SBD/January 20, 2014/Franchises

Wilfs Believe Power Structure Between Vikings' Coach, GM Will Lead To Success

Spielman (l) determines personnel and Zimmer (r) coaching staff under Zygi Wilf

The Vikings’ hire of Mike Zimmer as head coach marks the first time the Wilf family, which owns the team, has “hired a coach with the current power structure already established,” according to Mark Craig of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. GM Rick Spielman has “final say on personnel and Zimmer has final say on his coaching staff, schemes and who plays.” Co-Owner Mark Wilf said, “We feel this is the winning structure in the NFL” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/19).’s Ben Goessling wrote if the Spielman-Zimmer partnership is “going to work, the two will have to work well together.” The Vikings “haven't had a true coach-GM partnership for years, thanks to an odd power structure that often created confusion about who was really in charge, and the stakes will be high for both Zimmer and Spielman to make this one work” (, 1/17). In Jacksonville, Vito Stellino wrote Zimmer “doesn’t fit the corporate image many owners are looking for in a head coach these days.” Zimmer is “noted for his profanity-laced tirades, which have been captured" in his three appearances on HBO's "Hard Knocks." His hiring “went against the grain this year because of his lack of head coaching experience” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/19).

TIME TO START FROM SCRATCH? CBS Sports Network's Amy Trask said the system for hiring coaches "really needs to be evaluated, perhaps, torn apart and re-done." Trask: "The system doesn’t work for the assistants with the teams that advance the furthest, and it doesn’t work for the teams that advance the furthest. ... The more success you have at the club level, the less the system works for you” ("That Other Pregame Show," CBSSN, 1/19).

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