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Continued: Souhan: Vikings need diamond in the rough

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 31, 2013 - 3:06 PM

• Denver’s John Fox — fired as Carolina’s head coach.

• New York’s Tom Coughlin — fired in Jacksonville.

• Kansas City’s Andy Reid — fired in Philadelphia.

There is no prototype for winning head coaches, nor is there an ideal résumé.

Spielman and the Wilfs will have to discern leadership qualities and functional intelligence during interviews and due diligence. They’ll have to find the right guy even if his experience and his team’s record suggest he’s not ready or capable.

That’s what should frighten Vikings fans.

Spielman can’t produce a statistical formula for rating coaching candidates, can’t grade prospects out to decimal points like he does draft prospects. He’ll have to use intuition or, as he might call it, “The shift-alt-delete-backspace function on my MacBook.’’

There’s no doubt Spielman will do his homework. The question is whether he’ll do so much homework he’ll fool himself. His pick of Ponder made sense if you graded Ponder on intelligence, experience, athletic ability and responsibility. It made less sense if you watched Ponder react to the blitz.

NFL head coaches are always reacting to the blitz. The good ones are crisis managers, perpetual evaluators, innovators, chess masters. There’s a good one out there, available to Spielman, but he might not look like anybody who’s ever won a Super Bowl.

Former Viking Jack Del Rio might become the next to succeed in his second stint as a head coach. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer might be ready to run his own team.

The Gophers once rushed Charlie Strong off campus so they could hire Tim Brewster. Strong excelled as Florida’s defensive coordinator and has elevated Louisville to a national power.

He might be the guy, and if he is, Spielman will have to discard formulas and decimal points and go with his gut. Or, as Spielman calls it, his “food-processing center.’’

 

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

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Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: J. Outman 6
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 2
Atlanta - LP: G. Schlosser 3 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Valverde 4
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: M. Dunn 3
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Gomez 2
NY Yankees - WP: P. Claiborne 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: H. Bell 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: Y. Ventura 3
Cincinnati - WP: H. Bailey 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 2
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Johnson 16 FINAL
Texas - LP: R. Ross Jr. 2
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 4
Philadelphia - WP: J. Diekman 10 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 9
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 4 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 3
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Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 4
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Boston - WP: E. Mujica 6
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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

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