Owner Zygi Wilf told the Minneapolis Star Tribune at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix that fans are going to need to be patient as the team tries to recover from a disappointing 6-10 finish in Childress' inaugural campaign.
"This is a process that will take a building-up from year to year," Wilf said. "It will require patience ... and it will take a couple years until we can get into a position for championship-caliber competitiveness. Hopefully we can get there sooner. We can't expect that, but we'll certainly hope for it.
"Either way, our goal is to get to a competitive, championship level and, once we get there, to stay there."
While the Vikings' defense surprised last season with its performance, the offense was a major disappointment. Veteran quarterback Brad Johnson struggled and was eventually benched, the offensive line didn't perform up to expectations and the receiving corps never panned out.
With vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman now having a major say in the team's direction — Spielman was hired last off-season following Fran Foley's brief and turbulent stint with the team — the Vikings seem intent on building through the draft.
Receiver Bobby Wade, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and linebacker/special teams ace Vinny Ciurciu have been the only free-agent additions. Right now, 2006 second-round pick Tarvaris Jackson appears poised to open the season as the starting quarterback.
"The draft is where you build the strength of your team," Wilf said. "You have to realize that this is a long-term building process. The way that things have been done in the past had to change. We will continue building this way to improve ourselves."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I welcome competition; that's part of why you play football. You don't want them to give it to you anyway. I've spent my whole life transferring (from Arkansas) and going to a smaller school (Alabama State). I feel like I've had to work harder to get to the NFL. I've earned everything I've got, and I want to keep earning it." — Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson on potentially competing for the starting job with Brooks Bollinger.