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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 7
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: M. Melancon 0
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 2
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 3
Cleveland - WP: T. House 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: T. May 3
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 10
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Motte 8
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 3
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 5 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 8
San Diego 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 FINAL
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 3 FINAL
Chicago 3
FC Dallas 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do on Sunday in New Orleans?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT