Mike Reinfeldt’s cautionary war room tale is the same as many executives who were involved with picks anywhere in close proximity to Minnesota at No. 7 in 2003.
“I have one good story of chaos,” said Reinfeldt, who classifies most draft rooms he’s been in as relatively serene. “The year that Kevin Williams got taken by Minnesota, they didn’t get their card in.”
The Vikings insisted they drafted at No. 9 the same player they would have taken seventh if draft talks didn’t bog them down and allow both the Jaguars to draft quarterback Byron Leftwich and the Panthers to take offensive tackle Jordan Gross before they got their card in for Williams, a defensive tackle.
Reinfeldt was an executive in Seattle, which had the 11th pick.
“It’s Ted Thompson and Mike Holmgren and Bob Whitsett and everybody kind of froze, nobody really knew what to do,” said Reinfeldt, now GM of the Titans. “And Ted Thomson was great, because he said ‘Write Marcus Trufant’s name down right now and be ready to turn it in.’
“Those moments never really happen but all of a sudden this moment did happen and Ted knew exactly what he wanted to do. As it turned out, they got their pick in and we still got Trufant, he was the guy that we wanted, we felt we would have taken him at sixth if we had sixth.”
It was a Boy Scout moment in terms of always be prepared.
“You’ve got to be ready for the unexpected,” he said.