moved into his second season.

    "It's tough when you inherit an organization, in terms of making it into your mold and the way you run your business," Wilf said. "What I'm doing is basically refining it by making sure that the right people are in place, and making them understand that we're all on the same team. As we should be on the field, we should be in the front office, as well. If a team can't communicate on the field, they won't win. If we can't communicate up on top, in the front office, as it deals with personnel and organizational issues, then we won't do that well."

    Wilf said the owner's responsibility is to "facilitate the communication" and only provide input on issues such as character or on critical decisions.
    "Ultimately, you hope that the decision has been made by professionals, and you're just there to endorse it," he said. "The most important thing is that they come up with the same decisions on many important issues, so they can make my life that much easier."

    As they interview candidates for the personnel director position, the Vikings have assessed a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Some candidates are long-time pro scouts with limited experience as decision makers. For instance, Ron Hill was Atlanta's vice president of player personnel, but Dan Reeves had the final say there.

    Rick Spielman, Miami's former general manager, and Bill Kuharich, New Orleans' former president, have been key decision makers. But both executives' reputations are somewhat tarnished by struggles in their authoritarian roles.

    Spielman brought in talented players such as receiver Chris Chambers and tight end Randy McMichael but had perennial problems at quarterback. Two of Kuharich's dubious decisions were hiring Mike Ditka and trading Ricky Williams.

    The Vikings clearly are trying to avoid a power-hungry executive who will attempt to overshadow the input of Childress and Brzezinski.

    The one candidate who counters the rest is Tom Dimitroff, New England's director of college scouting. He comes from arguably the NFL's top scouting department.

    The Vikings also interviewed San Diego's Fran Foley and are scheduled to speak to Jacksonville's Charlie Bailey. Denver's Rick Smith also is still a candidate, once his team is eliminated from the playoffs.

    The Vikings' two internal candidates are Studwell and Jeff Robinson.
    Brzezinski acknowledges there are many ways to run an NFL team. But he believes their approach will benefit the Vikings in the long run.

    "Everybody does it different," Brzezinski said. "But it's a philosophy I believe in, with consensus building, communication, and having checks and balances."

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

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

  4. #4
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Wilf explains structure for personnel decisions

    At least it sounds like you have some checks and balances, so that one person is not calling all the shots. It never seems to work that well when one person is in charge of everything, you need to have somebody else that has say in personal decisions.

    I have to give Wilf props, he is putting together what looks like a solid organization! Just as long as he gets a stadium and doe not ever move the Vikes!
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  5. #5
    Mr Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Wilf explains structure for personnel decisions

    He's all business baby.

    I like this Triangle of Power, things are lookin up.

  6. #6
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    Re: Wilf explains structure for personnel decisions

    well talking about our 3rd string qb, i think we need a better 3rd string qb, cause pepper might be out all year and johnson is brittle. but heck it wouldn't matter if we had a sean alexander running the ball.
    I don t buy Wisconsin cheese.

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