Now that he has this new title, some wonder how fast Rick Spielman might get the urge to hand-pick his head coach. But scratching that itch too quickly could undermine much of the progress Spielman has made as Vikings general manager, building the roster according to what fits Leslie Frazier's systems.

Spielman seems to support Frazier's vision, wanting to fill the locker room with passionate, tough and intelligent players who will avoid costly mistakes on and off the field.

Strides have been made through free agency and more so through the draft, which the Vikings GM repeatedly has said will provide the biggest building blocks for the reconstruction.

So how will Spielman's long-term success be judged? Since Brad Childress was fired, Spielman has made 20 draft picks, including a 10-man class from April on which his worth as a GM will be measured. The Vikings' two first-round picks, Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith, will be starters from Day 1. The hope is for third-round selection Josh Robinson to join that mix soon. Beyond that, Spielman will need the rest of the rookie class to provide depth with guys such as receiver Jarius Wright, tight end Rhett Ellison and safety Robert Blanton projecting as future starters with a chance to be serviceable role players at some point in 2012.

Understand this: Spielman's promotion came with a proclamation that he'll keep a clear view of the future as much as he invests in the present. Heading into the season, of the 44 players on the two-deep list, 13 were rookies or second-year pros and 13 others had fewer than a dozen career starts. This youth movement was by Spielman's design.