Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingLord » Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:20 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:45 pm
Seriously (well, I am serious about Rudolph) I think the most effective thing the Vikings could do to manage the cap would be to fire Zimmer and Spielman. I do agree we shouldn't do it unless we plan to hire someone better ... so I'll give it to you. Mentioned this in the New Orleans thread as well.

Hire Mike Borgonzi, the Chiefs director of football operations, as GM. He's been No. 2 for both the Chiefs and the Patriots, two solid winning cultures. But only hire him on the condition that he then hires Eric Bieniemy as head coach. You don't work under Andy Reid for 8 years without learning a thing or two.
I'm not necessarily opposed to your suggestions.

My only observation would be is if Borgonzi is so good, why has he been No. 2 and not No. 1? I don't know him and I don't mean that question to be a dig at your suggestion. If he's a better option than Spielman, maybe he makes sense, but I've witnessed guys like Brad Childress get pulled along by the current of a talented head coach and a successful NFL team and then be elevated to a head coaching role when that guy has no business being in the role because he's an actor in the play and not the director. Just being associated with success doesn't mean the guy had anything to do with creating the success per se. If he's the latter I'll stick with Spielman.

As for Zimmer, I'm not sure. His team has been behind the 8-ball all season, and these last two games in particular he's had to go with a defensive group that I don't think anyone could have coached much more out of. Yesterday was like watching Alabama go up against North Appalachian State in one of those college season warmup games for the big programs. The Vikings were completely out-classed when they were on defense.

If there is a coach in the NFL (or at any level) capable of taking that sorry group of players the Vikings trotted out on defense yesterday and getting them to the level where they could compete with the Saints offense, yes, make that man the head coach and give him god-level control over the team as well. Not sure Bieniemy is that guy but if the Vikings did decide to make a move at GM they might as well let the GM decide who he wants his head coach to be.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by Maelstrom88 » Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:46 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:45 pm
I think it's time to cut ties with Kyle Rudolph. Smith and Conklin are more productive.

There. I said it. :lol:

Seriously (well, I am serious about Rudolph) I think the most effective thing the Vikings could do to manage the cap would be to fire Zimmer and Spielman. I do agree we shouldn't do it unless we plan to hire someone better ... so I'll give it to you. Mentioned this in the New Orleans thread as well.

Hire Mike Borgonzi, the Chiefs director of football operations, as GM. He's been No. 2 for both the Chiefs and the Patriots, two solid winning cultures. But only hire him on the condition that he then hires Eric Bieniemy as head coach. You don't work under Andy Reid for 8 years without learning a thing or two.

Both of these guys are winners. We need winners here.

And hopefully they don't just hire their sons and buddies as assistant coaches. Honest to God, I've never seen as much nepotism as there is on the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff.
:appl: Completely agree. That would be an awesome start to the offseason!
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:34 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:20 pm
As for Zimmer, I'm not sure. His team has been behind the 8-ball all season, and these last two games in particular he's had to go with a defensive group that I don't think anyone could have coached much more out of. ... If there is a coach in the NFL (or at any level) capable of taking that sorry group of players the Vikings trotted out on defense yesterday and getting them to the level where they could compete with the Saints offense, yes, make that man the head coach
You seem to be implying that Zim was handed a vagabond group of players earlier in the week and was asked to fight the Persians at Thermopylae (yes I had to Google the spelling).

IMO the worst two on our defense were Stephen (drafted 2014) and Harris (2015). I'm tipping the scales at about 184 ellbees and I think I may be able to out-benchpress Stephen. You think Zim should've noticed that Stephen had trouble pressing his own shadow in the last six years or so?

There are no more excuses for Zim's teams getting manhandled at the LOS. Backup players have to be ready to play, plain and simple. No one can predict injuries in the NFL. In fact I would put "having backups ready to go" in the top five tasks a head coach needs to accomplish if they want to be a perennial playoff team.

Whether it's technique, strength and conditioning, being willing to run through a brick wall for your coach, whatever. The HC needs to instill whatever it takes, system-wise and atmosphere-wise to make sure his team is competitive in EVERY game.

I get it's been a tough year for coaches and players, but today I watched the 49ers D absolutely manhandle the Cards. With nothing on the line. With a number of backups. Third string QB that they probably did not have a lot of faith in. DC running all over the joint. Tackling that made you shudder from the couch.

The difference between THAT and our D yesterday was both astronomical and pitiful. And please don't tell me it had little to do with coaching and it's simply because their GM is light years better than ours (even though he may be!) and that he selected wonderful backup players in the 4th rd and later who happen to be naturally strong/fast/motivated while hiring a creative HC and also hiring wonderful assistant coaches for his HC and that Jimmy G only counts $42 against their salary cap.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by Mothman » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:21 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:20 pm
I'm not necessarily opposed to your suggestions.

My only observation would be is if Borgonzi is so good, why has he been No. 2 and not No. 1? I don't know him and I don't mean that question to be a dig at your suggestion. If he's a better option than Spielman, maybe he makes sense, but I've witnessed guys like Brad Childress get pulled along by the current of a talented head coach and a successful NFL team and then be elevated to a head coaching role when that guy has no business being in the role because he's an actor in the play and not the director. Just being associated with success doesn't mean the guy had anything to do with creating the success per se. If he's the latter I'll stick with Spielman.
Borgonzi has rapidly risen through the ranks of the Chiefs organization and seems highly respected in NFL circles. I don't get the impression he's a guy who has just been riding coattails.
As for Zimmer, I'm not sure. His team has been behind the 8-ball all season, and these last two games in particular he's had to go with a defensive group that I don't think anyone could have coached much more out of. Yesterday was like watching Alabama go up against North Appalachian State in one of those college season warmup games for the big programs. The Vikings were completely out-classed when they were on defense.

If there is a coach in the NFL (or at any level) capable of taking that sorry group of players the Vikings trotted out on defense yesterday and getting them to the level where they could compete with the Saints offense, yes, make that man the head coach and give him god-level control over the team as well. Not sure Bieniemy is that guy but if the Vikings did decide to make a move at GM they might as well let the GM decide who he wants his head coach to be.
The GM should definitely get to decide that which is why Zimmer and Spielman should be replaced in the same year.

Regarding Zimmer: fortunately, we can judge him on 7 years of work not just on a game in which he had to try stopping a potent (yet also banged up) Saints offense with an injury-depleted defense.

As long as the Vikings remain mediocre, there will be fair pro and con arguments to make about Zimmer and Spielman but the longer the team is mired in this mediocrity, the more we should all question why it's architects remain in place.

Give this pair another 3 years and the discussion will probably be the same because the results will probably be the same. The Wilfs have been patient and supportive and that patience and support has been rewarded with 2 narrow playoff victories over the Saints that were followed by drubbings in PHI and SF, respectively. Those are the Vikings highest achievements in the past 7 years.

It could be worse but they shouldn't be afraid to strive for more.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by Raz » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:55 pm

psjordan wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:34 pm
VikingLord wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:20 pm
As for Zimmer, I'm not sure. His team has been behind the 8-ball all season, and these last two games in particular he's had to go with a defensive group that I don't think anyone could have coached much more out of. ... If there is a coach in the NFL (or at any level) capable of taking that sorry group of players the Vikings trotted out on defense yesterday and getting them to the level where they could compete with the Saints offense, yes, make that man the head coach
You seem to be implying that Zim was handed a vagabond group of players earlier in the week and was asked to fight the Persians at Thermopylae (yes I had to Google the spelling).

IMO the worst two on our defense were Stephen (drafted 2014) and Harris (2015). I'm tipping the scales at about 184 ellbees and I think I may be able to out-benchpress Stephen. You think Zim should've noticed that Stephen had trouble pressing his own shadow in the last six years or so?

There are no more excuses for Zim's teams getting manhandled at the LOS. Backup players have to be ready to play, plain and simple. No one can predict injuries in the NFL. In fact I would put "having backups ready to go" in the top five tasks a head coach needs to accomplish if they want to be a perennial playoff team.

Whether it's technique, strength and conditioning, being willing to run through a brick wall for your coach, whatever. The HC needs to instill whatever it takes, system-wise and atmosphere-wise to make sure his team is competitive in EVERY game.

I get it's been a tough year for coaches and players, but today I watched the 49ers D absolutely manhandle the Cards. With nothing on the line. With a number of backups. Third string QB that they probably did not have a lot of faith in. DC running all over the joint. Tackling that made you shudder from the couch.

The difference between THAT and our D yesterday was both astronomical and pitiful. And please don't tell me it had little to do with coaching and it's simply because their GM is light years better than ours (even though he may be!) and that he selected wonderful backup players in the 4th rd and later who happen to be naturally strong/fast/motivated while hiring a creative HC and also hiring wonderful assistant coaches for his HC and that Jimmy G only counts $42 against their salary cap.
This, you can’t tell me our 20 something year old’s are that much worse than anyone else’s, if they are that’s on the gm I suspect it’s on our coaching from the strength and conditioning coach all the way to the top. I was a big zimmer supporter but no longer between the horrific game management and not being ready and up for a game it drives me nuts, be gone with them all all the way down to the ball boys. If I have to listen to one more post game presser about we didn’t play well or I didn’t see that from zimmer I’ll jump through the radio and choke the #### out of him.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingLord » Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:44 pm

psjordan wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:34 pm
The difference between THAT and our D yesterday was both astronomical and pitiful. And please don't tell me it had little to do with coaching and it's simply because their GM is light years better than ours (even though he may be!) and that he selected wonderful backup players in the 4th rd and later who happen to be naturally strong/fast/motivated while hiring a creative HC and also hiring wonderful assistant coaches for his HC and that Jimmy G only counts $42 against their salary cap.
I wouldn't try to tell you that.

What I will tell you is that no coach, be it of a successful defense/team or a failing defense/team, is out on the field executing. That is done by the players who are human beings with their own capabilities/emotions/motivations.

And those players trotted out on defense by the Vikings on Friday were just not up to snuff on any of those attributes when compared to the Saints players. While Zimmer bears some responsibility for that, he was dealt a bad hand on defense these last two games. There is only so much a non-player can do to overcome that type of disadvantage. I'm just not convinced chucking Zimmer is going to be the magic bullet that many others on this board seem to believe.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingLord » Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:02 pm

Mothman wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:21 pm
Give this pair another 3 years and the discussion will probably be the same because the results will probably be the same. The Wilfs have been patient and supportive and that patience and support has been rewarded with 2 narrow playoff victories over the Saints that were followed by drubbings in PHI and SF, respectively. Those are the Vikings highest achievements in the past 7 years.

It could be worse but they shouldn't be afraid to strive for more.
That is true every year, and I agree that if there is any clear opportunity to improve the team, be that at the GM, coaching or player level, I'm all for it.

The question for me is, how clear is the improvement of the proposed change?

Trading Tweedle Dee to get Tweedle Dum just because Tweedle Dee hasn't produced the desired result isn't a smart move.

For me, Spielman should be objectively evaluated based on results as compared to other GMs. For example, how have his drafts compared to those of other GMs over set periods of time? How many of his draft picks have made the team, become regular contributors, and become impact players? How many have remained in the NFL if they didn't stick with the Vikings? How many All Pros and Pro Bowlers has Spielman managed to draft or acquire? The GM is responsible for finding talent. How has Spielman done in that regard as compared to his peers?

Zimmer should be evaluated similarly. His results are more along the lines of the team's yearly records and playoff appearances and results. Ideally, Zimmer's results should also be offset by the relative talent levels of those teams. Even Bud Grant had a few rough years when his teams weren't ready to compete for more talent-wise, and that should be factored into the evaluation. Great coaches do get the most of out their players, but they can't be expected to be miracle workers. Likewise, a coach who takes a fully stacked roster and under-achieves with it should have that reflected in the evaluation as well.

In my view, a change is warranted when that type of evaluation indicates there is opportunity for improvement. If the GM or coach or both are underachieving based on peer expected results, yes, it's time for a change because there is real reason to believe things can be improved by someone else, or at least, that someone else could be objectively better.

If not, if instead the results of that analysis indicate the people in those positions are doing a good job, then the risk of making a change in the hope of getting a better result is relatively high compared to the likelihood of being rewarded for making the change.

We all want a Superbowl win, and I admit I don't know where Zimmer/Spielman sit in terms of their peers over their current careers with the Vikings. There could be opportunity for improvement at one or both positions. I just don't agree that a gut-reaction to recent frustrations, especially when those frustrations could be reasonably anticipated, is going to move them closer to what we all want. If done in a knee-jerk fashion or without solid analysis, it could just as easily move them away from what we all want.

I personally have had enough of watching knee-jerk reactions determine the fate of the Vikings over the many seasons I've watched them. Their years of greatest success have usually come when they had a plan and steady leadership that understood there will be downs along with the ups. There will be steps backward, but if those are taken to enable more steps forward, that isn't a bad thing. Make big changes when big changes are warranted, but otherwise, if you understand the course and where you are going, stay it even when it is difficult (or maybe especially when it is difficult) and let the chips fall where they may.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:27 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:44 pm
psjordan wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:34 pm
The difference between THAT and our D yesterday was both astronomical and pitiful. And please don't tell me it had little to do with coaching and it's simply because their GM is light years better than ours (even though he may be!) and that he selected wonderful backup players in the 4th rd and later who happen to be naturally strong/fast/motivated while hiring a creative HC and also hiring wonderful assistant coaches for his HC and that Jimmy G only counts $42 against their salary cap.
I wouldn't try to tell you that.
I know. I was being facetious. And amalgamating all the responses I've received in the last two weeks.
VikingLord wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:44 pm
What I will tell you is that no coach, be it of a successful defense/team or a failing defense/team, is out on the field executing. That is done by the players who are human beings with their own capabilities/emotions/motivations.
Oh absolutely. For instance taking things to the extreme, no, I don't expect Zim could take you and me and nine other posters on this board and two months and make us into an NFL defense. But what I saw on defense the other day did not appear at all to be a talent thing. It appeared to me our LOS players were literally weak, and that the veterans we DID have playing D wanted no part of that game. As I mentioned before maybe Harry was a step slow due to getting hit with penalties, but as far as I know Harris had no excuses. I have no clue what our secondary was doing or thinking. And for me, when it appears that literally an ENTIRE unit is failing, it's rarely 11 individuals failing in their own way. It's coaching.
VikingLord wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:44 pm
I'm just not convinced chucking Zimmer is going to be the magic bullet that many others on this board seem to believe.
I don't see many, if any, posters calling Zim's hoped-for departure a magic bullet. In fact almost everyone expects us to go backwards for awhile without Zim/Rick.

But literally almost everyone is tired of 8-8 meaningless seasons, and almost everyone recognizes that a few 2-14 seasons may do this franchise a world of good. I am certainly in favor of it.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by Mothman » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:30 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:02 pm
That is true every year, and I agree that if there is any clear opportunity to improve the team, be that at the GM, coaching or player level, I'm all for it.

The question for me is, how clear is the improvement of the proposed change? Trading Tweedle Dee to get Tweedle Dum just because Tweedle Dee hasn't produced the desired result isn't a smart move.
It's also not a move any team makes intentionally but the latter part of that sentence is what's important: after 7 years, it's virtually impossible to argue that the Vikings are closer to the desired result than they were when they started. The improvement to be gained from a significant change like replacing the head coach and/or GM is rarely, if ever, clear but the necessity for change is crystal clear.
For me, Spielman should be objectively evaluated based on results as compared to other GMs. For example, how have his drafts compared to those of other GMs over set periods of time? How many of his draft picks have made the team, become regular contributors, and become impact players? How many have remained in the NFL if they didn't stick with the Vikings? How many All Pros and Pro Bowlers has Spielman managed to draft or acquire? The GM is responsible for finding talent. How has Spielman done in that regard as compared to his peers?
You've said this many times but I don't think any of us are in a good position to undertake an evaluation of that depth and breadth. What we can do is look at results around the league and at the more sustained success other teams have achieved. It's clearly possible to compete at a higher level, make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, etc. and under Zimmer and Spielman, the Vikes haven't been able to achieve that or the kind of "one season wonder" Super Bowl win that might make up for not achieving it. We can also look at Spielman's overall track record and philosophy and see who he is as a GM. Frankly, I don't care how he matches up with other GMs in a breakdown of GM duties. He gets solid marks for his drafting but as a team-builder, he clearly comes up short.
Zimmer should be evaluated similarly. His results are more along the lines of the team's yearly records and playoff appearances and results. Ideally, Zimmer's results should also be offset by the relative talent levels of those teams. Even Bud Grant had a few rough years when his teams weren't ready to compete for more talent-wise, and that should be factored into the evaluation. Great coaches do get the most of out their players, but they can't be expected to be miracle workers. Likewise, a coach who takes a fully stacked roster and under-achieves with it should have that reflected in the evaluation as well.
Agreed but there's no escaping the fact that Zimmer and Spielman, together, have been the architects of those rosters. Zimmer's had all the support any head coach could ask for: great facilities, a new stadium, patient ownership willing to spend, etc. Seven years is more than enough time for a coach/GM combo to build a champion so while the talent definitely impacts the results, the talent is also largely a consequence of decisions made by those two men and their staffs.
We all want a Superbowl win, and I admit I don't know where Zimmer/Spielman sit in terms of their peers over their current careers with the Vikings.
I'd say look at teams like NE, PIT, BAL, SEA, KC, NO and GB for some answers on that front. Look at Zimmer's record against winning and playoff teams. If I'm not mistaken, every current NFL head coach with a tenure as long or longer than Zimmer has at least one Super Bowl win. Every one of them has been able to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Those are his peers. He doesn't match up to them.
There could be opportunity for improvement at one or both positions. I just don't agree that a gut-reaction to recent frustrations, especially when those frustrations could be reasonably anticipated, is going to move them closer to what we all want. If done in a knee-jerk fashion or without solid analysis, it could just as easily move them away from what we all want.

I personally have had enough of watching knee-jerk reactions determine the fate of the Vikings over the many seasons I've watched them. Their years of greatest success have usually come when they had a plan and steady leadership that understood there will be downs along with the ups. There will be steps backward, but if those are taken to enable more steps forward, that isn't a bad thing. Make big changes when big changes are warranted, but otherwise, if you understand the course and where you are going, stay it even when it is difficult (or maybe especially when it is difficult) and let the chips fall where they may.
It looks to me like the course they're on is a road to nowhere. After 7 years, change wouldn't be a knee-jerk reaction, just a logical move. There will be downs along with the ups but to stick with the same HC/GM for the better part of a decade, those ups need to be pretty high. I don't see steady leadership or a good plan. I see a team stuck in a cycle of mediocrity that desperately needs change at the top... and it's been that way for years now.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by Mothman » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:36 pm

psjordan wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:27 pm
But literally almost everyone is tired of 8-8 meaningless seasons, and almost everyone recognizes that a few 2-14 seasons may do this franchise a world of good. I am certainly in favor of it.
I'd rather skip the 2-14 seasons but the Vikes need change. If trying to improve leads to 2-14... well at least they tried.

I don't think it's a given that change would result in an immediate step back record-wise. It's not likely to result in immediate success either but sometimes, if that success is coming, it comes pretty fast.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by S197 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:45 pm

The most telling sign to me that points to moving on from everyone is we’re going into year 8 in full rebuild mode. This isn’t a reload as some had hoped for, the team is flat out bad with major holes at multiple positions. That shows failure of planning, lack of foresight, poor team composition, etc.

Dozier is ranked dead last amongst guards. Samia was ranked dead last among all PLAYERS. Bradbury is ranked in the bottom half amongst centers. Jaleel Johnson is dead last in pass rush win rate. You know who’s second to last? Shamar Stephen. Mike Hughes, the 5% of the time he’s healthy, can’t cover anyone.

And this is on top of the uncertainty with Hunter, Barr, and Reiff. Harris, Wilson, and Ifeadi are also free agents. We also threw away a 2nd round pick to rent a guy for a handful of losses. The cherry on top is we’re, at MINIMUM, 8 million over the cap.

Teams have down years but a GM/HC that is in sync shouldn’t let things get this bad 8 years into the plan.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by IIsweet » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:53 pm

Let's also look at this thought... the team has some offensive talent at playmaker positions. This would be an enticing opportunity for a Head Coach position. Incredible facilities, hands off ownership, big time talent at skill positions on offense.
I keep thinking that the Iowa State HC would love this opportunity.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:16 pm

Mothman wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:36 pm
I'd rather skip the 2-14 seasons
There is a difference between "wanting" or "expecting" 2-14 seasons vs. being fine with them under the assumption they will lead to something better. With our luck the 2-14 seasons will be prior to drafts with no QB prospects ...
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by Mothman » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:25 pm

psjordan wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:16 pm
There is a difference between "wanting" or "expecting" 2-14 seasons vs. being fine with them under the assumption they will lead to something better. With our luck the 2-14 seasons will be prior to drafts with no QB prospects ...
:lol: That sounds about right.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingLord » Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:59 pm

Mothman wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:30 pm
It looks to me like the course they're on is a road to nowhere. After 7 years, change wouldn't be a knee-jerk reaction, just a logical move. There will be downs along with the ups but to stick with the same HC/GM for the better part of a decade, those ups need to be pretty high. I don't see steady leadership or a good plan. I see a team stuck in a cycle of mediocrity that desperately needs change at the top... and it's been that way for years now.
As always Jim, you make excellent points.

I totally understand where you are coming from, and I agree the argument for a change is justified at this point.

My hope is that if the Wilfs make that change they make it better and not just different or worse. In some ways this all circles back to them and their decisions which led to the current GM and head coach and the situation the team finds itself in as a result. What confidence do you have in them to make better choices if they do decide to move on from Spielman and Childress this offseason?

Also, when do you expect they will announce those moves if they do decide to make a change?

I would hope it happens soon after the last game if it happens. They need to get that GM in place and he will have his work cut out for him to both find a head coach as well as start preparing for the draft and what hopefully will be a normal offseason.
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