So as a Minnesota sports fan, I’ve been following the recent drafts of the Timberwolves, and tonight the Wild. Leading up to the draft, there has been all this talk about coaching turmoil, and more importantly mis-management by the Timberwolves GM David Kahn. Essentially, since Kahn (or KAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHNNNNN as we call him) has been in the office, he has ran 2 drafts with no coach or coaching input. He is a GM who has 100% input on players, and seems to make all final decisions of drafts and personnel.
On the flipside, the Vikings do not have a GM, but rather a triangle of authority. The difference in this case is that Coach Frazier (and previously Brad Childress), Rick Spielmann and Rob Brzezinski work as a team, and all have input on all decisions made. When Brad Childress was the coach, he seemed to wield his power over the other two, but still it was a triangle of authority. Frazier will have final call for decisions, but may not make rash decisions like Childress did. I don’t see Frazier as a guy who will send a player packing on Christmas eve, or trade for Moss and cut him soon after.
With the firing of Childress, many people thought the Vikings should hire a GM, and let the GM hire a coach. In fact, most were clamoring for Bill Parcells to be our GM, and let him hire his coach. I think that it makes for a interesting power structure, most NFL teams tend to have a GM in place. My personal opinion is that our setup with the Vikings seems to be perfect, because of the people in place. Spielmann and Brzensinski seem to be excellent at what they do, and I believe that Leslie Frazier will work well with them. I do not believe the Vikings need a GM, we have over the past few years been aggressive in free agency when needed, drafted well, and retained important players. On the flipside, the Timberwolves with a power hungry GM running the show, have done the opposite, they seem to have done a terrible job with coaching, made questionable drafts, and don’t even have players old enough to get a second contract yet. A footnote here is that I really liked the draft last night by the Timberwolves….
In essence, I think that as a Minnesota sports fan, we can look at our how teams our structured, and get an idea of what works. With the right people in place, you can run a team with a General Manager calling the shots, or with the Vikings, build a championship caliber team (crossing fingers here) with 3 people working together towards the common goal. I really do like the current structure of our Vikings, and feel like it has worked in the past, and will continue to work. With a new CBA nearing completion, it really is going to be important to have our numbers in order (Brzezinski), and the rest of the team to work on re-signing our key guys.
Follow TomSimano on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomsimano