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Photo - Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - One day removed from meeting assembled media members at Winter Park, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman hopped on the airwaves with KFAN's Paul Allen to discuss the first ten weeks of the Vikings season. The pair broached a wide array of topics during the 15 minute interview including past and future draft classes, Christian Ponder's progress and the overall position that the Minnesota Vikings find themselves in over the bye week.
The following are a few excerpts from their conversation...
On the progression of the 2012 Draft Class:
"I never judge a draft class until three years down the road," Spielman said. "[I'm] very excited that the guys from last year's draft and this year's draft have been able to contribute to this football team."
"All the rookies kind of go through that 'rookie wall' as people like to say. Remember, they've played 14 games and they've played a full college season. But we have six more games and hopefully more after that coming up down the road here."
In regards to the Vikings first round selection Matt Kalil, Spielman said "We're very excited about Matt's progress. He's such a unique and gifted athlete for that position. The one thing that you see him, he's a much better run blocker than I think people anticipated when he came out of college and the pass protection stuff is just becoming so natural."
On judging the progress of second-year quarterback Christian Ponder:
"I think you continue to evaluate that position [over time]," Spielman explained. "s you look through the history of quarterbacks and young quarterbacks as they develop, each year they seem to take a step forward and then their third year you're hoping to take another step forward. Some guys hit it in their fourth year, some guys hit it in their third year. But that position you really have to be patient and look at the overall picture of things as it develops in front of you."
"You're seeing progress and you're seeing him be more comfortable but you're judging the quarterbacks on how they handle adversity, you're judging the QBs on how they handle key situations in the game."
On the NFL's leading rusher, Adrian Peterson:
"There's not much you can say about what he's doing and what he's accomplishing," Spielman said. "Hopefully he'll continue down that path but it's amazing to see where he was week one and now where he's at in week 10. He seems to just be getting stronger and better each week."
"Adrian is a unique individual, I think he's over the last couple weeks played better than he ever has in his career."
On 35-year old starting cornerback Antoine Winfield:
"He's amazing for a 35-year old corner to go out there and do what he's doing and not only what he does for us on the field but that leadership in the locker room and what he does for us off the field. That's a rarity and we're very fortunate to have a guy like Antoine Winfield on our roster."
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. @AjKFAN