GARRISON, MINN. -- The Vikings' 31-28 loss at New Orleans in the NFC title game on Jan. 24 was only a few hours old when various members of the organization started making their way to Mobile, Ala., to scout the Senior Bowl practices.
Rick Spielman, the team's vice president of player personnel, returned to the Twin Cities to help conduct exit interviews with players at Winter Park and then also headed to Mobile to start watching prospects. But while having an immediate focus might have helped Spielman turn his attention elsewhere, it's clear that like many in the state he's still giving plenty of thought to what might have been if things had gone a bit differently at the Superdome that day.
"I think it's more of a frustrating end to the season because you knew you were a better team when you went down and played the New Orleans Saints and kind of gave that game away a little," Spielman told the crowd at the Blue Goose Inn on Saturday during a stop on the Vikings' Arctic Blast snowmobiling event. "I know personally from some people who are in the Indianapolis organization they did not want to play us [in the Super Bowl]. They would rather play the New Orleans Saints than have the Minnesota Vikings come down and play them."
Spielman then quickly turned his comments to the future.
"You have to move on, you don't have any choice," he said. "We have to get ready and we have to build on a roster that we currently have. We have to try to get our own guys back that are going to be up in free agency. I think we are very hopeful that we can have a good draft and get some of these guys back and we'll be right back where we were last year."