Tag:Brad Childress
Posted on: November 30, 2010 5:30 pm

I love L.A. (we love it!)

Minnesota's lease with the Metrodome ends after the 2011 season (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf knows he has an uphill battle on his hands if he wants public funding to build a new stadium in Minneapolis.

The Brad Childress debacle didn’t help his cause, the Brett Favre sexting scandal was an embarrassment, and, oh yeah, the fact Minnesota is 4-7 and is out of the playoff race, for some reason, isn’t forcing people to open their wallets.

So, what do you do to get people to focus their attention? Only two words are needed.

Los Angeles.

That’s (sort of) what Lester Bagley, the Vikings vice president of stadium development and public affairs, mentioned today during an online chat on the Vikings official web site. He just happened to drop the news that multiple groups from L.A. have approached Vikings ownership and shown interest in perhaps bringing the organization to Southern California.

But, as the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal (H/T to profootballtalk.com for the link) points out, the ownership wants to stay in the Twin Cities, and it’s been working hard to get a potential deal done. Hey, Bagley might have been just throwing the L.A. stuff out there. You know, like a lover in whom you’re becoming disinterested suddenly throws out the fact he/she has other options and that you’re somewhat expendable.

"No conclusions have been reached, and we're working to bring forward a package with a single site as soon as our work is completed and as soon as the new Legislature and the new governor are ready," Bagley said.

The reason this takes on a little bit of immediacy is because the team’s lease with the Metrodome ends after the 2011 season. For now, the Vikings are looking to fund a new stadium with lottery games and hospitality-related taxes, and according to the story, gaming revenue could help as well (though the NFL would have to approve that last one).

Also, Bagley points out, construction of a new stadium could add up to 7,500 new jobs and a new stadium overall could generate 13,000 jobs.

From the story:

But Bagley also noted that the Vikings have been approached by the two main groups behind the efforts to bring the NFL to Los Angeles: one led by billionaire Ed Roski and another led by AEG CEO Tim Leiweke.

"Clearly, the Vikings stadium issue is being followed nationally and it's no secret that we're down to the last year on our lease," Bagley said. "We've told those groups that we are focused on resolving the issue in Minnesota. We feel solid momentum and feel we're well-positioned with the new Legislature and governor.

"Instead of spending energy speculating on other markets, let's keep the focus on building a world-class facility for the community and the state of Minnesota."

But, ahem, Los Angeles is still there just in case. If you catch Bagley’s drift.

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Posted on: November 26, 2010 9:29 pm

For the gambler in you

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Just because it’s Thanksgiving weekend, that doesn’t mean we can forget about this week’s Bodog prop bets. Assuming you’re not still in a tryptophan coma by the time the 1 p.m. games start Sunday, here’s what you can consider.

What will happen to Brett Favre by the end of the 2010 NFL regular season?

Remain a member of the Vikings 1/2

Retire 7/4

Get released 5/1

I assume the question is referring to whether Favre will complete the season with Minnesota and NOT what he’ll do once the season is finished (because I think, for sure, he’ll retire after the Vikings miss the playoffs). But I also think Favre will stay put for better or for worse until that final game. Another interesting question: will he remain the starter the rest of the way?

Rusty Smith – Total passing yards Week 12 vs. Houston

Over/Under  200.5

Jeez, this is impossible to answer. The Texans pass defense is horrendous, and it’s allowing 301.0 passing yards per game, the worst in the NFL. But Smith is a completely unknown quantity, his 62-yard performance in the last 18 minutes of the game last week notwithstanding. I kind of think you have to go under.

Will the winner of the NFC West have seven wins or less?   
Yes +200

No -260

No. The Seahawks (5-5) have three winnable games: the Panthers, the 49ers and the Rams. St. Louis (4-6) has four winnable games: the Broncos, the Cardinals, the 49ers, the Seahawks. One of these two squads will get hot and finish 8-8.

What will Brad Childress be doing by August 1, 2011?

Member of an NFL coaching staff  4/5

Member of a NCAA coaching staff 9/2

None of the above  1/1

I just wish one of the bets was, “Playing fantasy football with Wade Phillips: 20/1”

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 11:02 pm

Childress was 'confrontational' with Vikings

B. Berrian described former Minnesota coach Brad Childress as confrontational (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Vikings WR Bernard Berrian let us in on a little secret today. A secret we knew all too well. One secret that helped pave the way for Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf to fire Brad Childress as the team’s head coach.

In a radio interview, Berrian confirmed that Childress didn’t have the, uh, most-engaging people skills. Instead, he was a bit, well, confrontational.

“I think it was a working relationship, I think is the best way to describe it," Berrian told Sirius NFL Radio, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune . "It wasn’t too friendly all the time. You don’t really need to be friends, but a working relationship is all that’s needed. I think that the biggest thing with him was just he was too confrontational.”

So, did Childress, in effect, lose the locker room this season?

“Yeah, it did,” he said. “I think people got to a point where it was just, it was too overbearing.”

"He was just confrontational. I think that was the biggest thing. Instead of going to players like men and just talking and conversing about it, it was kind of brought to their attention in a confrontational way.”

None of this is a surprise, but now, we really get a sense of how dysfunctional that locker room was under the care of Childress. And if it's as bad as it seems, he probably didn't deserve to finish the season.

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: November 23, 2010 10:23 am

Tony Dungy has no interest in Minnesota gig

Posted by Will Brinson

Whew -- someone got fired (Brad Childress) and we very nearly made it 24 hours without discussing Tony Dungy as a replacement for the job. That would have resulted, of course, in the world exploding.

But, same as it ever was, Dungy isn't interested in the not-actually-open job in Minnesota, even though he's from the area. (Dungy was also ludicrously mentioned in the rumors for the Minnesota Golden Gophers gig, but at least this is NFL-related.)

That's according to an interview that Dungy did with the Associated Press, in which he informed them he won't be throwing his name in the hat for the Vikes job should it open up after the season.

All "Dungy's always mentioned" jokes aside, though, this is one coaching candidacy that everyone who cares about the NFL should want to see him weighing in on. That's because Leslie Frazier, the current interim coach for Minnesota, is an extremely talented guy who deserves a gig, and previously on Dungy's staff that won the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

"I know he feels like he's ready for the job," Dungy said.

For whatever reason (speculation seems a touch unfair to any NFL owners who may have passed on him), Frazier hasn't landed a head coaching gig yet -- hopefully, a strong performance with the Vikings and Dungy's endorsement will change that.

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Posted on: November 22, 2010 5:12 pm

Leslie Frazier looking to future

Leslie Frazier made his debut at the Minnesota news conference today (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If there was a theme going into the Zygi Wilf/Leslie Frazier news conference this afternoon, it must have been, “Um, let’s not talk about the past. Let’s focus instead on the future and, specifically, the Washington Redskins.”

Perhaps that’s why Wilf – who Andy writes shares the blame in this mess – deflected every question about why he decided to fire Brad Childress today, what affect Randy Moss’ release had on his decision and whether Brett Favre would finish the season.

Perhaps that’s why Frazier, named the interim coach in place of Childress today, preferred to talk about how the Vikings need to be good teammates to each other and focus their energies on their next game.

And he’s going to do that by, um, starting Brett Favre.

“There’s no hesitation for me in that regard,” Frazier said.

When Frazier talked to his team – and now it is his team – he focused on the next week of preparation. Even though people are going to write about and discuss the past, look forward, he said. Not backward.

“We can only do what we can do going forward,” said Frazier, who also said he didn’t expect to get his first head coaching job in the NFL in quite this fashion. “Hopefully when we came back on Wednesday, all of our energy and focus will be on the Redskins.

“The one thing I tried to address with our guys is that you want to be a good teammate. That’s part of being successful in our league. We’re going to address a number of different things, but being a good teammate is paramount to having a successful team. In some ways, this is a day of celebration for our team, because we can embrace this moment as a group to focus our energy on the Washington Redskins and not get caught up in anything else.”

While everybody at Minnesota wants to think about the future, we need to talk about the past a little bit, don’t we?

So Zygi Wilf, why fire Childress now?

“There wasn’t one component that factored into this decision,” Wilf said. “We just felt we made the best decision for the organization moving forward. We have high expectations of this team.”

And how upset was Wilf about Childress releasing Moss without telling Wilf about it beforehand?

“That’s in the past. We want to make sure we focus on the future. We want to go forward and have our team forward.”

Did that have any effect on your decision to pink-slip Childress?

“Again, there was no one time when this decision was made,” he said. “We just felt moving forward, this is what was best for the organization.”

OK, since we’re not getting anywhere with this line of questioning, let’s talk about the future. What does Frazier have to accomplish in order for you to hire him for the full-time head coaching job?

“I know he is focused on making this team respond for the rest of the season,” Wilf said. “We will evaluate everything at the end of the season.”

One guy who seemed pretty excited with the change was DE Jared Allen.

"He helped turn this defense into a top ten unit year in and year out," Allen told the team's official website, via our Rapid Reporter Dana Wessel. "Leslie’s great at managing players and coaches, and I know the guys will play hard over the next six weeks."

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Posted on: November 22, 2010 1:33 pm

Brad Childress fired (the podcast edition)

Posted by Will Brinson

So, you've probably heard that Brad Childress was fired by the Minnesota Vikings.

Most folks think it was the right move, but Andy Benoit and I have often argued the hot-seat credentials of Chilly, based on his success in previous seasons, so the topic makes for a fantastic podcast.

Also, we discuss who's REALLY at blame in Minnesota, whether Leslie Frazier is the long-term (and short-term) answer for the Vikings and, of course, whether Brett Favre will be back for 2011.

Hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:58 pm

Vikings' problems much bigger than Childress

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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Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 2:38 pm

Brad Childress fired by Vikings

Posted by Will Brinson

Brad Childress, according to the Minnesota Vikings, is out as head coach of the team. Leslie Frazier will replace him as interim head coach.

The move comes shortly after "Childress Watch" began -- and the day after the Vikings were pummeled by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, a beating which resulted in owner Zygi Wilf avoiding the press and storming out of the locker room.

That's the same Wilf who, as recently as 10 days ago, said he wouldn't consider canning Chilly.

Childress has been on the hot seat for several weeks though (many believed he saved his job after a win against Arizona several weeks ago) and with this team more or less out of the playoff picture and holding a hot head coaching candidate in Frazier -- No. 1 on our recent list of names -- on the staff, it makes total sense to make a move here and see what Frazier can do with a team that looks uninspired and sloppy.

That lack of motivation and sloppiness is precisely why Childress was booted from his job -- players have been publicly rumbling (sometimes anonymously, sometimes publicly in the case of Brett Favre) that they don't believe in Childress as a leader and it's pretty clear that he lost the team. Which, it's been proven, isn't a great way to keep your job as a head coach in the NFL.

This also just proves that the Green Bay Packers are the ultimate coach killers, as they're the ones who knocked Wade Phillips out of Dallas too.

For more on the firing, let's turn to CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco:

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com