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Photo - Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Mankato, MN - Amidst the Vikings second padded practice on Tuesday, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf corralled the media to deliver a brief update from the ownership. Topics breached include Zygi's predictions for the upcoming season, ownership's assessment of Leslie Frazier and future plans for the team's practice facility at Winter Park.
Zygi's predictions for 2012...
Needless to say, watching a product that you are heavily invested in flounder to a 3-13 season couldn't have been easy.
"It's never easy to go through losses," Wilf said Tuesday. "It's never easy to go through a season like that. Like I said, since we became ownership we've had the ups and downs. As somebody asked before we had to be patient is necessary because it's a tough league, tough competition and our time will come as it did in the past and we're going to keep on fighting for that championship."
As for this year's squad, Zygi said that he expects the Vikings to "fight for the division."
"We have a lot of veterans on board that are going to have to teach the younger guys on the team," Zygi said. "I don't know if you want to call it rebuilding or whatever, but we are certainly going to be improving. The young guys are going to get into the system and with Coach Frazier's leadership and Rick Spielman's direction we are going to be competitive and we are going to fight for the division."
On the grading the season for Leslie Frazier...
With the confidence they have in the pieces they've brought in, Wilf made it clear that the ownership group has high expectations for the team and for Leslie Frazier. Zygi said that he has been pleased with the coordination he has seen between the Head Coach and General Manager Rick Spielman.
"I think that working together gets us the best chance of putting the right guys on the field and being competitive."
Zygi would not say whether or not they are implementing a "wins" benchmark for coach Frazier but he did say that he is expecting a winning season.
"[I want to see Leslie with] continued determination to stay competitive," Wilf added. "Know that our players have to buy into what he's teaching and the system. And I think after the young guys learn from the veterans and learn from the coaches I think that we're going to get to where we want to go."
Stadium update and future plans for Winter Park...
We didn't learn anything new in regards to stadium design or time line, only that they are looking to wrap up design plans and find a contractor to start digging within the next year. The plan is still to open the new stadium in 2016.
As for the team's practice facilities at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Wilf said "We're working on improving the facility as we did in the past. We're looking at options of what we can do on site to improve the facility. But it's going to be a goal, together with the stadium to get the improvements."
"It's an older facility," Zygi said in closing. "We did a lot of improvements in the first few years after we came to ownership to improve the players' facilities, the locker rooms, and the offices. We're right now looking into what we can do to expand with the property that we have."
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings' updates and breaking Vikings' news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjMansourKFAN