Addition of Paton and Kuhn rounds out solid personnel department
The recent additions/changes to the Vikings' personnel department only continue the trend of sound moves made by VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman. In bringing George Paton (pronounced PAY-ton), the Vikings are getting a guy with whom Spielman is very familiar and comfortable. Paton is very bright, an extremely hard worker, and he knows the grading system Spielman has installed in Minnesota, which should make his integration into the department seamless. Paton is thought of in league circles to be destined for a top personnel job at some point in his career. Scott Kuhn, the other scout also added to the Vikings' staff from Miami, is also highly regarded. Spielman stole a pair of quality people from his former employer, where quite frankly, they all got hosed by the power trip Nick Saban was on while in charge there. Saban made changes to the personnel department in Miami, then never stuck around to accept responsibility for those changes. "The guys that they [were] bringing in were no better than the guys they already had in Rick Spielman and George Paton. They work their asses off and did everything Saban wanted them to do in free agency and the draft. Change shouldn't be made for the sake of change."
Best wishes to Frank Gilliam
A cornerstone of the Vikings' franchise since 1970, longtime personnel guru Frank Gilliam will apparently be moving on. Gilliam was responsible for tons of great player acquisitions over the years. It doesn't sound like it was entirely Gilliam's idea to leave, according to Shooter. We totally concur with SI.com's Don Banks that Gilliam was a good football man and an even better person (still is). Gilliam was an excellent scout who had a lot to do with mentoring Scott Studwell and some of the other younger scouts in the building at Winter Park over the years. His contribution to the organization was immense. Best wishes, Frank.
Pat Williams wants to build off 2006 with Vikings
If anyone could skip OTAs it would probably be nose tackle Pat Williams, but big Pat gets lots of love from Brad Childress, making him the anti-Winfield. (AP)
Culpepper done in Miami
It's the worst-kept secret in the NFL, but Daunte Culpepper's days in Miami are over . He'll end up somewhere. Our only advice would be for Daunte to quit representing himself. The e-mails to the media are great fodder, but things haven't exactly gone well from a career standpoint since Culpepper began representing himself. (AP)