Vikings Project Information Shutdown

The Vikings made it clear this week that fans would not be receiving analysis of personnel and information about the team's "football business" from official team sources. It's part of a revamping of staff and philosophy since the dismissal of Mike Tice.

Three weeks after Fran Foley signed a three-year contract to become the Vikings' vice president of player personnel, the former San Diego Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars executive was introduced to the Twin Cities media.

The no-nonsense Foley, 44, quickly made it clear that Vikings fans can expect to find out information on a need-to-know basis. And they better not want to know too much.

"My position will be that we're not going to talk about our football business in public," he said. "It's just not going to happen. It's not the way that I do business and it won't be the way that we'll do business from this point forward."

In other words, the days of former coach Mike Tice picking up the phone in his office are long gone under owner Zygi Wilf's Triangle of Authority, which has coach Brad Childress at the top and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski and Foley on the bottom portions.

"It's too competitive out there. We're not going to share any of that with the public," Foley said when asked about the Vikings' needs. "I just can't. All I can tell you is that we've identified this team.

"We have an idea as we go forward what it is that we want to look at as far as a player and what type of player at every position. That has been spelled out and that has been given to the scouts as they go forward to finish their evaluations prior to the draft and then into free agency."

While Childress shook up the coaching staff after being hired, it's unclear how many members of the personnel department Foley plans to keep past the NFL draft. That includes director of college scouting Scott Studwell and coordinator of pro personnel Jeff Robinson. Both were candidates for the position that went to Foley and are highly thought of in NFC circles.

"As I told Mr. Wilf, he asked me, ‘Do you need your own people to do the job?' and my response in the interview clearly was I don't need my own people to be successful," Foley said. "I need people that work had. His response in return was, ‘We have some good people here,' and I said I would clearly give them the opportunity to stay but there would be an evaluation process. That is ongoing."

The contracts of the scouts and personnel department members expire on May 31.


* Business and school leaders from Sioux Falls, S.D., appear willing to spend money to lure the Vikings to their city for training camp starting in 2007. The city is already discussing $4.7 million in improvements to athletic fields that would be used by the Vikings during their training camp activities.
* Word out of Green Bay is that the Packers are expecting to make an aggressive early pitch at Brian Williams when free agency begins. VU has been told that there have been no talks whatsoever between the Vikings and Williams' agent since the end of the season.
* Former Vikings assistant Rich Olson is heading back to where he first came to the attention of NFL coaches. Olson agreed to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Miami, where he previously worked as wide receivers coach, quarterback coach and assistant head coach in charge of offense. He was one of the many assistants released when Mike Tice was fired.
* A published report out of St. Louis said the Rams have no interest in making a deal for Daunte Culpepper. Rams quarterback Marc Bulger was asked if Culpepper's availability combined with the Rams hiring of Scott Linehan could spell the end for him in St. Louis. Bulger was candid in saying he hadn't considered that option, but that upon thinking about it, it might have some weight. Any concerns Bulger may have had were dismissed quickly. On Friday, Rams officials stated categorically that they have had no contact with the Vikings over Culpepper nor do they intend to.
* Jerry Rhome, who along with Foge Fazio were brought in at midseason last year to be consultants, has found himself a new gig. Rhome is going to be a paid mentor for Texas QB Vince Young. Young apparently wants to pick Rhome's brain as to what he needs to do to prepare for the Combine and private workouts prior to the draft and believes Rhome's experience will be enough to enhance his draft standing and get him better prepared for life in the NFL.
* Vikings owner Zygi Wilf recently unveiled a plan to the Blaine (Minn.) city council for a complex being called the Northern Lights at Blaine. This would include a $675 stadium, as well as retail shops, corporate offices, a residential development, a medical facility and a large retail anchor store. Wilf and his partners would put $1 billion into the project but also want contributions of $280 million from Anoka County and $115 million from the state.

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