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 III: On Wright's future, Harvin's contract and his first 10 months as GM

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Vikings draft Updated: November 14, 2012 - 2:43 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 third of three parts.

(Part I: On Peterson's recovery, a playoff chase and building through the draft)

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

On what he saw in receiver Jarius Wright before the draft considering that he had similar skills to Percy Harvin …

“Jarius was an extremely talented player. We were in that fourth round and Jarius has a unique skill set. He has speed and has some run-after-catch ability. … With Jarius, we had a lot of similar discussions with him. He was too good of a football player on our board to pass up, regardless of if you have a Percy Harvin here because you're going to find ways to get him on the field or he's going to eventually be able to help you win ballgames. Some have immediate impact. Some don't have an immediate impact but will have an impact sometime down the road.”

On whether he envisioned a scenario where Wright and Harvin could coexist on the field together at the same time …

“That's more of a coaching decision on how they can utilize those guys talents.”

On whether the team has a complete synopsis on Harvin’s talent, durability, character etc.

"I think what we'll do at the end of this season, just like our normal procedure we go through, it takes about three-and-a-half days to go through an evaluation on each one of our players. We talk about each player, not only what they do on the field from A to Z. We have Rob Brzezinski come in. We'll talk. I'll sit with him and Leslie and [assistant GM] George Paton and just understand where we're at from the financial standpoint and the decisions we have to make. We're going to have decisions this offseason, too, on guys that are going to be unrestricted free agents, guys that you want to try to extend, guys that are going into the last year of a contract. All that stuff is coming up. But we will wait until the end of the season, whenever our season ends."

On Harvin’s overall value …

"Percy Harvin is unique, unique football player and he brings so much value to this football team and Percy has developed into one of our core players and a leader for us on this football team."

On what his first 10 months as general manager have been like …

"I was very, as you know when I got named the GM, very emotional and very excited about the opportunity. I come into work every day. I get up at the same time, 5 o'clock every morning. I walk my dogs every morning and I can't wait to get to work. To me, it's tough after the losses. If there's anything I just can't stand, I can't standing losing. I just hate that. You enjoy the wins, but every day you look at the unique challenges ahead. To me, that's the fun part of the job - the good and the bad."

On his habit of self-evaluating draft success and mistakes …

"Coming into those meetings in December, everybody gets to speak up. I'll give my overview. As the guys kid me, the state of the union. But I'll ask everybody's opinion because I'll be the first to admit, no one is smart enough to do this all by themselves. The biggest things, and we've emphasized it, is the communication part and that's why it has been working so well with the personnel and the coaches. That open line of communication is invaluable. If there is something that's a hiccup, let me know about it. I want to get it fixed if I'm not seeing it. Leslie is the same way. If you have something that you don't see or you don't agree with, you can walk right into Leslie's office, whoever you are, and talk to him about it. To me, that's a huge part of having success. I ask each one of our personnel guys - give me criticism. Is there anything I can do better? Because I always want to get better. I'm always looking to learn. I've made a couple calls to different people during the season on some things that they're doing different, idea-wise. I'm always looking to add things every year into how we do things and how we can get better”

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