Rick Spielman: Quarterback decision is “torturous”

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There was a point when it seemed this year’s draft was going to be the perfect one for teams looking for a quarterback.

Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley decided to return to college, though, and teams found that Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel were not the sure things that you want to find when spending a high first-round pick on a player to build your team around. The Vikings are one of the teams looking for a franchise quarterback, leaving General Manager Rick Spielman and the rest of the brass to figure out if there’s a quarterback worth taking with the eighth pick or if they’re better served filling another hole while addressing quarterback later in the draft.

Peter King of TheMMQB.com quoted an NFL coach as saying that the quarterback decisions are “tortuous” this year, something Spielman agreed with while saying that there’s more pressure to make the right call this year than in the past.

“That’s a big reason why we made it a high priority to sign Matt Cassel back. Every one of these quarterbacks … nothing is a sure thing. There’s no Andrew Luck, no Peyton Manning,” Spielman said. “It is such a mixed bag with each player—every one of them has positives, every one of them has negatives. And if that’s the way you end up feelings, why don’t you just wait till later in the draft, and take someone with the first pick you’re sure will help you right now? I agree with that coach, whoever it is. It is torturous this year.”

Spielman said that if the Vikings do take a quarterback this year, they’d like him to sit and learn in 2014 before ascending to the starting job. That’s a tough thing to do when you use a top 10 pick on a player, which may push the Vikings and others toward different positions come May 8.

72 responses to “Rick Spielman: Quarterback decision is “torturous”

  1. I still look for the Vikings to trade down to around the 13-15 pick, pick up a few extra selections, (perhaps another first rounder) and keep building a solid foundation for the future. Zimmer is determined to rebuild the defense and until there’s a solid QB in the draft, (likely next year), there’s no sense in gambling.

  2. Grab the guy from Pitt in the second round.
    I don’t see any of the big name QBs being drafted this year winning a lot of Super Bowls.

  3. What makes it tough to pick a QB in the draft is the fact that it is done publicly. STOP all the hand wringing and whining. That in itself does not make it hard, if you can perform your job.

    You make the best decision on data collected. Who can argue with that? If your assessment of QBs on the board, are against the consensus, just be able to explain why you did what you did. Drafting is not a science, but it’s not voodoo either.

    There is plenty of tape and plenty time to “kick the tires” on everybody. When selecting a QB, it’s MEAT and POTATOES. Reaching for Ponder 1st round, is the type play that should be scrutinized heavily. It shows a flaw in your ability to evaluate.

    “There’s no Andrew Luck, no Peyton Manning,” Spielman said.” Right, especially since both are sitting for their HOF busts. Andrew was anointed as the gold standard, without taking a snap. All that means is, lazy and dim witted GMs, didn’t have to evaluate him. We crowned him for the GMs and made it easy.

    You’ve seen all the QBs play, why is it still so tough to select one?

  4. I’d like to see them take Johnny. But realistically Mack at 8 and Gilbert if they can trade back in the 1st to get him would be nice. I’m sure we won’t make it to the podium though.

  5. Spielman screwed up the Ponder pick and he will be out of work if he screws up the 8th pick this year. So I would expect him to go defense first then QB. One caveat: Johnny Manziel may not tempt a defensive head coach, but he will tempt Zygi Wilf, who would love to energize his franchise in a new stadium. Bortles and Bridgewater can’t do that. but Johnny Football can.

  6. All of which means he will probably draft a qb with his first pick. This guy spends too much time trying to LOOK smart versus actually being so….

  7. Then maybe Spielman shouldn’t be the one making the decision.

    I’m sorry, but if Spielman stays and #8, and drafts a QB at that spot, he’s going to regret. While there are some good QB prospects in this draft, none of them are worth picking at that spot. Either draft the best player available, or trade down.

    I sincerely hope Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer are going to have a say in this. Spielman already messed up once; I’d hate to see it happen again.

  8. Especially when you’ve proven incompetent at finding one…Unless they’re a first ballot Hall of Famer that destroyed your team for years!

  9. Probably a smoke screen and the Vikings will be taking a QB at 8. I don’t believe anything any GM or coach is saying this time of year. I wish it were true though. Would love to see the Vikings go defense at 8 and grab Mettenberger in the 2nd and let Turner coach him up this year.

  10. Love how everyone ignores Luck’s penchant for tossing INT’s or Manning’s infamous choke jobs in playoffs and other big games. They’re a number 1 picks therefore a shoe in HoF’er (2 seasons into his career for Luck).

  11. Whoever comes in to play QB, drafted or FA, will be playing in 2014, don’t kid yourself.

    That porous O-line is going to rupture on a weekly basis and they may go thru 3 or 4 QB’s this year.

    Playing outdoors at home for the first time in decades…..this Vikes team will have it’s spirit broke by week 10, and Zig will be pushing to get the young gun in and get the fan base excited for some ill-advised INT’s.

    Book it.

  12. How does a guy who picked Christian Ponder with the 12th pick in the draft still have a job!? I mean, anybody could see watching him play at FSU that he just wasn’t that good.

  13. Which is not surprising, because watching Rick Spielman try and be a General Manager is also “torturous”.

  14. I remember when Peyton Manning was a free agent and they made to effort to bring him in because they were grooming their franchise QB, Christian Ponder. How’d that work out?

  15. It could be worse, he could have drafted Nick Perry, Datone Jones and Mike Sherrod and Justin Harrell

  16. 1) Do not draft a QB at #8, whoever it is available. Period.
    2) Forget about Mack. He won’t get past #5. He won’t drop.
    3) Houston takes Clowney in the first, then a QB in the 2nd.
    4) Saint Louis takes an OT at #2.
    5) one of the remaining 1 thru 5 picks takes that top rated wr.

    That leaves 3 picks before Minnesota. Of the remaining picks, Barr (OLB) is the player the Vikings will need to pay attention to, to see whether someone drafts him or not. Tampa will probably be the team to draft him, and that is at #7, if anyone one does.

    Therefore, draft Barr if he is at #8 or trade down in the 1st and grab Mosely. With those extra picks, move back up into the 1st grab Gilbert (or someother cb) or a safety. Since there will be a ton of QBs in the draft at the top of the 2nd round, the Vikings can draft their QB their.

  17. It was a very confusing scene in Mike Zimmer’s office earlier this year:

    Spielman: “Well, Mike…what do you want to do at quarterback this year?”

    Zimmer: “I want to sign Matt Hasselbeck.”

    S: “I agree, we’ll sign Matt Cassel back.”

    Z: “No, no, no. I want Matt Hasselbeck.”

    S: “So do I. He did well here at the end of last year.”

    Z: “I understand, but I really think we need Matt Hasselbeck.”

    S: “Then it’s decided. We’ll get Matt Cassel back.”

  18. Packer fans criticizing Spielman for not finding a quarterback think Ted Thompson is a genius for drafting a quarterback at 24 who was projected to go first overall when his quarterback was clearly nearing retirement. Then he was so enamored with the talent of that quarterback that he drafted Brian Brohm in the second round the year said quarterback was going to have to start. Just to be safe, he also drafted Matt Flynn that year. Luckily, Brohm was such a big bust that he didn’t even make the team his second year. Otherwise, Teddy would have insisted on starting him.

  19. Its a lot easier to let a high pick rookie sit for a year and learn with the rookie wage scale than when they were paying 30-40-50 mil guaranteed including huge signing bonuses to top draft picks.

  20. The “tortuous” situation is if they grab Manziel or Bridgewater or Bortles with their #1 pick…and Cassell struggles (which I believe he will).

    You cant tell me that any of these guys will sit behind an “average at best” journeyman for an entire season.

  21. What is it with everyone saying Johnny will bring “excitement to the fans and new stadium”….most Vikings fans should not be concerned with “excitement”

    Just because it looks cool when he scrambles and twist and turns and dodges defenders doesn’t mean anything

    I want wins

  22. One thing for certain, which even Packer fans have accurately noted — our QB situation is tortuous.

  23. Only a GM that doesn’t know what they are doing would say something like this.

    A good GM would see this decision as a fortunate blessing to be a part of.

    You either have a winner or a loser running your team, and Rick has the loser attitude.

  24. Not sure how one bad draft pick can generate so much negativity. Since Speilman has been here, his drafts have landed Peterson, Rice, Sullivan, Harvin, Loadholt, Rudolph, Kalil, Smith, Walsh, Floyd, Rhodes, Patterson, Robison and Griffin. He was also responsible for acquiring Jared Allen and Brett Favre. His last 2 drafts, are arugably the best back-to-back drafts in Vikings history, a total of 19 picks, ALL still in football, except Greg Childs, a 4th rounder two years ago, who was injured. And all you guys remember is the Ponder pick. Me, I like Spielman and I’m looking forward to this year’s draft. I, too, would love to trade down, but I’m worried about finding a trade partner. I think a lot of teams will be trying to trade back. If we do trade down, look for Spielman to trade back up into the 1st, perhaps for our QB. I’m betting you will see the QB’s slide on draft day.

  25. Its not an accident when a team finishes last in its division for two out of the last 3 years. It takes some major screw ups to achieve that and Spielberg does not disappoint in that category.

    The Vikings missed their chance to clean house this past season when they should have fired Spielberg at a minimum and considered keeping Frazier. By keeping Spielberg, they insured another 5 years of failure because Spielberg will reach again in the first round and it will take another 4 years to finally figure out the QB that they drafted can’t play.

    Somewhere in Detroit, Lion fans are celebrating now that another team is destined for last place.

  26. What’s “torturous” for Vikings fans would be to have to watch another snap by Christian Ponder..

  27. Another torturous yr coming up for the Queens; esp at quarterback. Packers have had two starting qb’s since 1992….both of which will be in the HOF.

  28. Remember Brian Brohm – not all Packer fans have a blind faith in Thompson. Many the underachieving first rounder on his watch to be sure. Gave Pro Bowl money to resign a non-Pro Bowler – the insconsistent Sam Shields. There were better corners on the FA market that signed lesser contracts. A couple of significant hits (Rodgers, Matthews) helped propel the team to a Super Bowl. The totality of his body of work is highly over-rated.

  29. Only qb I would take in the first is manziel and he probably wont be there at 8 so I agree take someone at 8 that you trust will help now or trade down for more picks. I wouldn’t take bortles or bridgewater at 8 to risky and we cant afford another ponder fail.

  30. Of course the QB decision is torturous. This is the same guy that panicked and drafted Ponder WAY too high. Those kind of moves can destroy your confidence when trying to draft another one. Most GM’s don’t get a 3rd chance to get it right.

  31. Brian Brohm. LOL It’s not like he was a gamble or a pick that wasn’t considered to be a good one at the time by most. Not all players pan out. But…they also weren’t looking for him to be their starting QB, either and he wasn’t even a 1st round pick.

    Sam Shields is being paid for what they expect out of him in the future. He only played CB one year in college and has gotten better each and every year. He’s still an ascending player.

  32. Whatthehell – I understand that they are paying Sam Shields for their expectations. That’s a lofty price tag for a guy who has yet to start 16 games…much less show any form of consistency from year to year. DRC is getting paid for his future trajectory as well – and they have a much more consistent history. The Shields story has been one step forward and one step back has been his for 4 years in Title Town. TT threw relatively big bucks at Burnett as well. We may have burned $5 million last year, since Burnett was little more than another large hole in the middle of the field.

  33. Spielman is secretly hoping that the Packers draft their next future HOF QB so the Vikings can start the illegal tampering process of Rodgers so they can have a legit QB again.

  34. I have a lot of faith in Speilman’s choices, but I hope he doesn’t take a QB in the first round and I hope he doesn’t take one of the “top 3” Get impact Defensive players to help immediately. Grab Savage in the 3rd and let Norve have is way with the kid for the first year. Then we can say if Norve is the Man we want and we can say at least we didn’t blow a first round pick a bust QB like Manziel or Bortles.

  35. Remember Brian- So you are saying that the Packers named Rodgers the starter after they told Favre to take a hike but really drafted Brian Brohm to start over a guy who was drafted in the 1st round? By that logic you are saying that TT uses 1st round picks on backup QB’s. Not very good logic.

    In fact, he was using a 2nd round pick for him to be a backup. Unlike the Vikings, the Packers have traded many backup QB’s they’ve groomed over the years. Hasselbeck, Brooks and Brunnell to name a few. QB’s always have value if they are good. Not every QB pans out, so you should always stockpile the position and see what shakes out whether it is a backup or a starter.

  36. Trust your scouts, and trust your gut. If you can’t, then you don’t deserve to be in the position to make these “torturous decisions.” Just remember, if you pass on a QB with that #8 pick because you’re afraid he might cost you your job in the future if he fails…it should be an even more firable offense passing on that QB at #8 only to find out he’s a perennial Pro Bowler down the line.

  37. The vikings are not the kind of team that needs to bring in johnny football for excitement or sell tickets or whatever. We are not in the same boat as the browns or the jaguars not even close! I only want him cause I believe he would be a perfect fit with the vikings strong running game. He doesnt need to be a star rite way on a team like the vikes and he wont be a star rite away on any team. He needs to land on the rite team and thats the vikes! With Adrian Peterson the vikings dont need an Andrew Luck we need someone to be a game manager and it will take time for johnny to adapt to the nfl level. Once peterson is in his decline it will be the perfect time for johhny to step up and be a star qb. I really do think he is the next drew brees but a little faster, more of a playmaker on a busted play. Its always nice to know your qb can take off when a play is broken. Ive wanted johhny since he won the heisman in hisfreshman year. Im not a band wagoner just someone who believes johnny will be a star. Where you at skip bayless to back me up!

  38. The Vikings can barely sell out their stadium. That’s been well documented over the years, especially when they are bad and the bandwagon fans jump off.

  39. The reason why viking fans didnt go to games anymore is cause the metrodome sucked theres a reason why it was called a metrodump and it was true. it was nice in the 80’s but it was long overdue. Theres reasons why you would see a bunch of packer fans at vikings home games its cause green bay aint to far away and viking fans couldnt take the terrible stadium anymore if you ever been there its hard to focus on the game the seating was terrible (I felt bad if you was a big dude cuase you will be sitting on top of people pretty much) the bathrooms were awful everything sucked about the dome. The viking gods were the ones that caused the roof to collapse cause of how bad it was!

  40. It shouldn’t be that hard, viking fans tell us all the time that our GM is awful and that he “lucked” into getting Aaron Rodgers.

    So clearly – the genius Spielman should have no issue at all.

  41. Was he the host of “The Dating Game” way back when? It sure looks like the same guy.

  42. The Vikings had problems selling out games at the Metrodome when it was only 4 years old and I had just moved to Minnesota. Back then all the corporations would buy out the tickets to prevent the games from being blacked out. So the Metrodome was a dump when it was only 4 years old? Please. Vikings fans are notorious bandwagon jumpers. I’ve seen it first hand after living here for almost 25 years.

  43. Packers fans also sat in far worse seats in the old Lambeau field on benches for crying out loud. Some fans are just more loyal and hard core than other fans. The only year the Vikings sold out their season tickets in the last 20 years when was everyone jumped on the bandwagon after the 15-1 choke jobs season. Then it went back to the normal 25-30%

  44. I’m not worried. Spielman won’t alone make the decision. He’s too gun shy from Ponder. He’ll need to consult with Zimmer or Turner. If Turner says he can coach a Manziel, Bortles, or Bridewater, we’ll take one if they are available. If not, then we trade or go defense (or maybe trade and take the QB later in the first). This is different from when we took Ponder. We have our starting QB for this year. There is no pressure to take one. Let the chips fall where they may.

  45. 1968–1991

    For about a quarter century after Lombardi’s departure, the Packers had relatively little on-field success. In the 24 seasons from 1968 to 1991, the Packers had only five seasons with a winning record (above .500), one being the shortened 1982 strike season. They appeared in the playoffs twice during that period, with a record of 1–2. The period saw five different head coaches – Phil Bengtson, Dan Devine, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, and Lindy Infante – two of which were former Packer players in Lombardi’s era (Starr and Gregg), and one of which was a former coach (Bengtson). Each of these men led the Packers to a poorer record than his predecessor. Poor personnel decisions typified this time period. A notorious example includes the 1974 trade in which Dan Devine acting as GM sent five 1975 and 1976 draft picks (two first-rounders, two second-rounders and a third) to the Los Angeles Rams for aging quarterback John Hadl, who would spend only 1½ seasons in Green Bay.[13] Another came in 1989, when players such as Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, and Derrick Thomas were available, but the Packers chose offensive lineman Tony Mandarich with the second overall pick in the NFL draft. Though rated highly by nearly every professional scout at the time, Mandarich’s performance failed to meet expectations. ESPN has rated Mandarich as the third “biggest sports flop” in the last 25 years.

    You guys seem too forget these times, my point is every team has its ups and downs, so jealousy NOT. To bad we dint had this site to comment on The Packers between 1968 and 1991…..

  46. I get a kick out of Viking fans saying the Packers lucked out on drafting Rodgers when the Vikings themselves passed on him twice. How lucky was it when the Packers already had Favre and didn’t need to draft Rodgers because he wouldn’t play for 3 more years but yet Ted was smart enough to see the talent and took him anyway. Now as it turns out he might go down as one of the best ever. Where the Packers lucky or the Vikings just incompetent? Based on the standings I would say the queens are incompetent. Look no farther than Ponder or countless failed qb’s on that team.
    Embrace the suck!

  47. Ive lived in Minnesota all my life and am a loayl viking fan. They have been my favorite and only favorite team of NFL teams. I am not a bandwagoner I always watch every game they play every sunday, every year. Perhaps watching games at home is more enjoyable. Its funny, didnt the packers just have a playoff game almost blacked out. Didn’t they have corparations help buy up tickets to get the fans watch their sorry team lose that shouldnt have even been in the playoffs? Im proud to say im a true Viking fan and I look forward to an exciting year. The NFC north is always exciting and this year it will be interesting to see who takes the title. Dont think the packers will be the favorite like they use to be. They have no defense and defense is essential in the NFC north!

  48. The Packer defense was better than both the Vikings and the Bears in 2013, and it was done with duct tape. The offense was decimated too. They still won the division. They still won the division. Predicting their demise is wishful thinking. The Packers will win the division and more. You know it and we know it. Good luck with that.

  49. The Packers have no defense, yet their defense was better than every team in the NFCN last year and that was with missing their best players. So if the Packers aren’t the favorite because they have no defense, then what are the Vikings, Lions and Bears who had a worse defense?

  50. Packers are already the favorite in Vegas and guess who is projected to finish last once again? Yes its your Vikings.

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