Reshuffling in scouting department makes perfect sense
VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman’s recent reshuffling of the team’s scouting department was very logical. Spielman took over last year following the Fran Foley draft of 2006 and wisely took a full cycle to give the staff he inherited a fair evaluation themselves. His conclusion, as reflected in the modest changes he made, affirmed the fact that the Vikings already had a high-quality staff of scouts in the organization.
The Godfather of the pro scouting department, Paul Wiggin, is now 72-years-old. Wiggin is a wonderful guy and extremely knowledgeable pro scout. Despite his age, the game has not passed him by at all. But at some point, the guy deserves a less demanding life than that of a scout. So Wiggin could return as a consultant.
Pro scout Frank Acevedo, who has 12 years of NFL experience and five with the Vikings, will move to the college side. Acevedo did an excellent job working with Wiggin on the pro side and will only strengthen the team’s effort in the trenches on the college side.
Spielman was already a fan of Scott Studwell, the director of college scouting, and that was only confirmed in seeing him operate over the course of the past year leading up to the team’s solid, solid draft. He also recognized the talent and work ethic of pro scouts Jeff Robinson and Ryan Monnens, who adapted nicely to the new system Spielman brought in.
George Paton will oversee the pro department and offer support on the college side as well. He and Studwell will report directly to Spielman.
Scott Kuhn was also added as a pro scout from the Miami Dolphins organization. Kuhn had been with the Dolphins since 2000, working with Paton, and there when Spielman was as well. Like Paton, he’s considered bright, hard-working and comes in understanding the system Spielman has in place with the Vikings.
The lone departure, veteran scout Frank Gilliam, remains an astute talent evaluator. But according to sources, he struggled to adapt to the many high-tech advances in the department, as well as the new system installed by Spielman. Gilliam, it should be noted, turned 73 in January of this year. He had been in a role as a senior consultant to the team since 2002.
Rookie cornerback Marcus McCauley continues to look like a third-round steal (story) in early workouts.
The decision by Brad Childress to utilize local resident and retired NFL quarterback Rich Gannon (story) is a good one. His presence can only help in the development of the team’s young quarterbacks.
Of course ex-Viking Tommy Kramer belongs in the Texas Hall-of-Fame (story).
Vikings new Director of Player Personnel George Paton was on the short list of candidates for the top personnel job with the Houston Texans back in 2006 after Charley Casserly “stepped down.”
At this exact moment in time, the Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper trades don’t look too bad for the Vikings. Moss was an underachieving pain the butt for the Raiders. Culpepper was an underachieving pain in the butt for the Dolphins. However, both could still redeem themselves nicely with their new teams in 2007 – New England and to be determined. Moss should bounce back nicely with the supporting cast with the Patriots. Culpepper’s chances are less good.