Mark Wilf: Vikings expect “a lot better season”

Getty Images

Last year, external expectations were unreasonably high for the Vikings. This year, external expectations for the franchise have dropped.

Internal expectations remain high.

We expect a lot better season, and we’re working hard every day,” Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf told Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I know our coaches, and staff, and players are working hard and getting ready for the season.”

The most important player to the team’s 2019 season also is the highest paid: Quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“I think a year under his belt here in Minnesota and his familiarity with everything is going to bode well,” Wilf told Hartman. “He’s doing great. We expect a lot out of him as well as our whole team.”

Last year, the Vikings followed an NFC title game appearance with a failure to make it to the playoffs.

“Well, it was a disappointing season,” Wilf said regarding a campaign that ended with a win-and-in home loss to the Bears, who weren’t playing for anything. “We didn’t like the way it ended and it was a bitter taste in all of our [mouths] and we got right to work the day after that game. Coach Zimmer, Rick Spielman, the whole organization has had a plan, and we’re executing it and we like the changes, so far.”

Not many changes were possible in free agency due to cap constraints, but the Vikings added plenty of rookies via the draft and the post-draft land rush.

“The draft, very pleased with it,” Wilf said. “We got 12 good players in the draft. As always, we were very active in the free-agency part after the draft, so on all fronts we shored up a lot of areas that needed improvement and we have some really good people, good athletes, that we brought in.”

The Vikings have made it to the playoffs in alternating years under Zimmer, qualifying in 2015 and 2017 and failing to make it in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Whether they make it this year depends on plenty of factors, including whether Cousins and the rest of the team will be able to deliver in five prime-time games.

60 responses to “Mark Wilf: Vikings expect “a lot better season”

  1. Another winner of the “keen sense of the obvious” award. There are currently 31 NFL teams that are “expecting” to have better seasons, and ONE that hopes it’s just as good. OK we got that. Let’s move on.

  2. Agreed in principle, resigned, signed this year alone. Adam Thielen, Josh Kline. Dan Bailey, Ameer Abdullah, Anthony Barr, Shamar Stephen, Anthony Harris, Rashod Hill, C.J. Ham and P Matt Wile.

  3. The coaching of Tony Sparano masked the lack of talent on the offensive line and his death before training camp exposed it. The refusal to try to run the ball by an insubordinate Defillipo also put pressure on the defense by not sustaining drives and eating clock which was the teams identity the year prior. The worst interior line in the NFL just got the best Center in the draft and another potential steal at Right Guard. Elflein moves to Left Guard and Kubiaks zone blocking scheme should solidify the biggest weakness on the team. Drafting a fresh back like Mattison to replace Murray should be a big help also. Kirk Cousins needs a clean pocket and a little more time to operate and he should have it this year.

  4. You can expect better, but division is tough. Team is flawed. And it’s getting more and more challenging to build team around Cousins 30Mil annual contract.

    I expect Bears and Packers to fight for title with Vikings 3rd place.

  5. If their O-line is average in 2019, the Vikings will win the division and make some noise in the playoffs.

  6. The Vikings didn’t upgrade enough for them to expect anything different than last season.

  7. With the roster they have they should be going deep into the playoffs. But after this year they’ll be cutting some of those big salaries.

  8. Onlyas good as your QB and defense. Hence why Vikings are an 8-8 team along with the Lions being similar. Bears have a D, Packers have the QB. Packers or Bears take 2019 NFC North

  9. No pity, you give a QB who’s never made the playoffs a contract like that and then have no money to build around him.
    TB12…he wants to win and not sign the highest contract.
    Get a QB like that and you might “get better”. Your coaches and front office are questionable at best also.

  10. vikesr4reel says:
    May 19, 2019 at 3:25 pm
    Every other team is jealous of what we have–———–
    An overpaid QB, a weak o-line and salary cap issues? Yup…we are jealous.


  11. patfanken says:
    May 19, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Another winner of the “keen sense of the obvious” award. There are currently 31 NFL teams that are “expecting” to have better seasons, and ONE that hopes it’s just as good. OK we got that. Let’s move on.”

    Except Miami who hopes to be worst.

  12. In the NFL there is one winner and 31 losers. The other 31 teams guarantee the Patriots keep their dynasty intact by second guessing themselves and constantly making changes. Stability has been one of the key ingredients in the Patriots’ success, but few owners seem to be capable of understanding that. Most of the current owners aren’t the original owner, but rather they’re the folks who inherited the teams. Many know nothing about high level decision making. That also contributes to the Patriots’ unprecedented run of success. The competition is at a lower level, by far, than at any other time in NFL history.

  13. jackedupboonie says:
    May 19, 2019 at 2:58 pm
    Onlyas good as your QB and defense. Hence why Vikings are an 8-8 team along with the Lions being similar. Bears have a D, Packers have the QB. Packers or Bears take 2019 NFC North
    ###

    After reading the first line of your post, I’m trying to figure out the last line.

    If you are only as good as you QB and your defense, the Vikings will be winning the NFCN this year.

    The Bears do have a defense, but they were only ranked one slightly above the Vikings.

    The Bears have the worst QB in the division.

    The Packer have an aging, injury prone, has been at QB that collected more money from the Packers than Cousins, Trubisky and Stafford combined collected from the Bears, Lions and Vikings. Rodgers only has 27 wins in his last 54 starts, which points to a .500 season at best.

    The Packers have the worst defense in the NFCN and can only hope and pray that this season they are better than Detroit after attempting to buy a defense in free agency and the draft.

    So, using your own words, the Vikings should be the best of the NFCN, not the Bears or the Packers.

  14. I am surprised at Packer fans saying that even tho their team has a new GM, a new Coach, a Quarter back with a wounded right shoulder (it showed ALL last season) without the zip and accuracy of the previous year, is going to be challenging the “under rated Bears” team and an “angry Minnesota” team for the NFCN title.. yeah haha, Santa, the Easter Bunny, Tinker Bell and the Tooth Fairy will be in Season ticket seats too! Packers will be lucky to knock the Lions out of 3rd place.

  15. patfanken says:
    May 19, 2019 at 1:44 pm
    Another winner of the “keen sense of the obvious” award. There are currently 31 NFL teams that are “expecting” to have better seasons, and ONE that hopes it’s just as good. OK we got that. Let’s move on
    !++++++++++++++++
    What else do you recommend him saying in place of that?

  16. ariani1985 says:
    May 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm
    So glad the Vikings didn’t follow suit like our little sister to the east and sign 3 players nobody heard about.

    —————————————————————————————–
    Nope, you just signed the perennial underachieving QB that 31 other teams know to run and hide from which, per all the Vikings fans, was the missing link. Instead, the Vikings stepped back from a year earlier and won the same number of playoff games as the little sister to the east… which has so many championships I forget and 4 Lombardi trophies. Unless by little sister to the east you meant Detroit?

  17. Where is all the slacker comments? The cheeseheads just drafted players just like 2015 as none were starters and didn’t even play a full season!

  18. All I can say is the Wilfs have put more money into their investment than any previous owner of the team since day one and I value that.

  19. Bears fan here, Vikings will be serious competition for the Bears this year, Packers and Lions not so much, Rogers don’t have the legs or arm anymore, D lineman are catching them now, and talk about being stuck with a contract, they owe him a hundred million for cripes sake. And Stafford has huge career stats but nothing to show for it, head scratcher.

  20. Last year in many of their losses, and even a couple of their wins, the Vikings played listlessly, without energy or urgency. There was something different in the attitude on this team than the year before. I thought maybe Keenum , who was a high energy personality, left a hole when he departed. But whatever the problem was, they sleep walked through a lot of the losses. Rhodes is a great example. And the Bears game, that would’ve put them in the playoffs, was an embarrassment as far as effort goes. I don’t know if they fixed that. I don’t see who they added, or who left, that might change that chemistry dramatically. But if they haven’t found a way to get back that spirit that makes them think they can win every game, and fight until the last second ticks off, it’s going to be a long season. I hope they found the kind of internal leader ship they need. If they did, they are Super Bowl contenders. If they didn’t all this talent is going to go to waste.

  21. The Vikings will be lucky, very lucky to win 9 games. Zimmer said that if Cousins did not work out “it was on him” or words to that effect. Then he completely forgot about the OL and Cousins did not work out. and then what? Zim blamed the team for not being “nasty” and Rhodes. The truth is that Zimmer is way over his head. He would be a solid head coach at D III or maybe D II college ball but not the pros. Further complicating things is Zim having his nose so close to Speilman’s rear end that Rick does things that just do not make any sense. So this year, the OL was again pretty much ignored. That is right. By God do you all think a rookie is going to turn the worst OL in the league into something else. That is called believing your own BS. By year end Rick and Zimmer will be gone. I forgot to add that Zim cannot fool any adversaries and cannot seem to make adjustments on the fly. The whipping NE gave the Vikes was just total. And the loss to the Bears was historic. If I was Zig I’d have fired Zimmer on the spot.

  22. Let’s hope Cousins has it in him to bring his Randy Moss and Chris Carter A game to the big games. I have yet to see it

  23. If we’re all being honest here, no one knows how the NFCN will shake out next year. Rodgers could return to form and be the best player in the NFL or he could actually be in decline and the Pack miss the playoffs again. The Bears could have been a fluke or they could be built for a decade of success. The Vikings could win 7 games or 14 games and no one would be surprised with either outcome. The Lions could finish last or they could win the div….. Ok I’m just screwing around now. The Lions will finish last. The rest was authentic though

  24. Oh good for nothing stab at humor……”Off-season champions”. It’s so elementary cheeeser brains!
    Hiw about your team just wirks in a way to be completely and beat the Vikings. How long now 900 days??? I’m not laughing, im shaking my fists knowing that the Vikings will blow you out twice!

  25. Th biggest difference among all the NFCN teams and their expectations for success is still Aaron Charles Rodgers. Start there, then compare.

  26. cellarperformance

    May I remind you that Aaron Charles Rodgers is the oldest, most injury prone and most overpaid QB in the division.

    The Packers only have 27 wins in his last 54 starts.

    Why the Packers chose to give him $80 MILLION over the last 12 months will be the topic of frustrated conversation by Packer fans for the next 50 years.

  27. stellarperformance says:
    May 19, 2019 at 7:32 pm
    Th biggest difference among all the NFCN teams and their expectations for success is still Aaron Charles Rodgers. Start there, then compare.
    ——
    Awww your child like obsession is still strong. Well Rodgers was 1-4-1 last year against the competition so I’d say its not looking good. Just another year older and whinier. I know excuses, injuries, refs, etc. Bottom line he one beat the other thee qbs in the division once. It’s been two injury plagued down years in a row eventually a pattern becomes reality.

  28. David Copperfield is a magician says:
    May 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm
    Says every coach who is circling the drain.

    —————–
    This article quotes Mark Wilf — at no point is Mike Zimmer quoted – your reading skills are at Rashaan Gary levels today.

  29. Rodgers is feeling healthy. He feels good. He played eight games last season with a broken leg, two more with with a strained hamstring, and missed one in concussion protocol. He still outperformed Cousins over the course of the season. When comparing the NFCN teams, he’s still the biggest difference-maker. Every team in the division, if asked, would trade their starter for Rodgers. The biggest difference, still, among all NFCN Teams and their expectations for success is Aaron Rodgers!

    It bears repeating.

  30. delusional fanboy says:
    May 19, 2019 at 7:32 pm
    Th biggest difference among all the NFCN teams and their expectations for success is still Aaron Charles Rodgers. Start there, then compare.
    =========
    For a guy who keep saying he doesn’t care about the Vikings it seems like you had the most posts on the Rudolph articles and you are starting right back up with this one. Go solve crime with your buddy Gary, your better than this Ace.

  31. cheeseisfattening says:
    May 19, 2019 at 1:51 pm
    Agreed in principle, resigned, signed this year alone….Ameer Abdullah…

    —————-

    If you are left to brag about your team picking up Abdullah, then you are a BIG TROUBLE!

    Trey Flowers was a bigger acquisition that ALL of your noted players COMBINED! The Bears may still be the class of the division, but The Lions are clearly the team on the rise, while the Vikings and the Packers are falling into irrelevance! DEAL WITH THAT!!

    ROAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #ONEPRIDE

  32. uncommon1 says:
    May 19, 2019 at 7:08 pm
    …The Lions could finish last or they could win the div….. Ok I’m just screwing around now. The Lions will finish last. The rest was authentic though

    ————–

    No worries, you’ll be eating those words this season when The Lions make the playoffs and make some noise!

  33. Just seeing all the Packer fan Comments and votes, (more than Minnesota fans on our own story) tells me Green Bay fans are very, very nervous about the oncoming season. We are in their heads. It is almost like they believe by invading a Minnesota story will “wish” their pathetic team to
    wins! Oh so very pathetic! hahahahahahahahaha… and, HA! plus tax…..

  34. w8rh3wk5 says:
    May 19, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    You can expect better, but division is tough. Team is flawed. And it’s getting more and more challenging to build team around Cousins 30Mil annual contract.

    I expect Bears and Packers to fight for title with Vikings 3rd place.

    ***********************************

    Nice try Pack fan.
    More like:
    1) Vikings
    2) Bears
    3) Lions
    4) Packers

    Book it.

  35. The Vikings will be improved in almost every area, but that Away schedule is BRUTAL. They will need to catch some of those teams when they are banged up or flat, and then the record could be 11-5 or 12-4 But, I think they will go 9-7 or 10-6 at best. The Bears will come down to Earth, the Packers will only go as far as Aaron takes them, and Detroit will be the usual also-ran. Both the Bears and Vikings may reach post-season. but so much hinges on injuries and timing.

  36. Minnesota is stuck with Cousins but after 2020/21 he will have have made all the money I could because unless he wins or at least GETS Minnesota to a super bowl he will never be signed for any where near that much $$$$ again.

  37. We’re all expecting a better season. Much needed change on the O-line, new offensive coordinator, O-line coach, and assistant head coach. Add in a pretty good draft and things do look better. Time will tell and I can’t wait for the season to start.

  38. stellarperformance says:
    May 19, 2019 at 8:11 pm
    Rodgers is feeling healthy. He feels good. He played eight games last season with a broken leg, two more with with a strained hamstring, and missed one in concussion protocol. He still outperformed Cousins over the course of the season. When comparing the NFCN teams, he’s still the biggest difference-maker. Every team in the division, if asked, would trade their starter for Rodgers. The biggest difference, still, among all NFCN Teams and their expectations for success is Aaron Rodgers!
    *****
    Wow…if Rodgers is as good as you say he is, then why is it that he’s only won one Super Bowl in his career? It’s obvious to everyone (except delusional Packer fans) that Rodgers best days are clearly behind him.

  39. When RBs get low touches you lose football games. If your OL is bad and you can’t run, you better be running screens and dump-offs. The play calling of this team was horrible last year. Haters will blame Cousins but it wasn’t on him. It was coaching.

    It’s going to be an interesting division. Every team feels like they should improve on last year and on paper, any of them could. History says that half of them won’t.

  40. You get comments of improvement when you have had a successful draft and off season. I think Kubiak and his assistant coaches he brought in with him, helps one of the biggest weaknesses of the Vikings last year the offensive line. I am looking forward to next season.

  41. Seeing that I am the only real Vikings fan on this site I will just say that we are just not very good right now. Our roster and coaching staff are way below average and it will be a couple years before we can even start to say anything to the fan bases of Chicago and Green Bay.

    I do believe Zimmer will not be here in 2020 and I am very happy about that. I also believe 2019 is basically a throw away season. I do hope we can start on a path to turning things around in 2020. It’s going to be a long season for me as the only true Vikings fan on this site. I look forward to at least a few W’s and I hope some positives come from the season. Our 2 biggest games are against Green Bay. If we could win one of those it would be a successful season to me. After Zimmer and his staff are fired we can look forward to 2020 and the start of a long rebuild.

  42. Before the draft I was convinced the Vikings would win 3 games this year. Then Spielman surprised everyone by drafting exactly what the Vikings needed. A true center with the strength to not be manhandled by Hicks and an even more important signing Dru Samia who can play RG & RT. Then with Irv Smith Jr the Vikings finally have a TE who can catch & also run to pair with Rudolph.

    The Vikings have as much talent at every position as any team in the NFL. Can Zim unlock this talent & finally bring them a SB win. Honestly I don’t think he can because he just can’t keep his hands off the D & that is his downfall. That & he can’t learn from his mistakes. Kubiak on the other hand will be able to turn them around. Especially with Capt. Kirk. Look what he did with Manning who could barely throw. He was putting up 50 TD’s & took the Bronco’s to a couple SB’s & won one and peyton couldn’t throw the ball over 20 yards. Look at what Kubiak did for Matt Schaub. With the zone blocking scheme denver used now in MN the Vikings will put up HUGE offensive numbers.

    Finally they drafted correctly. I had a pillow case full of bath sized soap bars with spielmans & zim’s name on it if they drafted another CB this year in the first 4 rounds & for once they didn’t.

    The Vikings made changes that have made them better than the team that lost the NFCCG. Problem is that other teams are also much better. With a break here & there things could go very well for them.

    Why not the Vikings!? Why not now?!!

  43. The main problem with the Vikings & one they didn’t address properly is their RB & backup RB situation. Loosing Murray is rough because Cook, lets face it, can’t stay on the field. He’s going to cut his toenail too deep & miss 9 games. He quite frankly CAN’T BE COUNTED ON. Maybe the Vikings do trade Rudolph to NE or cut him just to get a serviceable RB to pair with Cook. If they don’t address that problem it will bite them in the rear.

  44. vikesfansteve:
    ——————-
    Agreed about Cook but not sure what you mean about the back-up running back situation. This year they drafted Mattison, a ground & pound RB to replace Murray, & rookie RB’s tend to do well right out of the gate with not much of a learning curve. Plus they also have Boone, Roc Thomas & fullback C.J. Ham.

  45. CJ Ham, Boone, Roc Thomas all suck!

    roger that says:
    May 22, 2019 at 3:16 am
    vikesfansteve:
    ——————-
    Agreed about Cook but not sure what you mean about the back-up running back situation. This year they drafted Mattison, a ground & pound RB to replace Murray, & rookie RB’s tend to do well right out of the gate with not much of a learning curve. Plus they also have Boone, Roc Thomas & fullback C.J. Ham.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!