Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has said that he expects the Vikings to win the division in 2012. Team president Mark Wilf, Zygi’s brother, hasn’t gone quite as far, but it’s clear that he has high hopes for the franchise, too.
“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” Mark Wilf (pictured on the left, not the right) said after Minnesota’s preseason game against the Chargers, via Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
And while that talk would seem to suggest that, if the Vikings fall short of surprising people, folks will be held accountable with their jobs, the Wilfs seem to be willing to take a Rooney-style long-term approach to the football organization.
“Listen, we want to win now, obviously, but we also want to build a stable, long-term winning franchise, too,” Mark Wilf said. “I think the way we’ve structured it now with a general manager in Rick Spielman and then our coach, Leslie Frazier . . . I think the structure’s very important. That’s what’s been successful in the league, and that’s what we’re going to have here.”
It won’t be easy. The Vikings currently seem to be a distant third in the division that, once upon a time, they dominated.
In the end, the Vikings will become competitive again only by getting the kind of players that will make them competitive. They have some but, as of right now, it doesn’t look like they have enough.
If enough of the team’s young players develop the way the Vikings hope they will, that could change. For now, “hope” may be the best way to describe the franchise — and “hope” for 2012 seems false at best.