Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman recently sat down for an interview with the Pioneer Press, and made a few comments on the status of the team. Spielman of course is going into his first season as the GM of the Vikings, and so far fans seem to like the direction he’s taking the team.
Here are a few highlights from the interview:
On making more moves before the start of the season:
“I don’t think we’re ever done making moves. We monitoring the (waiver) wire every day. We have our short list. We’ll continue to watch how we’re progressing with our current players, but we’re also making comparisons all the time. If there are players who do come available and we think they can help improve our ballclub, we’re definitely going to do some moves.”
On Christian Ponder‘s development:
“I think we’re excited about his progress from where he was on Day 1 of OTAs to where he ended up at the end of minicamp. Now we have to see that continue, along with all our players, especially these young guys.”
Who’s impressing at minicamps? Breakout players?
You’re hoping (first-round pick) Harrison Smith is going to help on the back end and solidify that safety spot. You’ve seen the progress in Mistral Raymond and how much more confidence he’s playing with. Last year, he was a converted corner. We threw him at safety at the beginning of training camp. You can see the significant progress he’s made just because he’s more comfortable with that position. He has some natural play-making skills. Jerome Simpson has been very, very exciting. His enthusiasm rubs off on everybody, and his approach and play-making ability (are impressive). Those are some guys who jump out.
Thoughts on Matt Kalil:
“We haven’t put the pads on yet, but you see the physical skill set is there. You’ve got to understand he’s still a (college) junior, a young guy coming out who has to learn. But he’s going to have great competition going against Jared Allen every day in training camp. I know the type of teammate Jared is. He’s maybe the best, if not the best, pass rusher in the league right now. For a Matt Kalil to go against someone of that caliber every day should help his progress.”
So far I like the strategy Spielman has implored in his short tenure as GM. I suppose you could use the term “Moneyball” when it comes to his approach. Spielman uses the strategy of signing and trading for value players, and developing young talent. He seems to be about building a team, not a few stars with players around them.
His strategy won’t be one that shows it’s results overnight, but long-term, it sets the team up for multiple years of success. If Spielman picks enough of the right value and developmental players, the Vikings will be right back into legitimate contention in no time.