Spielman: Vikings will see QBs

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 9, 2011 - 6:46 AM

The Vikings VP didn't attend pro days for Cam Newton or Ryan Mallett, choosing instead to go to the Gophers' Pro Day, but other staffers may have.

The Vikings are in the market for a quarterback and two likely first-round draft prospects at that position -- Auburn's Cam Newton and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett -- held their pro day workouts Tuesday.

So it was interesting that Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman attended the Gophers pro day. Spielman, who oversees the Vikings draft, cautioned not to read anything into that.

"There's a game plan in place," he said. "We will see all those guys either privately or at some point. They will all be covered, I can guarantee you that."

Spielman rarely talks specifics on personnel questions, but he acknowledged that the Vikings had coaches and/or scouts at both Auburn and Arkansas on Tuesday.

Joining Spielman at the Gophers pro day were director of player personnel George Paton and new quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson. It's unclear if head coach Leslie Frazier, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and director of college scouting Scott Studwell visited Auburn and/or Arkansas, but that is a safe bet.

Spielman said his team's evaluation of the quarterbacks will go beyond the Scouting Combine and pro day workouts. The Vikings also will conduct private workouts with some of the quarterback prospects before the draft in late April. A private workout allows the team to spend an entire day with a prospect -- on and off the field -- to get a better feel for his skills and personality.

The Vikings are hoping to identify a franchise quarterback this offseason, so Spielman said they want to be as thorough as possible.

"[Private workouts] give you one more opportunity to get to know these kids a little bit better," Spielman said.

The Vikings coaching staff and scouts will attend pro day workouts around the country this month. Spielman said he will be at a different pro day every day next week. Schools scheduled to hold their pro day workouts next week include LSU, Florida, Florida State, Penn State, Stanford and Missouri.

Sparse crowd

The Gophers pro day drew scouts from only a handful of teams -- Jets, Bills, Patriots, Chiefs and Vikings. Marc Trestman, head coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, also attended along with his defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar and special teams coordinator/running backs coach Andy Bischoff.

Weber works out

Spielman said Gophers quarterback Adam Weber had a "very good workout" on Tuesday. Weber, who did not get invited to the combine, has trained at the Bommarito Performance Systems facility in Florida the past two months.

Weber had a rocky college career, which included having four offensive coordinators in five seasons.

"Now that I'm kind of out of it a little bit, you're able to have time to reflect and realize that yeah, maybe it was a difficult situation, but that's all I knew," Weber said Tuesday. "That's all I was given. I looked at it always as a benefit. Obviously I probably didn't go out there and play my best football. But that motivates me, knowing I still have my best football to play. I know I still have a higher level that I can play at."


• Spielman said the team was excited to sign defensive end Brian Robison to a three-year deal before the collective bargaining agreement expired last week.

"When he got in there he showed what we call blue traits as a pass rusher, and he's been very productive when you look at the amount of plays he's got and what he did with those plays," Spielman said. "Just felt that he's just now getting into the prime of his career."

• Spielman declined to discuss where things stand in negotiations with receiver Sidney Rice.

"We'll just see how that goes," he said. "We've said we want Sidney back and we'll do everything possible that we can to get him back once we're able to start negotiating again [with a new CBA]."

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