The general manager's moves haven't always been without risk, but it appears it is all coming together.
Two of the best in that category, Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson, both displayed those qualities last Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
Each of them was hurting and limped off the field at different times. Peterson was battling through a sprained ankle that was twisted a week earlier. Harvin was just adding to the bumps, bruises and strains he tends to compile throughout each individual game and collectively throughout the season.
Peterson acknowledged the pain on Thursday, the second straight day he got treatment during the practice period instead of being out on the field, saying it had been hurting "consistently," but he left no doubt he would play Sunday.
"During the week it's a push, (there is) pain, but it's mind over matter when I'm out there," Peterson said. "You've just to push through it. This week, coming off the previous injury, it was more sore, so rest would be better."
Harvin wouldn't even entertain the thought of him being hurt when talking the day after the Washington game. Never mind the fact that appeared to be limping a few times and was seen stretching his leg on an angled board on the sidelines.
"I'm all good," he said Monday. "I'm no sorer than anybody else. Wednesday I'll be ready to go."
And he was. When it comes to drive and determination, Peterson and Harvin are two of the best. Maybe it was no coincidence early this summer, then, that Harvin and Peterson were running hills alongside each other during organized team activities while the rest of the team practiced. Harvin was recovering from shoulder surgery on April 24 to remove bone spurs and Peterson was recovering from knee surgery Dec. 30 to replace the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.
They are superstars on the field because of their supreme athletic gifts, for sure, but each has a rare competitive spirit, too.
The Vikings lost a lot of experience over the last two years with the exits of E.J. Henderson, Ben Leber, Pat Williams, Steve Hutchinson, Bryant McKinnie, Anthony Herrera, Ben Leber, Ryan Longwell and others. Age and experience was replaced by a youthful, playful attitude. Hutchinson has often been acknowledged as the grump of the group and Williams was the "sport bitcher," as former coach Brad Childress once called him – a guy that was willing to playfully hurl the insults at anyone and keep the locker room mood light.
Over the past several years, the locker room has been a good one when compared to the divisiveness that sometimes accompanied the Dennis Green era, the occasional back-stabbing or mistrust of the Mike Tice era, or the tense times that marked the early years of Childress.
These days, Jamarca Sanford and his boisterous drawl has replaced Williams' deep growl, each serving a needed purpose of keeping things light and a willingness for players to laugh at themselves.
Christian Ponder took the time to build relationships with players off the field, and he's perfectly willing to poke fun of them as well as himself in front of the cameras or away from them. On the field, where Sanford and Harrison Smith provide an attitude on defense, Jerome Simpson regularly keeps it loose with dance moves, twists and skips.
Not everyone still has the innocent exuberance of Simpson or trash-talking tendencies of Sanford.
They also have veteran leaders like Antoine Winfield, who stood up after their first loss of the season and reminded his teammates, coaches and even Spielman how much every game and every play means. After a 3-13 season, veterans like Winfield, Jared Allen and Kevin Williams know how fleeting winning momentum can be.
The question still remains if these Vikings are good enough to make a playoff run, but they sure seem to have an intriguing mix of experience and personalities that are blending well now.
"After consultation with medical experts, including representatives from our medical and training staffs, it has been determined that Jahvid will not be permitted to return to play at this time," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said.
"Jahvid will continue to work with our medical and training staffs with the hope that he ultimately will be cleared to return to the playing field."
Brad Childress said long before he was fired by the Vikings that the team had concerns about Best's concussion history when he entered the 2010 draft and that's why the Vikings traded with the Lions and waited until the second pick in the second round to select Chris Cook and 17 picks later selected RB Toby Gerhart. Turns out the Vikings were right on Best's assessment.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.