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Zygi Wilf

Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf

Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

Zygi Wilf

Zygi Wilf

Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

VIKINGS BYE WEEK

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Zygi Wilf ready to discuss stadium plan with legislators B1

Wilf gives Childress a vote of confidence

  • Article by: Kevin Seifert
  • Star Tribune
  • October 2, 2007 - 10:14 PM

The Vikings' 1-3 start has not shaken owner Zygi Wilf, who reiterated his request for patience Tuesday as well as his support for coach Brad Childress.

Consenting to interviews for the first time since the season began, Wilf said he is comfortable with the direction of the franchise.

"Our goal is to be consistent in the long-term," Wilf said. "We have a commitment to getting a team that is not built for a one-shot affair. We want to build a team that is consistent for many, many years to come, for decades to come.

"I know the people we have in place are the right people. I have a very good relationship with coach Childress, as I do with many of the coaches, and they have my full support. I'm very confident that as time goes on, and everybody works together, we will [succeed]."

The Vikings' 6-10 record last season spawned widespread fan discontent this offseason, and the team needed a corporate bailout to sell out its 2007 home opener. Green Bay fans filled the Metrodome during Sunday's 23-16 loss, and the team continues to face the possibility of local television blackouts later this season.

Wilf acknowledged during the offseason that it could take several years to build the team into a winner, pledging to remain patient through the process and hoping fans would do the same.

Asked Tuesday about fan response to the Vikings' performance this season, Wilf said: "The fans are great here. I don't think there is a lot of frustration. I think there is a lot of patience, and I just hope we can reward them with more and more victories sooner rather than later."

The Vikings have lost 11 of their past 14 games since starting last season 4-2. They are now 7-13 in 20 games under Childress.

Many of last season's problems have carried over into 2007, and Wilf was asked Tuesday to explain why he believes the team is headed in the right direction.

"I'm just very comfortable with coach Childress and his philosophy," Wilf said, "and I'm behind him 100 percent."

During a speech at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, Wilf said he hoped to "quicken the pace" of the Vikings' rebuilding process. Later, however, he emphasized the scope of his project.

"This is an organization," he said, "that when we took over, it needed a lot of things, from a personnel director to coach to players. We're consistently getting better in all aspects. I think the results will show sooner rather than later.

"It will be patience that will dictate our philosophy. We're very, very optimistic that the time will come when we will be a consistent winner and bring a championship to Minnesota."

Kevin Seifert • kseifert@startribune.com

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