Spielman Could Be Front Man for Media

Rick Spielman's media savvy could make him the leading candidate to speak to the media and public on player personnel matters. While he may not give up a lot of information, he is one of the few media-friendly voices at Winter Park.

While it remains to be seen how Rick Spielman will fare as the Vikings' vice president of player personnel, it didn't take much for him to get off to a far better start with the media than his predecessor Fran Foley.

Foley, who lasted three months in the personnel job before being dumped, made it clear at his introductory news conference that he was a very busy man and didn't have much interest or time to offer up any useful information.

And, sadly, that might have been the highlight for Foley, who found it impossible to play nice with others and also embellished his resume.

Compared to Foley, Spielman all but did a standup routine at his first news conference. As a member of the Vikings' media relations staff reminded reporters to put their cell phones on vibrate or shut them off before the news conference, Spielman took his phone from his jacket and shut it off, joking that he didn't want to violate the rules.

Spielman, who comes to Minnesota from a stint at ESPN in which he worked his way up from writing an online column for the network's website to serving as an analyst on "NFL Live," also explained that he realized how difficult of job the media has.

Pure genius.

But Spielman, who received a three-year contract, also knows how to play the front-office game, having held executive positions with Detroit (1990-96), Chicago (1997-99) and Miami (2000-2004).

He answers questions in a polite manner with complete sentences but also knows how to say next to nothing while doing it. This isn't a knock but rather a compliment. With the Vikings' front office structure, it was an absolute necessity owner Zygi Wilf hired someone like this for such a key role.

It already is obvious that new coach Brad Childress isn't a huge fan of dealing with the media and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski always has attempted to keep clear of reporters. Scott Studwell, the team's director of college scouting, has done the same.

This means Spielman likely will spend much of his time in front of the cameras and answering for the decisions made by Childress and his associates. Doing it with a smile, will make life that much easier for everyone involved.


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