Welcome to some very special access to new Minnesota Vikings General Manager, Rick Spielman. Spielman, former Vice President of Player Personnel, received the dandy title of General Manager, meaning he is now solely responsible for all personnel decisions, allegedly. You see, this is different because before he was just a VP who had a little bit of a voice in the matter, and now he has a little bit more voice, but a totally different name. Soooo, totally different. Good for him. Bad for everyone else who actually likes this team. But in order to determine how lateral of a move this truly is, Purple Jesus Diaries was invited to a very exclusive, special, after-press conference party (yes, they totally have those!) where we were allowed to hear some additional questions and answers* after Spielman blubbered like a mother watching her daughter’s first dance recital post-press conference …
Q: Rick, you’re moving from a “Triangle of Authority” where personnel moves were a collaborative effort to a top-down management approach. So, hypothetically, in a situation like the draft where, let’s just say, a coach or something would want to take an offensive play-maker, and maybe, someone else, say, a general manager, would want to trade down for more picks, who gets the final say there and who is responsible?
A: Well, certainly it will be a collaborative effort. In football, you have to work with people in your organization, and definitely Leslie Frazier and I have a working relationship back and forth for several years now. In decisions like this, I would of course value his input, but the final decision rests in my hands, as the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings.
Q: So you would be responsible?
A: I wouldn’t say I would be the one “responsible,” per se, just that I’d make the decision. If it was the wrong decision, it clearly would be someone elses fault.
Q: So you’ve already had a GM role with the Dolphins, is that correct?
A: Yes, a short role, just one year. It was a great learning experience.
Q: What did you learn there, and why was it so short?
A: Well, I learned lots of things. I learned how to maximize value, to create efficiencies, communicate effectively, reduce waste, limit misuse, recycle, reuse, and sell drugs. I won’t comment on why it was so short, however, that is something you could ask the Dolphins about.
Q: If we may be so blunt … It seemed that you learned how to trade draft picks unnecessarily for mediocre players. Trading for AJ Feeley, trading picks to move up and select Vernon Carey instead of Vince Wilfork, something called a Lamar Gordon … Flash forward and we are looking at Tarvaris Jackson and Toby Gerhart. When does it end, Rick?
A: Well, I don’t believe I’ll have to do that this year, if that helps. We have several capable quarterbacks on this roster currently, and that Sage Rosenfels is a lot like AJ Feeley, which I really like on a football team, anyway. I think we’re set there. But really, guys, you never know what situation you’re going to find yourself in. Sometimes it’s the heat of the moment. Will I trade a 6th and a 3rd to move up three spots to get another slow skill position player? Maybe. Probably. But if it doesn’t work out, even though I made the decision, I promise you that I’ll take full responsibility to find the culprit and make sure he accepts his actions. We can’t afford those type of mistakes on a 3 and 13 football team anymore.
Q: But you just said it’d be your responsibility?
A: No, you’re mistaken. I would take full responsibility to find the person who made a poor player decision like that.
Q: But … aren’t you fully responsible for player decisions, you said?
A: I make decisions on players, but in collaboration. I said I would always hold those accountable who are responsible.
Q: …. Like … Yourself?
A: Like those responsible.
Q: Those responsible for Toby Gerhart? Or are you blaming that on Childress?
A: Those. Responsible.
Q: …. So … Has nothing changed?
A: Absolutely not. And we’re looking forward to 2012.
*No we weren’t. This totally never happened.