Rudolph Makes 2011 NFP All-Rookie Team

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 4, 2012 – 11:03 am

The Vikings selected Kyle Rudolph in the 2nd round of last April’s draft in a move that was a bit of a surprise. It wasn’t a surprise that Rudolph went that high in the draft (some thought he could’ve gone earlier), it was a surprise because TE wasn’t considered a position of need for the Vikings.

Whether you’d consider TE a position of need for the Vikings or not, though, it’s become clear in Minnesota that Rudolph very well could have a significant place in the offense. He also has a significant place among 2011’s rookie class because the National Football Post named him to their 2011 All-Rookie team.

Greg Gabriel of the NFP says “Rudolph has the bulk, size and power to play as an inline tight end and the speed and finesse to be a move type.”

Once Rudolph arrived at training camp and found his way onto the field, he consistently made highlight-caliber catches, often times in traffic and over defenders. While it would’ve been nice to see him involved more often earlier in the season, Rudolph did finish the season well and his numbers were obviously good enough to earn him some post-season recognition. He had 39 receptions and 3 TDs on the season.

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Wilf Ownership Group Seeking Clarity, Consistency In Naming Spielman GM

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 4, 2012 – 7:36 am

From the moment the Wilf family purchased the Vikings, they made clear their desire and intention to bring championship-caliber football to Minnesota. Through back-to-back division titles, a NFC title game appearances, losing seasons and winning seasons, the Wilfs and the Vikings organization remain on that quest.

On Tuesday, the Wilfs made a significant adjustment to the Vikings organizational structure by naming Rick Spielman as the team’s GM. It’s a move the Wilfs believe will help the Vikings achieve their primary goal – winning Super Bowls.

“We gave a lot of thought to the whole process,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said. “But knowing Rick and his body of work, and working with him so closely over the years, we felt that he was the right person for this position. We’re very confident that he and Leslie together will bring us the goal that we and all the fans want – that’s championships.”

Spielman has been with the club since May of 2006 as VP of Player Personnel, with the responsibility of overseeing the club’s pro and college scouting departments. In his new role, though, Spielman’s charge is to oversee all football-related activities and operations as well as the pro and college scouting departments.

Coming off consecutive 6-10 and 3-13 seasons, the Wilfs felt a new protocol and method of operation was needed to put the team in position to succeed. There was no one or two events that transpired recently that prompted the Wilf ownership group to alter its organizational structure. Rather, the Wilfs surveyed the NFL landscape to see what has worked for other clubs and cross-referenced that with what they felt would work well in Minnesota.

“It was a process over several months, through the season,” Wilf said. “As we got toward the end of the year, and we feel going forward to the future, looking at what’s successful in the League, and what we need to do to get better, there needs to be more consistency, purpose and accountability that needs to be more clarified. I do think we have the right people, and we sat together as ownership and felt that this structure had to be clarified.”

“Most importantly,” Zygi Wilf added, “it’s a long-term solution for the franchise. As Mark said, we’ve been successful in the past, but we felt that for the long-term progress and success of the ballclub, that the model that existed for successful teams (around the NFL) is the model we would follow.”

Building and maintaining a successful organizational structure and model is nothing new for the Wilf family. Zygi Wilf leads an ownership group with the Vikings that closely mirrors the structure that has led the Wilf family to national prominence in their business ventures with Garden Homes Development, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development.

“We wanted to take a hard look at how we can be better,” Wilf said. “And we wanted to establish a clear organizational structure, and a consistency and purpose moving forward. We feel this is the structure and the move we need to make to get better as a football team and win championships.”

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