Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Zygi Wilf on realistic expectations for 2012: 'Things don't happen overnight'

Posted by: under Rookies, Vikings Updated: July 31, 2012 - 7:05 PM

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf met with reporters Tuesday afternoon during the team's afternoon practice at Minnesota State University. Below is a partial transcript of Wilf's exchange with the media.

What are your impressions of the team?

Wilf: They are looking energized, young. We have a lot of veterans who are teaching the young guys. We are looking forward to a great season ahead.

Tell us where you are at with the stadium?

Wilf: Certainly it was a great relief after working very hard for the last seven years. I’d like to thank the Governor and all of the legislative leaders for making this possible. All fans and most of the people in Minnesota want it to happen. Looking back after the last several months, it was a greater burden than I thought because I feel very much relieved that our fans here in Minnesota will have Vikings football here.

Where are you at with the retractable roof?

Wilf: Right now, as you know, we are just formulating [a plan], hiring our consultants, working with the [Stadium] Authority to work on the design. So we are in the early stages. We are going to try our best, as I stated before, to get the retractable roof. But we are going to certainly have retractable elements. It’s going to be a [state]-of-the-art stadium. It’s going to be something everyone in Minnesota can be proud of.

When will we see final plans?

Wilf: The plans will evolve over the next year. We are shooting for having the season opening in the new stadium in 2016. Certainly over the next year, as we design and work with the Authority and getting everyone on board, there is going to be a lot of hard work ...We have a time schedule, a time chart, but I cannot remember all of the dates. But believe me, there are thousands of things to do before we break ground.

What is a reasonable expectation for this team?

Wilf: I expect to be division champs. I want to be able to fight for the division as we always do every year, and get better for years to come. That’s always been our goal. That’s been the goal since the first day I came here.

What do you think of the perception this team is building right now?

Wilf: We have a lot of veterans on board that are going to have to teach the younger guys on the team. I don’t know if you want to call it rebuilding or whatever, but we are certainly going to be improving. The young guys are going to get into the system and with Coach Frazier’s leadership and Rick Spielman’s direction we are going to be competitive and we are going to fight for the division.

Do you feel like you have to take a mentality of being a little more patient given the youth on the team?

Wilf: Absolutely. I mean, things don’t happen overnight. There will be the ups and downs. And we certainly have had them in the last seven years of ownership, but you have to be patient. As we were patient with the stadium, we are going to be patient and we are going to work hard to get a championship ball club.

What makes you believe you will take a step forward this year?

Wilf: Well for the first time in years we’ve had a full draft class. And between this year and last year we’ve got a lot of great rookies coming on board. I think the youth will really help us together with the veterans -- the star veterans that we have. That will make us a much better team.

What will you measure Leslie [Frazier] on as you monitor his progress as a head coach?

Wilf: Leslie has been working very hard together with [General Manager] Rick [Spielman]. The first time in a long time I’ve seen a coordination between both our personnel director -- general manager as we’ve named him -- and Leslie. I think that working together gets us the best chance of putting the right guys on the field and being competitive. But I have great high hopes for both of them.

What would you like to see out of Coach Frazier this year?

Wilf: Continued determination to stay competitive. Know that our players have to buy into what he’s teaching and the system. And I think after the young guys learn from the veterans and learn from the coaches I think that we’re going to get to where we want to go.

Is there a win total he Leslie needs to reach to keep his job?

Wilf: No, no, I’m not making any benchmarks. I’m expecting a winning season. Like I said I’m expecting to challenge for the division. Everyone starts out zero-and-zero, even score. So I’m looking forward to the upcoming season.

You were 3-13 last year, how tough was that in retrospect for you guys to go through a season like that?

Wilf: It’s never easy to go through losses; it’s never easy to go through a season like that. Like I said, since we became ownership, we’ve had the ups and downs. As somebody asked before, we had to be patient. It's necessary because it’s a tough league, tough competition and our time will come as it did in the past and we’re going to keep on fighting for that championship.

What are your future plans for Winter Park? And what are some of the priorities there that you'd like to see upgraded?

Wilf: We’re working on improving the facility as we did in the past. We’re looking at options of what we can do on site to improve the facility. But it’s going to be a goal, together with the stadium to get the improvements ... It’s an older facility. We made a lot of improvements in the first few years after we came to ownership to improve the players’ facilities, the locker rooms and the offices. We’re right now looking into what we can do to expand with the property that we have. As the owners have discussed today -- we had meetings today -- it’s going to be something that we’re going to re-look into. But right now we really have to focus on getting the stadium moving forward and picking the experts and professionals necessary to bring this on time and on price.

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Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 34 FINAL
Atlanta 3
Detroit 20 FINAL
Green Bay 30
Oakland 14 FINAL
Denver 47
Arizona 17 FINAL
San Francisco 20
St. Louis 6 FINAL
Seattle 20
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Pittsburgh 27
Arizona 1/3/15 3:35 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 1/3/15 7:15 PM
Pittsburgh
Detroit 103 FINAL
Cleveland 80
Houston 106 FINAL
San Antonio 110
Oklahoma City 107 FINAL
Dallas 112
New York 79 FINAL
Portland 101
Toronto 116 FINAL
Denver 102
Phoenix 116 FINAL
LA Lakers 107
Toronto 4 FINAL
Florida 6
Vancouver 1 FINAL(OT)
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Lafayette 76
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Marquette 81
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Samford 65
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Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
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Evansville 85
UMKC 73 FINAL
Indiana State 70
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Long Island 62
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Radford 119
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SIU Edwardsville 104
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South Dakota 84
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Arkansas 100
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Cornell 52
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 65 FINAL
Richmond 63
Fla Gulf Coast 57 FINAL
Xavier 71
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Northern Ariz 71
Judson 46 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 80
Ill-Chicago 60 FINAL
Bradley 68
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Fairfield 59
Miss Valley St 53 FINAL
Houston 80
Lehigh 58 FINAL
UMBC 55
Delaware State 56 FINAL
Temple 66
Belmont 56 FINAL
Butler 67
Howard 59 FINAL
Fordham 74
NW Christian 67 FINAL
Nevada 81
UC Davis 83 FINAL
Washington St 90
Abilene Christian 81 FINAL
Grand Canyon 83
UCLA 50 FINAL
Alabama 56
Stony Brook 62 FINAL
Washington 57
Buffalo 56 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
CS-Bakersfield 55 FINAL
California 52
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 82 FINAL
UCLA 67
Coll of Charleston 51 FINAL
SC State 60
Alcorn State 53 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 63
Dartmouth 76 FINAL
Niagara 70
Colgate 68 FINAL
Siena 80
Michigan 53 FINAL
Wisconsin 63
Fla Gulf Coast 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 64
Yale 51 FINAL
(25) Arizona State 69
UC Santa Barbara 34 FINAL
(16) Stanford 90
Long Island 63 FINAL
Long Beach St 71
Jackson State 56 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Eureka 50 FINAL
Western Ill 91
Cornell 59 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 76
Temple 58 FINAL
Memphis 57
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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