View Full Version : Chris Mortensen article - ya sure, ya betcha....

09-22-2005, 09:21 PM
Wilf needs outside help to right ship

By Chris Mortensen
ESPN Insider

Two cents worth, around the NFL:

It's not as simple as Randy Moss. The Minnesota Vikings look like a dreadful 0-2 team for a few reasons.

Mike Tice either should have been fired by former owner Red McCombs or given a minimum two-year extension at the end of the 2004 season. A one-year contract severely limited Tice's options to replace valued offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who bolted for the Miami Dolphins and an $800,000-plus annual salary. Nobody wants to work for a lame-duck coach.

Tice erred when he assigned line coach Steve Loney the job of play calling. Quarterback coach Rich Olson should have been given the controls.

Even with Tice (a former line coach) helping Loney, the Vikings' line is awful so far. By now, we understand just how valuable injured Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was to the Vikings' offense, not just physically but from a leadership and football intelligence standpoint.

There's also the bigger picture to consider.

New Vikings owner Zygi Wilf needs to immediately hire a true football consultant to assist him in his transition. He needs an outside set of experienced eyes, not unlike what Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank did when he hired former Chargers and Redskins GM Bobby Beathard to assess the organization shortly after Blank purchased the team.

Ron Wolf, the former Packers GM, is a logical candidate, although Wolf has been content in retirement and might feel treasonous in helping a division rival of his former team.

Wilf always could see if Beathard wants another go-around as a consultant, although I truly doubt it. If not Beathard, then perhaps his former lieutenant, Billy Devaney, who is working for CBS' NFL pregame show and still is very active in assessing the league.

Ron Hill, the former Falcons VP of personnel, put many of Atlanta's current players in place, including orchestrating the trade for Michael Vick. He also grew close to Beathard during that period of consultation. But because he was a Dan Reeves man, Hill was facing the inevitable termination and finally was let go this summer. An inopportune time for Hill could be an opportunity for Wilf.

Rick Spielman, currently working as an analyst right here on ESPN.com, is another worthwhile candidate. He's been tainted by what happened during his last stop with the Miami Dolphins, but he had always carried a solid reputation, not to mention that he just carries himself well, period.

Former 49ers and Browns VP Dwight Clark also is a bright guy who has experienced the heights of greatness in San Francisco and the pits of transition in Cleveland. There has to be some knowledge worth tapping into with Clark.

Why not check in with an ex-Viking executive like Jeff Diamond, a vastly underrated front-office leader?

Last but not least, Wilf also should call John Wooten, a savvy, veteran personnel man of the NFL who also is in semi-retirement. Wooten's last stop was with the Baltimore Ravens before he rode into the sunset with a Super Bowl ring. Wooten is well connected in league circles and has Yoda-like wisdom.

It's not that the Vikings don't have some capable people on board. But at a time like this, you need an outside set of eyes, somebody who isn't influenced by current relationships. You need an auditor to help you reset your organization before taking, hopefully, several steps forward.

Wilf, I'm sure, has already thought of this.

09-22-2005, 09:24 PM
Oldman he does make some valid points and I would be thrilled with Dwight Clark being our GM because he knows how a front office should run and he can get us a coach in here that is not overmatched every week.

09-22-2005, 09:37 PM
No set of 'outside eyes' or consultant is going to make a huge difference if the players don't execute and play well together.

09-22-2005, 09:45 PM
Jeff Diamond who put us in one of the worst cap situations in the league, the guy who went to the Titans and screwed up there front office.

Let's get him!

09-22-2005, 10:16 PM
"JDogg926" wrote:

No set of 'outside eyes' or consultant is going to make a huge difference if the players don't execute and play well together.

I agree! Granted coaches call the schemes but the players have to execute and that is exactly the opposite of what the vikes are doing this year. Go get help if that's what you want, but maybe help on the field would be more fitting (i.e o-lineman!)

09-23-2005, 01:24 AM
linehan may have been insturmental to Culpepper's success, if you remember billick was the for cunningham great year next year he's gone cunningham sucks.

09-23-2005, 03:30 AM
I think that Mort has a lot of valuable points, it would not hurt the organization to at least talk to any of these people. I definitely think the idea of an outside set of eyes makes a lot of sense.

09-23-2005, 05:32 AM
Yeah,I have to kinda agree with him on most points.However i think our scouting department is pretty freaking good!

09-23-2005, 06:10 AM
Heck, we got one of the best football minds in the country sitting in the Vikings office already -- Bud Grant! He's been keeping up with things. Why the heck would we need to hire another "old fart?"

iron brigade
09-23-2005, 08:29 AM
No matter how you slice it, Mike "Bargain Basement" Tice needs to go. He will never be a coach that will take a team to the Superbowl. I think Mort's article is first rate. I'd like to see Dwight Clark run the show from the front office if I had my choice.

09-23-2005, 09:19 AM

(Clap! Clap! Clap!)


(Clap! Clap! Clap!)


(Clap! Clap! Clap!)


(Clap! Clap! Clap!)


(Clap! Clap! Clap!)


(Clap! Clap! Clap!)

.....anybody cheering with me....Tice needs ta hit the road!

09-23-2005, 01:02 PM
I'm not so concerned about our player personnel decisions - I think those have been pretty decent - we've got the horses we need - what we need is a field general to lead this group into battle - I'm sick of making excuses for Tice and his coaching staff

We still have time to right this ship

Something tells me our owner, who made a fortune as a New Jersey based real estate developer, won't put up with this for long - think about it


09-23-2005, 04:48 PM
I think that saying players have to execute is a little simplistic. Our coaches have to design a game plan that allows our players to have success. They need to know the players strengths and weaknesses and put them in a position to make a play. That is why the TUNA can come in and with almost the same perssonell take a team that was 5-11 and turn it around and go 10-6. Not much personell change in a year but different attitude, different scheme, and a different atmosphere. If you have an atmosphere that failure won't be tolerated you find less failure. That is just human nature, where you have room for error more people will use that room knowing they have a second, third and sometimes fourth and fifth chances. That makes for sloppy, mistake prone football.

09-23-2005, 05:37 PM
IF we start the year 0-3 should we fire Tice
now or wait until the end of the year?
On NFL today, yesterday, The Sals (J.Salsberry)
said that there will be 6 to 8 really good coaches
out there looking for jobs. So do we wait or do we move
now??? Maybe the Sals will come on in and kick some
a$$ and turn this organization around???

09-23-2005, 05:48 PM
"bigdogbovy" wrote:

linehan may have been insturmental to Culpepper's success, if you remember billick was the for cunningham great year next year he's gone cunningham sucks.

I think the bond and how they relate to each other in a football perspective is important like you said. This is much more of our problem than not having Randy. Pep needs to adjust (much better) to the mega defensive schemes we now see without Moss. No more cover 2 or use Moss as a decoy stuff. The complete O and The O-Cord must adjust just as much as Pep.

I'm probably more diappointed in our O-line. Maybe Steve should only coach one thing??? The O-Line or the O-Cord job and concentrate on it. Maybe not? Our fix is probably many things, all could be related too so if we start with fixing one thing at a time (like the O-line) and maybe the QB position gets (fixed) or better too.

It's a residual effect with fixing one thing at a time ....then some wins come along (confidence) and then we start getting some MOJO.

09-23-2005, 05:57 PM
I love Tice, and hope he is here forever. He is undermanned, and underpaid. The fact he stuck through this is to me impressive. He has been on the "hotseat" since he took the job, and IMO, he is going "YAWN" at all this stuff. He didn't bolt like Linehan. He is a line coach, and a good one. He COULD have went somewhere and been paid well. I still think he will outlast Sherman. And tell me that loosing Birk without much notice right at the first of the year wouldn't screw you, just like Pep has your fantasy football. They will get it back together. Two games and the panic button has been hit.