MINNEAPOLIS - If the Minnesota Vikings are going to be Super Bowl contenders in the near future, they’re going to do it with Rick Spielman as the general manager and Mike Zimmer as the head coach.
About a week after announcing a multi-year extension for Zimmer, the Vikings did the same for Spielman on Monday. Both were previously entering the final year of their current contracts in the 2020 season, and now both are in Minnesota to stay until at least 2023.
“My family and I have been blessed for 15 years to be a part of this organization. Very excited about the future and what lies ahead for us. I know every day we come to this building and the only thing we want to accomplish is to win a Super Bowl,” Spielman told reporters Monday via Zoom. “No one deserves that honor more than our ownership, this organization and especially our fans. That’s our ultimate goal.”
Spielman joined the Vikings in 2006 as the team’s vice president of player personnel. He was originally one of three in a “triangle of authority,” which at the time included Brad Childress and Rob Brzezinksi.
Spielman took over as general manager in January of 2012, and he joined forces with Zimmer in 2014 by hiring him to replace then fired Leslie Frazier. In eight seasons with Spielman as the general manager, the Vikings are 72-54-2, fourth-best in the NFC during that span.
In Zimmer’s six seasons with Spielman, the Vikings are 57-38-1, have won two NFC North titles and been to the playoffs three times. The Vikings were also one win away from playing the Super Bowl in their home stadium in 2018.
“When we hired him as our head coach, we had a vision of how we wanted to build this team. It’s sticking to your principles, sticking to everything that you believe in on how you build a winning culture,” Spielman said. “It’s not only the players, there’s got to be that culture with the coaching staff.”
Zimmer enters the 2020 season with Gary Kubiak running the offense, built on running the football after the Vikings had the No. 6 rushing offense in the NFL last year. While Zimmer manages the defense, he promoted defensive line coach Andre Patterson and his son, Adam, to be co-defensive coordinators.
He also added Dom Capers as a special assistant. Zimmer couldn’t be happier that he’s continuing his head coaching journey in Minnesota with Spielman by his side.
“I think it’s great. Rick has done a phenomenal job with me here. I think it’s a good team, I think the way that ownership, the coaching staff, management, I think all that stuff is really good. I’m glad that he’s here for a while,” Spielman said. “Rick is a football guy. The biggest compliment you can give to a general manager is he’s a football guy.”
Spielman has made more draft picks than any other general manager since 2012, including a modern day NFL record 15 picks in 2020. That includes LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson at No. 22 overall, and TCU defensive back Jeff Gladney with the No. 30 overall pick.
In a virtual off-season with the challenges of a global health pandemic, the Vikings and the NFL face an entirely different set of circumstances heading into 2020. The goal remains the same, the Super Bowl, and it starts Sept. 13 against the Green Bay Packers without a preseason to help use as preparation.
“That’s what our whole goal is and why we come to work every day. I think everybody just kind of looks back and analyzes what do we have to do to take the next step,” Spielman said.