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.


Spielman Part II: On draft success, harmony with Frazier, Walsh's emergence

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Vikings draft Updated: November 14, 2012 - 2:18 PM

In a 40-minute session with print reporters Wednesday morning, Vikings general manager delivered what amounted to a casual “state of the team” address. Spielman discussed everything from Adrian Peterson’s incredible recovery to the Vikings’ potential playoff push to the contract situations of receiver Percy Harvin and head coach Leslie Frazier. Here are more Spielman highlights from that session, in the second of three parts.

(Here also is "Part I: On Peterson's recovery, a playoff chase, building through the draft")

On why the past two drafts were so important for the direction of this franchise …

“I think you have to continually build. Because if you can build that foundation through the draft and continue to have successful drafts or guys that can come in and contribute and play, you're always going to have a competitive football team. It doesn't force you then to go out and spend tons of money out in free agency. If you can build through the draft and get your players through the draft and then, when their time comes up, you can extend those guys, [you are better off]. Because those are the guys you're going to know the best. Then you have a better chance of success doing it that way than always going out and trying to spend a lot of money in free agency”

On what the desired role for back-up quarterback Joe Webb is ...

“The coaches really focused and honed in on Joe Webb being a quarterback. I know they spent a lot of time this offseason developing Joe as a quarterback. And I know in this league, and you saw last week, you have to have a couple quarterbacks. Because if your guy, knock on wood, does go down, you have to have a replacement. We saw with the guys leaving out with concussions this week. So Joe has enough ability to be a quarterback in this league, whether it's in a back-up role or whether he had to come in and start. So we felt very strong about the depth of our quarterbacks here.”

On the job being done by coach Leslie Frazier this season 

“Leslie's been doing an outstanding job. Knowing the situation where we were going to have a lot of new faces on this roster, I think the coaching staff has done an outstanding job. Again, we can bring in guys that are talented, but it's our coaches who should get the credit for developing these guys. And our coaches should get the credit for playing these guys and letting them grow into the positions as they grow. Because you know you're going to have some ups and downs, especially when you have a young roster. But our coaches and Leslie do an extremely good job of working with these kids and [using] any chance they have to get these guys ready to play. And I think that has shown so far this year.”

On whether there’s patience with the coaching staff as the rebuilding process continues … 

"I think it’s patience. But it’s also a sense of urgency too. Because you want to win and when we went into the season, we wanted to win. We want to win every game. That's why you're in this business. Patience is a fact [where] you know you have a lot of new faces, you have a lot of first- and second-year guys that are contributing. But also know that you have to go out there and win ballgames too."

On whether there will be talks to offer Frazier a contract extension soon …

"We keep everything internally. I won't discuss anything on contracts."

On the value of having a united and cooperative harmony between the GM and the head coach …

"The biggest thing is the open communication that we have with each other, and I'm by no means an ego guy. … Leslie is the same way where it's not about him or me, it's about us. It's about the Vikings, what's best for this team. And you can have very open and candid discussion. I think that was huge for us last year when I had some discussions with Leslie and then we got all the coaches and personnel people in one room. And [it was], 'Nothing personal, let's get this all aired out so we can move forward.' I think that did wonders for everybody. But everybody is on the same page. Everybody understands what our scheme is, what we're looking for in players. And it’s our job to go out there and identify those players and it works hand-in-hand with the coaches. To me, once the personnel side and coaching side gets divided, then you have no chance. To me, they have to work hand-in-hand and they have to work together every day."

On the impressive emergence of rookie kicker Blair Walsh, a sixth-round pick last April … 

“You knew the talent Blair had. But that's the fun part of it. When Blair had his struggles as a senior, why did he have those struggles? And are those struggles correctable? That's the part of really honing in and digging in. [Special teams coordinator] Mike Priefer was a big part of that. He's going to be the expert in that area. I rely on people that are experts in their area. Can you get this corrected or is this something that you don't think is correctable? And he was very adamant. We can identify the struggles. We can talk to a scout who is an expert in that area, a coach who is an expert in that area. Can we get this fixed? And can he be successful? That's why it's such a big team effort to identify those guys. There's always going to be, no matter who you pick, you're going to poke holes like hell in them and identify those holes. Then you talk about can we get this fixed? Is this something he'll come out of? Is this something he'll improve in? That's all part of the decision process.”

  • 5
  • Comments

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston 4 Top 14th Inning
Chicago WSox 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland 4 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 3
Colorado 2 FINAL
San Diego 4
Los Angeles 1 Top 9th Inning
San Francisco 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 113 4th Qtr 0:25
Denver 110
LA Clippers 100 4th Qtr 1:38
Portland 106
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will you boo Jared Allen when he returns with the Bears?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT