Blog Entry

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:58 pm
 

Posted by Andy Benoit

So let’s get this straight: Brad Childress gets a contract extension in 2009 and leads the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. Minnesota’s 12-4 record marked the third time in three years that Childress’ team improved its win total by two games over the previous season. Z. Wilf (US Presswire)

But sadly, over these past three months, Childress has…what? Suddenly forgotten how to coach? Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was reportedly furious at Childress for waiving Randy Moss. And, obviously, Childress’ relationship with Brett Favre has been a black eye on the entire organization this season.

But let’s examine both situations and ask, How many other head coaches would have had their credibility with their owner derailed by a petulant wide receiver who was brought in midseason, by a quarterback who did not rejoin the team until mid-August and by a slew of anonymous players who like airing dirty laundry to the press?

Wilf is a hands-off owner who tries to be hands-on. In other words, he understands business but does not understand football. The bullets that made Childress a lame duck coach came primarily from Favre’s gun, Moss’ gun and the guns of those six anonymous players. But it was Wilf who ultimately created a culture that allowed those players to have guns in the first place.

By all accounts, Childress does not have the type of personality that garners many dinner invitations. But that can be said about a lot of coaches. Yes, football is a people business, so at some point the personality matters. But isn’t it funny that Childress’ personality did not matter when this team was winning last season?

Childress had final say over personnel; one would assume VP of player personnel Spielman now has final say. Wilf is reportedly fond of Spielman and the rest of the Vikings front office. Presumably, if interim head coach Leslie Frazier can earn the job long-term (Frazier is a perennial leading head coaching candidate) the Vikings organization can maintain its current structure. But for that structure to succeed, Wilf must take a hands-off approach on football matters.

It’s entirely possible that Wilf’s decision was influenced by non-football factors. In that case, it’d be difficult to criticize this move. Childress is not popular with the fan base. The Vikings, because of their expiring stadium lease and uphill financial circumstances, need a happy fan base. Thus, economics and political circumstances may have made Childress a sacrificial lamb.

Of course, continuing down that path of thought…the fan base’s disenchantment with Childress derived from the players’ disenchantment of Childress, which derived from the culture of Wilf’s organization. Was it the wrong move to fire Childress? You could argue it either way. Regardless, the Vikings’ problems are almost certainly deeper than just the head coach.

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Comments
fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 6:10 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 8:25 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:56 am
 

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 7:21 pm
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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:08 pm
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Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2010 3:16 pm
 

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

People blame Favre?  Childress didn't have the balls to pull him? When a team struggles, time to make changes IMO. And that is something he didn't do. Now here's hoping Frazier has the balls to pull Favre and give T.J. a chance to see what he can do with this lost season.



Since: Jun 19, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2010 2:26 pm
 

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

mjptwig,

Favre will not "play teacher" in the organization.  He doesn't actually care about the future of the team, he only cares about the team as a platform for him to play from.  The Vikings' decline is due to team chemistry, not so much with each other, but with football.  When you watch them, do you get a sense that they love the game or that they care about Minneapolis or that they believe in teamwork?  I don't.  Frazier is going to make a big statement.  Either he will stay with Favre or he won't... either way it sends a crystal clear message to the team.  My opinion is that he should bench Favre and build the new team around try-hard guys, even if they don't have as much talent. 



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2010 1:52 pm
 

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

Dear Andy, There was a huge part of the fan base who always saw through Chilly's crap and recognized that the team was winning last year IN SPITE of him, not because of him.  Other than QB, Chilly is good at acquiring talent, just lousy at using it on game day.  Talent can get you to the playoffs, bad coaching puts twelve men on the field in a crucial situation of the NFC championship game.



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2010 1:47 pm
 

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

if you had any idea who frazier is you would know not to hire this guy just look at how the Dfence has fallen under the time he got here - i miss tomlin


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