Wilf: Spielman 'the perfect choice' to run team

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune
  • April 14, 2012 - 10:50 PM

So what was Mark Wilf's reaction 11 days ago when the New York Post cited an unnamed source saying the Wilfs were pursuing Bill Parcells and had told him to "name his price" to oversee the Vikings' football operations and coach the team?

"It's not true -- that was my reaction," said Wilf, the team's president and co-owner with his brother, Zygi. "That's why we quelled that report immediately and moved on with our business."

Did he or Zygi ever reach out to Parcells before promoting Rick Spielman from vice president of player personnel to general manager on Jan. 3?

"No," Wilf said. "Never happened."

Wilf praised Spielman's attention to detail, ability to organize, evaluate talent and interact with others.

"From A to Z, he has all the tools you need to run a football operation," Wilf said. "We felt he was the perfect choice to be our general manager."

Spielman succeeded Fran Foley in May 2006 and has overseen the Vikings' past five drafts. In those five seasons, the Vikings have made 36 selections, fourth fewest in the NFL. Of those 36 picks, 30 are still starters or backups in the NFL. Three of them have been to the Pro Bowl, third most behind only the Patriots (five) and Steelers (four).

"Rick has the ability to follow through on a plan," Wilf said. "He's disciplined, but will be aggressive when he has to. It's a plan that we're all comfortable with. We're following his lead."

Wilf said the expectations remain the same -- "win the NFC North and ultimately win a Super Bowl" -- but he wasn't frustrated when Spielman didn't land a star player in free agency.

"We were not inactive in free agency," Wilf said. "There were players who were more top-headline players. But we've been very active in terms of the quantity of players [eight] we brought in and trying to create depth.

"There's a certain approach to this that the vast majority of successful teams follow. We know that if we follow that structure, we'll be successful for the long term."

Wilf wouldn't address Spielman's contract. The last deal Spielman signed expires after this season. The team has not said whether Spielman was given an extension or a raise when he was promoted.

"Contracts are something we keep internal, but we believe in the structure and we believe in Rick," Wilf said. "We're committed to going in that direction for the long term with Rick as our leader."

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