Spielman's performance

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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by psjordan » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:51 pm

S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:31 pm
He talks about Anthony Harris but then mentions his PFF grade from last year. What about this year? I'm betting it's dropped significantly and was like many other poor scores, conveniently left out.
This was the one that stood out to me. And Hughes.
S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:31 pm
Maybe I'm biased because I want Rick gone but he seemed to focused heavily on the positives while downplaying or flat out ignoring the negatives.
No, I think your take is fair.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by VikingLord » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:23 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:50 pm
He said this draft compares favorably to the 2015 one, but outside of JJ, there isn't anyone who looks like a star in that draft. Maybe some decent depth or even a solid starter, but Kendricks, Hunter and Diggs could be considered the best at their individual positions. Even Waynes ended up being good.

Rookies playing a lot doesn't necessarily mean they are good rookies. Rookies playing a lot and playing well does.
The author's point, which I think is fairly taken, is that to the same point in the relative cycles (i.e. one year after the 2015 draft and one year after the 2019 draft), the trend is similar, if not notably better, for the 2019 class. The Vikings have gotten more immediate impact players and contributions at a similar point in the season from the 2019 class than they did from the 2015 class.

I think the author is also placing Spielman's performance in some context. There seems to be a tendency for everyone who is down on Spielman to focus only on his misses, and then on those without any reference to what other GMs have done over that same period of time. Spielman is terrible because 4 out of his last 7 first round picks have been busts, for example.

But there isn't any context to those statements and little willingness to acknowledge his successes as well.

I won't cry if the Wilfs move on from Spielman and Zimmer, but neither will I jump for joy, and that will be true pretty much no matter who they hire as replacements because there are no sure things in this business. I've watched the Vikings (and other Minnesota pro sports franchises) for long enough to know that yes, it can be worse. Much worse.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by StumpHunter » Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:18 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:23 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:50 pm
He said this draft compares favorably to the 2015 one, but outside of JJ, there isn't anyone who looks like a star in that draft. Maybe some decent depth or even a solid starter, but Kendricks, Hunter and Diggs could be considered the best at their individual positions. Even Waynes ended up being good.

Rookies playing a lot doesn't necessarily mean they are good rookies. Rookies playing a lot and playing well does.
The author's point, which I think is fairly taken, is that to the same point in the relative cycles (i.e. one year after the 2015 draft and one year after the 2019 draft), the trend is similar, if not notably better, for the 2019 class. The Vikings have gotten more immediate impact players and contributions at a similar point in the season from the 2019 class than they did from the 2015 class.

I think the author is also placing Spielman's performance in some context. There seems to be a tendency for everyone who is down on Spielman to focus only on his misses, and then on those without any reference to what other GMs have done over that same period of time. Spielman is terrible because 4 out of his last 7 first round picks have been busts, for example.

But there isn't any context to those statements and little willingness to acknowledge his successes as well.

I won't cry if the Wilfs move on from Spielman and Zimmer, but neither will I jump for joy, and that will be true pretty much no matter who they hire as replacements because there are no sure things in this business. I've watched the Vikings (and other Minnesota pro sports franchises) for long enough to know that yes, it can be worse. Much worse.
I think you meant the 2020 class. 2015 we won 11 games and had close to a top 10 defense with Kendricks and to a lesser extent, Hunter playing significant roles.

2020 we have a bunch of rookies playing on defense because the guys ahead of them got hurt and oh by the way, the defense that is comprised by those rookies is arguably the worst in Viking's history. That doesn't make his draft a good one.

Contributions like JJ's to the offense make drafts good in year 1. Contributions like being 2 of the worst CBs in NFL in terms of yards given up per route defended does not. Giving up top 10 pressures per pass block does not.

There is potential to be good with this draft class, but being a bad starter as a rookie is not evidence that a rookie is going be great.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by Raz » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:02 pm

He should be fired within the hour of the final whistle on Sunday if not for his roster failures but mostly that god awful franchise killing contract given to Kirk. I was and kinda still ok with him at qb but to guarantee a contract with no real way out was foolish
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by IIsweet » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:40 pm

Our roster is full of late round guys. The rookies play because they are competing with average talent. When you load a roster with average late round guys, your rookies will always contribute. But you will always have a subpar defense.... we are seeing it play out now. Btw, there is another draft in 5 months....and we will add another 10+ players !!!
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by Maelstrom88 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:59 am

My biggest problems with the Vikings under him are:

1. The lack of competent back up Quarterbacks and the failure to create legitimate competition at that position. Iron sharpens iron.

2. The lack of a surge up the middle on both sides of the ball. No pressure from the DTs and our guards getting bullied.

Everyone knows QB is the most important position so why are you not constantly trying to find good ones? Everyone knows strength up the middle is paramount to success so why are we constantly awful? The quickest way to ruin a play for your offense or theirs is to dominate in a straight line up the gut. The run defense has normally been there but the pass rush from DTs not so much. So yeah I'd be ok if they move on. The Wilfs won't do it this year though.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by YikesVikes » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:38 am

IIsweet wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:40 pm
Our roster is full of late round guys. The rookies play because they are competing with average talent. When you load a roster with average late round guys, your rookies will always contribute. But you will always have a subpar defense.... we are seeing it play out now. Btw, there is another draft in 5 months....and we will add another 10+ players !!!
Gotta love having 17 seventh rounders. You might hit on one but you will probably cut them all and then keep playing practice squad round robin.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by YikesVikes » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:40 am

VikingLord wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:23 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:50 pm
He said this draft compares favorably to the 2015 one, but outside of JJ, there isn't anyone who looks like a star in that draft. Maybe some decent depth or even a solid starter, but Kendricks, Hunter and Diggs could be considered the best at their individual positions. Even Waynes ended up being good.

Rookies playing a lot doesn't necessarily mean they are good rookies. Rookies playing a lot and playing well does.
The author's point, which I think is fairly taken, is that to the same point in the relative cycles (i.e. one year after the 2015 draft and one year after the 2019 draft), the trend is similar, if not notably better, for the 2019 class. The Vikings have gotten more immediate impact players and contributions at a similar point in the season from the 2019 class than they did from the 2015 class.

I think the author is also placing Spielman's performance in some context. There seems to be a tendency for everyone who is down on Spielman to focus only on his misses, and then on those without any reference to what other GMs have done over that same period of time. Spielman is terrible because 4 out of his last 7 first round picks have been busts, for example.

But there isn't any context to those statements and little willingness to acknowledge his successes as well.

I won't cry if the Wilfs move on from Spielman and Zimmer, but neither will I jump for joy, and that will be true pretty much no matter who they hire as replacements because there are no sure things in this business. I've watched the Vikings (and other Minnesota pro sports franchises) for long enough to know that yes, it can be worse. Much worse.
I think I'll do the ground work. I'm going to pick a random team whose GM has had some time on the clock and see if their record. My earlier point was that he has had more attempts at bat that anyone else and has fielded worst results.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by psjordan » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:04 am

YikesVikes wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:40 am
I think I'll do the ground work. I'm going to pick a random team whose GM has had some time on the clock and see if their record. My earlier point was that he has had more attempts at bat that anyone else and has fielded worst results.
If you are taking requests, I'd vote for Colbert/Steelers (traditionally better than us) and Telesco/Chargers (traditionally worse than us). By "traditionally" I mean last 7-10 years.

No idea what those results will show, other than Colbert/Tomlin/Sarrett (groomed by Munchak) winning on the OL.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by Mothman » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:16 pm

The article was interesting. Thanks for the link.

I'll say what I always say: I think assessments of GM performance often focus too much on micro level performance rather than macro level performance. The GM job is primarily about team-building. Drafting is a tool for team-building. Free agency is too. Hiring the right head coach is part of that team-building responsibility too.

It's easy to go down the rabbit hole analyzing successes and failures in the draft or free agency and they obviously matter, so they're worthy of discussion. However, over time, any decent GM will make good picks, bad picks and pass on potentially great picks. It's inevitable. The good need to outweigh the bad but it will always be possible to point to all of the above. To me, it's philosophy, implementation and results that matter. What's the vision for the team? Is it being realized? Has it led to a championship? Does it look like it will lead to one?

Spielman's been drafting for the Vikings for 14 years. He's been GM for 9. We can all agree that he's had personnel success stories and personnel failures but it's notable that over that time span, the team has come up woefully short in it's search for a franchise QB, despite investing 3 first round picks in the position (Ponder, Bridgwater and the pick traded for Bradford). Have the Vikings handled the QB position, from draft capital to free agency to starters to backups to contracts and cap investment wisely? I think it's pretty hard to make that argument and since it's the most important position in football, that's a big strike against Spielman.

The Vikes have been a "run first" team for over a decade but for at least that long, guard has been a shortcoming. How does that make sense from a team-building point of view? Why is it a persistent problem? During that same period, they've either been developing young QBs or they've had relatively immobile QBs, all players who need good pass protection a little more than a seasoned and/or mobile vet might and yet they still can't provide that protection very well. Blame it on coaching, personnel management or something else, it's a persistent problem.

How well does Spielman manage his resources, from draft picks to cap money and contracts? There's a tendency to view the draft as a game, to assign each pick a certain value and view the draft as a "win" if a GM gets some good picks and beats that value chart with trades, etc. Spielman's good at adding picks on draft day and drafting players in bunches but is that a better use of his draft resources than staying put or even trading up to acquire a key players? Is the goal to make a bunch of picks and see what sticks or to identify and acquire the specific players that will address team shortcomings and achieve the vision I mentioned earlier?

Cap and contract management are important aspects of managing a team. Are they still handling this wisely? Was it a good idea to give Cousins the massive contract he received and then add to it, making him virtually un-tradeable and difficult to cut? Does he merit that level of investment? Was investing a first round pick and substantial money into Bradford a good idea? Is spending the 11th pick in the draft on Trae Waynes and developing him for 5 years only to let him go a personnel win or loss for the team?

The answers to some of the questions posed above are debatable but I think if we look at individual (micro-level) choices and try to see them in the greater context of overall team management, we can best assess the job Spielman is doing. For me, it comes back to a vision for the team. Does Spielman have a clear idea of how to build a champion and are he and Mike Zimmer doing a good job of steadily building and guiding the team in that direction? How Spielman compares in that department against other GMs is the best way to assess his performance.

In my view, he lacks vision. He's flailing away, hoping to find a winning combo, and the team is essentially running in circles.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by psjordan » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:31 pm

Mothman wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:16 pm
...the team has come up woefully short in it's search for a franchise QB, despite investing 3 first round picks in the position (Ponder, Bridgwater and the pick traded for Bradford)
Don't disagree with anything you said, but the above is a little rough. Bridgewater (injury) and Bradford (reactionary trade then injury) certainly had mitigating circumstances. It's not like Spielman coveted Bradford and would have traded a #1 for him regardless of our QB situation at the time.

And everyone seems to forget but Bradford sure had us excited after his first game (win) against the Pack, I can tell you that. But overall a knee-jerk jump from Rick that failed, precursor to Ngakoue I guess. Both were gambles that didn't pay off.

Ponder remains one of the biggest WTF whiffs of all time in my book.

One could also make the argument that Rick learned from the Cousins contracts and signed Cook to a more team friendly deal.

Not making a case for him to stay or go, but diving into the minutiae always shows different angles.

However I am with you 100% on the "results are what matter" line of thinking. The combination of Zimmer+staff and Rick+staff clearly does not "work". Like, crystal clearly.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by S197 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:01 pm

Well said Jim.

I think the other thing with Spielman is his strategy benefits greatly from survivorship bias. He brings in 10 shiny new toys that get people excited but are quickly forgotten when they don't pan out. You see this in all aspects from the draft, to UDFAs, to free agent pickups.

Armon Watts was supposed to be this gem of a pick and he hasn't been able to pass the two worst rated pass rushing DTs in the NFL. Ifeadi was also supposed to have a breakout year but it's obvious he's really more of a situational roleplayer. James Lynch will likely be the 2020 version.

For UDFAs it's evident with the constant hype around the carousel of no name QBs we bring in like Kyle Sloter, Taylor Heinicke, and Jake Browning. Whoever the next promising pickup from Southwest New Hampshire Technical Institute will fill this void.

Free agents work similarly. Tajae Sharpe was supposedly a great WR3 and yet he's done less than Bisi and Beebe. I think Pierce is a good next candidate. A lot of people are already calling him the next Linval when he hasn't played a down. Often times these guys are cut for a reason.

These are just a few examples. My point is if you are an excellent GM, why do you consistently need 10-15 picks every year? It's either an admission you don't know what you're doing or the draft is such a crap shoot that it's better to have more darts to blindly throw at the board. And if it's the latter, what other teams are following this strategy? I don't see the teams that consistently make the playoffs enacting the same strategy. Maybe New England? Although even they seem to have softened on the heavy trade back strategy.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by Mothman » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:35 pm

psjordan wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:31 pm
Don't disagree with anything you said, but the above is a little rough. Bridgewater (injury) and Bradford (reactionary trade then injury) certainly had mitigating circumstances. It's not like Spielman coveted Bradford and would have traded a #1 for him regardless of our QB situation at the time.
I think that makes it worse. He wasn't prepared to lose his starter to injury for any significant length of time (an indictment in itself) so when it happened, he panic-traded for Bradford. He mis-evaluated where the team was in its development and gave up a first round pick to put an injury-prone QB (who had never made the playoffs) behind one of the worst Vikings o-lines I've ever seen. Knowing the young QB they were banking on was going to miss at least a couple seasons, why not hang onto the pick and try to get a young QB of the future in 2017? Maybe Mahomes would be playing in MN now, wishing he could play for a coach like Andy Reid instead. ;)
Ponder remains one of the biggest WTF whiffs of all time in my book.
He was basically another desperate move borne out of a lack of preparation.
Not making a case for him to stay or go, but diving into the minutiae always shows different angles.

However I am with you 100% on the "results are what matter" line of thinking. The combination of Zimmer+staff and Rick+staff clearly does not "work". Like, crystal clearly.
Exactly and despite my long-winded post, that's my main point. As you said, diving into the minutiae always shows different angles but when you step back and look at the bigger picture, it's clear this combo simply isn't working.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by Mothman » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:02 pm

S197 wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:01 pm
Well said Jim.

I think the other thing with Spielman is his strategy benefits greatly from survivorship bias. He brings in 10 shiny new toys that get people excited but are quickly forgotten when they don't pan out. You see this in all aspects from the draft, to UDFAs, to free agent pickups.
Thanks. I think you really make a good point about survivorship bias too. Spielman seems to benefit from that in a big way.
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Re: Spielman's performance

Post by psjordan » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:39 pm

Mothman wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:35 pm
I think that makes it worse. He wasn't prepared to lose his starter to injury for any significant length of time (an indictment in itself) so when it happened, he panic-traded for Bradford.
I just don't see this as the monumental indictment that you and a few others do, for Rick or any other GM. Not many teams in the NFL have a "win ready" backup QB, no matter the team's composition.

I guess you could make the point that Vikes team was at the stage of this year's Broncos team (who simply shrugged when every single QB on the roster went out), and Rick thought we were a lot closer to competing in the playoffs. But again, I don't see that as a monstrous offense against the GM profession. He took a swing and felt great about it for roughly a week.

No matter, we always come back to the job needs doing, and this combo ain't doing it.
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