Childress And Spielman Audio Links

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 26, 2010 – 5:05 pm

As promised, we have links to audio files from both head coach Brad Childress’ and VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman’s appearances on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

Click here to listen to Childress.

Click here to listen to Spielman.

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Spielman Talks Tebow

Posted by cjsiewert on February 26, 2010 – 4:05 pm

Much speculation has gone into the Vikings current QB situation and it’s centered on one burning question: Will Brett Favre return?

If not, are the Vikings to turn to Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels?  Another option that many NFL analysts have suggested is to draft a QB.  All of these mixed feelings about the Vikings QB position have not escaped the media’s repertoire of questions for Vikings personnel at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress on Friday reiterated the team’s stance on allowing Favre time to make a decision on his future with the team, as Mike touched on earlier. In the meantime, both Childress and Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman cited the fluidness of NFL business as reasons they hesitated to give firm commitments to what the team would do should Favre not return.

“I don’t want to get into what we’re committed to and what we’re not committed to because I think this time of year everything is in flux, everything is etched in oatmeal,” Spielman said on Thursday.

Getting back to the option of selecting a QB in this year’s Draft, Spielman was asked about his feelings on Florida QB Tim Tebow, who is currently going through the process of changing his mechanics to better fit the style of a pro-level QB.

“I don’t think there’s any question about heart, leadership, character, football player, all that stuff,” Spielman said of Tebow.  “This (changing his mechanics) is all kind of un-chartered territory.  Whatever hiccups people have… you read about his ‘mechanical flaws,’ if you want to put it that way, you’re going to go and see if they are correctable and if they do fit in potentially what a team is looking for in a quarterback.”

Tebow has received a lot of criticism for his poor performance at this year’s Senior Bowl and for his lack of skill as a ‘drop-back’ passer.  Also, NFL scouts will not be able to see Tebow’s newly-refined mechanics this weekend because he has withdrawn from the throwing activities at the Combine.  He is saving the big reveal for his Pro Day at the University of Florida on March 17.

I believe that Spielman hit this matter right on the button. You need to see if his ‘flaws’ are correctable and if they fit into what a team is looking for in a QB.  At this point it’s hard to gauge whether or not Tebow would fit the Vikings scheme, but it will be interesting to watch Tebow’s draft stock as a result of him not participating in the throwing activities at the Combine.

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Childress Talks Favre And Limestone

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 26, 2010 – 2:58 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress echoed the same sentiment that Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman had on Thursday regarding the question of whether QB Brett Favre will return to the team in 2010.

Just as Spielman communicated on Thursday, Childress says he’s received no indication one way or the other from the QB and Childress also didn’t seem fixed on applying any sort of time line or deadline for a decision.

“I just think it’s important to manage a guy’s resources, particularly a 40 or a 41-year old, and there’s really not a manual on that,” Childress said. “You have to be able to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity in this business, whether you’re a player or a coach, and deal with it well. I think our players get that, understand that. I think they’ll be fine.”

Childress said he spoke with Favre twice earlier this week – on Monday and Tuesday – and that those conversations ranged from football issues to family matters.

“He was more fixated on getting some crushed limestone down on the road to his mother-in-law’s house on his property,” a grinning but honest Childress said. “They have a water issue down there. I think he’s got other things on his mind right now and certainly I couldn’t give him any landscape architecture ideas or anything.”

While Childress declined to get into more specifics of his conversations with the QB, he did say that he won’t be surprised either way on Favre’s decision for 2010.

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Childress Finishes Media Visits

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 26, 2010 – 12:21 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has finished meeting with reporters in the media center and we’ll have updates and thoughts about what he had to say.

We’ll also be posting on the audio files from his and VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman’s SIRIUS Satellite Radio appearances.

I’m going to grab some lunch and then head back to work to update you on what Childress had to say today while meeting with reporters.

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Spielman On Favre, Vikings QB Situation

Posted by cjsiewert on February 26, 2010 – 11:01 am

With team officials from the Vikings mulling over their prospect options at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this weekend, one question is sure to still be looming after the Combine is complete: Who will be under center for the Vikings come training camp?

The Vikings would love to see future Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre back for his 20th NFL season, but there has been no indication from Favre or his agent, Bus Cook, on whether or not he will return this fall.

When asked by reporters about the absent indication from Favre on his return, Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman showed no agitation to the question.

“Brett will make his decision when he makes his decision,” he said.

Although many people may feel uneasy about the Vikings giving Favre as much time as he needs to make a decision on his future with the team, Spielman does not feel that this puts the organization in a difficult position.

“I don’t think it’s tough,” he said.  “I think everybody feels comfortable with T-Jack (Tarvaris Jackson) and with Sage (Rosenfels).  We have stated that we would love to have [Favre] back, but we’ll just keep on going about our normal business and continue building our team as we go through these processes over the next six months and see where we end up.”

Favre, who has not made any sort of public appearance since the devastating loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 24, is scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 4.  Without question, most Vikings fans will tune-in to next Thursday’s airing of the late night talk show hoping for an answer on his future with the Vikings, but nobody can be certain given Favre’s unpredictability.

Spielman mentioned that Favre’s scheduled appearance was news to him and that he would probably be sound asleep at the time the show airs (10:35 p.m.).

“I’m an early riser and early to bed guy,” he said.

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Emptying The Notebook On Spielman Conversation

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 26, 2010 – 9:55 am

While we’re waiting for Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress to arrive in the media center for his formal press conference and then his sitdown with Vikings beat writers, I want to empty out the notebook from Thursday’s conversation with Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman.

– Using the pending status Brett Favre’s return to the Vikings in 2010 as context, Spielman was asked about this year’s class of QBs. At the top of most people’s lists are players such as Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen. Also in the mix are Texas’ Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow. But with the Vikings picking at #30, many speculate that Bradford and Clausen will be gone and that it’ll be too early for the Vikings to select either McCoy or Tebow.

Anyway, here’s what Spielman had to say about this year’s crop of QBs: “It’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds. I don’t know if it’s as heavy at the top as it has been, but there may be some values as you go on down through the rounds. I think there’s value and if you do a good job in your preparation and you do a good job in developing your board, you can get some value for guys in those later rounds.”

That prompted a follow question from one of the reporters, asking if he envisioned the Vikings finding a good value at QB in the later rounds.

“There’s potentially a few that could be valued in the backend,” Spielman said. “Again, it’s still early in the process, and we’ve still got a lot of boxes to fill in our reports.”

– Spielman will enter his 20th season in the NFL in 2010 and he’s also spent time as an analyst on ESPN covering the NFL, so he performs well when he’s meeting with reporters. Because of his experience both in front offices and TV studios, he knows when to answer a question seriously, when to joke around and when to mix in a little of both.

A great example of this is his response when informed that Favre will be appearing on the Jay Leno Show on March 4. Spielman, who wasn’t aware of Favre’s show business plans, said he’d have to TiVo the program because he’d already be in bed sleeping.

“I’m an early riser and early to bed guy,” Spielman said.

– Rules of the Final League Year – specifically the rule that requires a player to accrue 6 seasons instead of 4 to achieve unrestricted free agent (UFA) status and the final 4 rule that places restrictions on teams that participated in Conference Championship Games from signing UFAs – will make acquiring free agents a bit more cumbersome for the Vikings this offseason.

With that in mind, Spielman was asked if the draft them becomes more important than in years past.

“I don’t ever think a draft is not important,” Spielman pointed out. “I don’t think you ever go into a draft and say ‘Hey, this one is going to be really important. Last year wasn’t very important at all.’

“Every draft is extremely important and I don’t take it differently and we’re not going to do anything differently than we have in the past.”

– It’s been widely speculated that the Vikings will open their regular season with a Thursday night game at the New Orleans Saints. Spielman said he hasn’t been given any indication by the league that that’s indeed the case.

– Finally, Spielman was asked about players turn down opportunities to participate in certain aspects of the Combine, specifically QBs who elect not to throw in front of NFL coaches and scouts. Here was his response: “I just think, again, regardless of position, if you’re not here competing then I’ve always had an issue with that, especially if you’re healthy. And I know there have been some quarterbacks that have not thrown here and one of the biggest reasons you here is because they don’t have the timing down with the receivers. And when you’re evaluating QBs at the Combine, you’re looking more at his mechanics and his release…looking at the arm strength. You know that he may have never thrown to that guy.

“You may want to ask some of the agents why they don’t have their quarterbacks throw, but I imagine that (comfort with receivers) may be one of the reasons. They want to go to their campus (on their Pro Day) and throw on their own turf, throw to the people they’ve been throwing to the last four years. And that’s great but the people you’ve been throwing to the last four years probably aren’t going to be the people you’re throwing to when you come into minicamp. So are you not going to throw in minicamp until you get used to those guys?”

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Debating The Vikings Offensive Line And The NFL Draft

Posted by cjsiewert on February 26, 2010 – 8:48 am

The NFL Scouting Combine is now in full swing and the event allows us the opportunity to begin speculating how NFL teams will use the draft to improve their roster.

No position on any team is exempt from being addressed via draft picks, including the left side of the Vikings offensive line. On one hand, the Purple featured 2 Pro Bowlers in that spot during 2009 season. On the other hand, though, one could raise concern in light of LG Steve Hutchinson’s nagging injuries last season and the choices LT Bryant McKinnie made in the week leading up to the Pro Bowl.

If your focus tends to drift toward the negative, perhaps you view OL as a need for the Vikings heading into the 2010 NFL Draft.

But I don’t see the need at all.

Admittedly, McKinnie has dealt with off-field transgressions, but on the field the mammoth LT has been an effective player for the Vikings during his entire career. McKinnie has paved the way for All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of the last 3 seasons and he did the same for Chester Taylor back in 2006.

As far as the LG position goes, the Vikings haven’t had a worry since Hutchinson arrived in 2006 and they likely won’t have to worry about that spot for another 4-5 seasons.

Hutchinson has been arguably the best player at his position in the NFL since he entered the league in 2001. He’s a 7-time Pro Bowler who has blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his 9 NFL seasons – Shaun Alexander from 2001-05, Taylor in 2006 and Peterson from 2007-09.

After talking with fellow writer Mike Wobschall, it’s agreed that McKinnie and Hutchinson are still playing very well and aren’t soon approaching a drop-off.

As a result, don’t count on the Vikings using an early-round pick to address either position along the left side of their offensive line.

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Day 3 Schedule; Childress To Meet With Media

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 26, 2010 – 7:38 am

Day 3 of the NFL Scouting Combine is underway in Indianapolis and I’m in the Lucas Oil Stadium media center to make sure you’re covered and updated on all the happenings.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress will make his media rounds, just as VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman did on Thursday. Childress will go to the podium here in the media center around 10:15 a.m. CT, then he may or may not swing by the SIRIUS Satellite Radio booth and finally he’ll have a sitdown session with Vikings beat writers.

For the players, Day 3 is arrival day for Groups 7-9, which consist of DL and LBs. They’ll go through registration, hospital pre-exam and x-rays, orientation and team interviews. Groups 4-6, who arrived on Thursday, will go through measurements, medical exams, media sessions, psychological testing and team interviews. And Groups 1-3 will have an NFLPA meeting, psychological testing, on-field workouts and more team interviews.

Saturday is the day you’ll start to see the on-field workouts really start to come into play, which is a fun part of this event to observe.

That’s it for now, but we’ll have constant updates today so be sure to stay tuned to and the Blog to stay in the loop…

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