View Full Version : Foley assessing needs

02-17-2006, 02:06 PM
Posted on Fri, Feb. 17, 2006

Foley assessing needs

New personnel chief doesn't tip hand about Culpepper

Pioneer Press

Three weeks after hiring Fran Foley as their vice president of player personnel, the Vikings introduced him to the Twin Cities media Thursday.
Owner Zygi Wilf praised Foley as someone who "has a keen eye for free-agent talent." Wilf didn't take questions, and Foley had no comment about a possible trade of quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

Foley, who spent the past three seasons as San Diego's director of pro scouting, wouldn't even bite on the question of whether quarterback is a need position for the Vikings, with Culpepper trying to come back from a devastating knee injury that is expected to keep him off the practice field until this summer at the earliest.

"I couldn't answer that," Foley said. "I will tell you this, though: We will evaluate every position in free agency and in the draft. … Positional needs and things like that, we're not going to do it that way. As we go forward here, we're evaluating every position, every player, and we're going to be thorough at it."

Foley wouldn't comment about wide receiver Koren Robinson or the rest of the Vikings' 16 pending unrestricted free agents, or speculate about which players or positions the team might target in free agency.

Asked how aggressive the Vikings would be, he said: "That remains to be seen. That, too, changes daily. We're trying to get a target list together and some other ideas, but we're still unsure of when free agency may even start."

Free agency is scheduled to begin March 3, but with NFL owners and the players union still working to negotiate an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, there have been reports that the start date might be pushed back a week or two or all the way to April 1.

"It would be a lot easier to have the start of the league year come and go (March 3)," Foley said. "But it is what it is. Whatever happens, happens. We've just got to be prepared for all scenarios."

Foley, who is preparing for next week's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, said he spent his first week on the job evaluating the Vikings' players and thinks his department has a good feel for everyone on the roster.

The team also has an early free-agency plan in place, although that will need to be revised as players re-sign with their teams or are hit with franchise tags.

"We've ID'd the type of athlete the coaches want at each position," Foley said. "That's been communicated to the scouts and the work force. We feel pretty comfortable we know what they're looking for."

On the clock: Foley said he is evaluating director of college scouting Scott Studwell, coordinator of pro personnel Jeff Robinson and the rest of the scouting department, which will stay on at least through the April 29-30 NFL draft.

"The scenario I shared with them was we're evaluated every day in what we do," Foley said. "The owner's evaluating me, and I'm evaluating them. I will give them a fair evaluation. We've got a ways to go on that."
Contracts for the personnel staff expire May 31.

Quip of the day: Foley, asked if he, coach Brad Childress and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski are on an equal footing in the team's Triangle of Authority: "Not exactly. It's a little trickier than that. I will offer you this: I'm responsible for all of the players that are good, and Brad and Rob can take all the players that aren't."

Culture shock: Foley said his family flew in Wednesday night from San Diego, "where they had a winter advisory there. I believe it dipped into the 60s with a chance of rain."

Foley said his children were excite because they hadn't seen snow before.

Briefly: Mewelde Moore's agent, Neil Schwartz, said the running back had surgery during Super Bowl week on the right wrist that bothered him this past season

02-17-2006, 02:14 PM
hummm, thats typical a lot of guff and bluff, but no commitment. I'm left wondering more now, then before I read the article.


02-17-2006, 02:21 PM
Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune


• Foley said he will spend the next few months evaluating each member of the scouting department to determine who will remain with the organization. That list includes director of college scouting Scott Studwell and pro personnel coordinator Jeff Robinson. The contracts of most scouts expire May 31.

"I don't need my own people to be successful," Foley said. "I need people that work hard."

• Foley has spent the past three weeks evaluating the Vikings roster but would not offer an opinion on it. When asked whether he was happy with it or whether it needed a lot of work, he said, "If it didn't need any work, I wouldn't be here."

02-17-2006, 03:01 PM
"Mikecarter81" wrote:

hummm, thats typical a lot of guff and bluff, but no commitment. I'm left wondering more now, then before I read the article.

also means that the Vikes aren't tipping their hand in terms of what they may want to do in FA or ultimately come Draft Day and I'm all in favour of that

02-17-2006, 03:22 PM
Zygi Wilf
Link (http://www.noticias.info/asp/aspComunicados.asp?nid=147571&src=0)

I would like to introduce to you now Fran Foley, Vice President of Player Personnel. Fran has a keen eye for free agent talent and how it fits with the team. He has signed nine free agent players who went on to the Pro Bowl in his career. Fran has a proven record of turnarounds, helping take Jacksonville from an expansion team to the AFC Championship in two years and turning San Diego around from a 4-12 season to a 12-4 season the next year. Fran is an experienced football man with 10 years of college coaching and 10 years of NFL personnel experience. I would like to welcome to the Minnesota Vikings our new Vice President of Player Personnel, Fran Foley.

Fran Foley

Good morning. Thanks for coming out; I appreciate you braving the elements. I want to let everyone know how excited I am to be here, to be in Minnesota even though I've been here for three weeks. The days have run together; maybe I'm off by a day or two. My family is in town. They flew in last night from San Diego where they had a winter advisory there; I believe it dipped into the 60s with a chance of rain. They are excited about being here. My children have never seen snow, so the first thing they wanted to do after getting their bags off the plane was to go out and try to feel and see what snow was like. They were disappointed we didn't get hit with the snowstorm, but I promised them before they left to go back to San Diego they would have a chance to see what a snowball was. One of the things that came about that was evident in the interview process the two times I met with people from the Vikings was that the ownership group here is as strong as I've been with. I've been blessed to have great owners where I've been, both with Mr. Wayne Weaver in Jacksonville and Mr. Dean Spanos and the Spanos family in San Diego. It's vital; you can't have success without it, and I know that it exists here. I want to thank the Wilfs and the Vikings' ownership group for the opportunity. As many of you know, when I came to interview with Minnesota, I did not have a history with the team. I did not know Brad Childress. I did not know Rob Brzezinski. I did not know the Wilfs or any of the owners. So they took a leap of faith with me, if you will, to come here, and I am indebted to the Wilf family as well as the search committee that put their faith in me to handle this job and the responsibility it brings. Currently we are preparing for the combine. Two weeks from now it will be free agency, which is quickly followed by the annual selection meeting otherwise known as the NFL Draft. I can assure the passionate fan base of Minnesota that we will bring, in all of our collective powers, high-quality individuals to the Vikings organization. We are in the business and the process of player procurement and everyone is extremely busy maintaining that edge, so we have a lot of things to do. I would like to open it up to some questions, knowing that I do have an extremely busy agenda.

Q: Will you have the same level of responsibility here as you did in San Diego and Jacksonville or more?
A: I'll be responsible for more individuals, but the decision-making process and how that flows, it's similar to what I've been involved in.

Q: There has been a lot of speculation here about Daunte Culpepper. Do you have any feelings on where that is going?
A: My position will be that we're not going to talk about our football business in public. It's just not going to happen. It's not the way that I do business and it won't be the way that we'll do business from this point forward.

Q: How do you size up the roster at this point?
A: We've had extensive meetings and an evaluation process on the roster. It's taken place. I had a history of the players obviously that I brought with from my experiences in San Diego and Jacksonville, so I had a little bit of knowledge of the players prior to the interview. My first week on the job was spent pretty much evaluating the talent here and then meeting with the coaches as they had done their evaluation. We think we have a pretty good feel for every player on the roster.

Q: How have you gone about evaluating talent?
A: We set up meetings. After everybody had done their own individual evaluation of their positions with the coaches and myself as a team, we all got together and we sat down and had a roundtable discussion. Involved with that meeting was Jeff Robinson and Scott Studwell and Rob Brzezinski was in there as well. They all offered their different opinions and some background on some of these players as well. That took the better part of probably 10 days to get that thing wrapped up.

Q: How do you evaluate a player like Daunte Culpepper, who is injured?
A: Again, you can only evaluate what you have. There is game footage on him. You can go back, there is history on a player. Preseason tape, there is everything. That's part of the evaluation.

Q: What is your opinion of him as a quarterback?
A: I'm not going to get into that. I'm not going to get into any player evaluation. I can't do that. That's football business and we don't operate like that.

Q: What goals do you have for this franchise during the offseason?
A: Player acquisition and player procurement, that's what we do. We're trying to accumulate as many players at every position as we possibly can to better the team.

Q: Do you have specifics?
A: No. Again, we have a plan in place. We've been through the plan many times. We keep hammering at it again and again. We'll continue to do that until the day is done and the season starts. It's an ongoing process. It doesn't start today, it doesn't stop tomorrow, it just continues to flow. It's all fluid.

Q: As far as the decision-making here, is the portrayal that this will be a triangle with you, Coach Childress, and Rob Brzezinski all on equal ground accurate?
A: Not exactly. It's a little trickier than that. I will offer you this. I'm responsible for all of the players that are good, and Brad and Rob can't take all the players that aren't. But no, you're correct in assuming that.

Q: So just to clarify, you will not comment on Culpepper?
A: I won't talk on any evaluation of any current player. Legally I can't do that in some cases. Whether it's Daunte or another player, I can't give you an evaluation on him as a performer or our plans with the player.

Q: Have you been in contact with any of the current players?
A: No. The chain of command, that wouldn't specifically fall in my realm.

Q: How aggressive will you be in free agency?
A: That remains to be seen. That too changes daily. We're trying to get a target list together and some other ideas, but we're still unsure of when free agency may even start. We have a plan in place whether it's pushed back or it starts tomorrow. We're ready to go.

Q: Can you judge this year's free agent class?
A: No, only because it hasn't started yet. I don't know that I would weigh that good, bad, or indifferent. It is what it is, and you have to make the best of it once you know what is out there.

Q: Can you talk about the needs of this team?
A: No. Again, that is part of our business. It's too competitive out there. We're not going to share any of that with the public. I just can't. All I can tell you is that we've identified this team. We have an idea as we go forward what it is what we want to look at as far as a player and what type of player at every position. That has been spelled out and that has been given to the scouts as they go forward to finish their evaluations prior to the draft and then into free agency. But no, we can't tell you right now what we are thinking.

Q: Is there a chain of command on the pro scouting side? Do you have a Director of Pro Scouting?
A: No, we're all working together much in the same way as the college (scouting).
That's part of the evaluation. As I told Mr. Wilf, he asked me,‘do you need your own people to do the job?', and my response in the interview clearly was I don't need my own people to be successful. I need people that work hard. His response in return was, ‘we have some good people here' and I said I would clearly give them the opportunity to stay, but there would be an evaluation process and that is ongoing.

Q: Do you think the answers you are giving to the fans today will keep them happy or are you just telling them to sit back and wait and watch to see what the team does?
A: I would just offer to the fans to know that we too feel an evaluation. Mr. Wilf is evaluating me every day, just as I am evaluating the process by which we do our business. All I would ask from them is to give us a chance as we go forward here. We're new to the task. I think they'll see some results in a short time, but that remains to be seen.