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Tag:Brad Childress
Posted on: November 5, 2010 4:25 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 4:58 pm
 

Five Questions (or More) with Keyshawn Johnson

Keyshawn Johnson had strong comments today regarding R. Moss, Brad Childress and Mike Shanahan (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Keyshawn Johnson is a busy man. Since retiring from the NFL in 2007 after an 11-year career in which he made the Pro Bowl three times, he’s been an ESPN analyst, the host of an A&E show called Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design, and a business man.

Now, he’s partnering with Captain Morgan for a year-long project that allows fans to post their own Captain Morgan’s pose on Facebook , and for every pose uploaded, the company will donate to the First Mate Fund, which was created to benefit non-profit organizations. “It’s all for charity,” Johnson said. “Every time you upload a picture, Captain Morgan donates a dollar.”

We caught up with Johnson, and he gave us some interesting answers regarding Randy Moss, Brad Childress’ authenticity, Mike Shanahan’s truth-telling skills, and why the Bengals haven’t produced with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens lining up on the field.

Previous Five Questions (or More):

Oct. 29: Chargers LS Mike Windt

Oct. 22: Bengals WR coach Mike Sheppard

Oct. 15: Redskins WR Anthony Armstrong

Oct. 8:
Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich

Oct. 1: Kent Babb of the KC Star

Sept. 24: Texans WR Kevin Walter

Sept. 17: former Bengals, Titans DT John Thornton

Sept. 11: Seahawks RB Leon Washington

1. CBSSports.com: Obviously, the big topic this week was Randy Moss. Now that he’s going to Tennessee with a guy you know pretty well in Jeff Fisher, how do you think he’ll do with the Titans?

Keyshawn Johnson: I think he’ll do well. You have a strong-minded coach with a strong head there, and I really think Jeff has done a tremendous job in terms of getting players to play for him and do the things he’s asked in his 16-year tenure. He gets players to respond for him. There are only a handful of coaches who can do that, and he’s one of them.

CBS: Is that what you need for a guy like Moss? Obviously, it didn’t work with Brad Childress, but it did work with Bill Belichick. It seems like Fisher is a coach that can command that kind of respect.

Johnson: It’s really about how you approach people and how you talk to people. You don’t have to scream, you don’t have to yell. It’s the way you approach a guy like Randy. If you approach him and you’re authentic and not being some phony fake-ass guy, he’s going to respect it. You think he was born yesterday? He knows phony when he sees it. I’m sure he realized Brad Childress isn’t for real and that he’s a phony guy. He went in with no respect for him. Then, Childress recognized it and thought the best thing he could was to cut bait.

2. CBS: When a guy yells at the people who cater the food in the locker room, though, what …

Johnson:
If that happened, it’s shame on Randy. You don’t demean somebody for their cooking skills. Just don’t eat it. I’ve been on many teams where I didn’t like the food. So I brought my own food.

CBS:
But when you have a guy being a jerk like that, how does that affect the rest of the locker room?

Johnson: I wouldn’t say that it would affect the locker room. It’s always one or two guys on the team who are trying to be the coach’s pet and who are going to stand out and take on the big fish. There are always one or two guys. That’s the realness about it. That’s the normal way it goes. Every team, you have one or two guys that side with the coach and not the players. The other 50 guys side with the players.

CBS: If that’s the case, how do the rest of the guys respond to those one or two players?

Johnson: You deal with those guys at face value. You don’t give them much. You don’t tell them anything, because basically, you know they’re going to snitch.

3. CBS:
The other big story this week was Donovan McNabb and how Mike Shanahan pulled him and replaced him with Rex Grossman with the game on the line. I was watching that game, and when he did that, I was very confused.

Johnson:
Very, very confusing to those of us that don’t really know how coaches work. Since I know how they work, it wasn’t confusing to me. But he could have explained to Donovan or explained to the media a little bit better than just lying. All you have to do is lie to me once, and I won’t let it happen again. Players know it. But they’re not going to say it, because they have families to feed.

4. CBS:
Regarding the Bengals, with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens and a good running game, did you think T.O. and Ochocinco would have had more of an impact on the team? Did you think that team would be better than it is?

Johnson: I thought they would be better. But statistics aren’t going to make you better. You need to have some cohesiveness in terms of how you deal with each other and the team and players around each other. There has to be something there to be able to deem yourself a championship-caliber football team. They don’t have that. That’s why they struggle. They’re 2-5, and at the end of the year, they’re probably going to have be looking for a new head coach.

5. CBS: How much of it falls on Marvin Lewis? I know he was a popular guy in the locker room …

Johnson:
It’s so hard to win in places like that. It’s just hard. It’s a constant losing vibe. You can win 50 games, and you feel like you lost. It’s just a whole perception, and it’s hard deal to deal with.

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 8:56 pm
 

Owner Wilf makes a little visit to Minnesota

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When your job is perceived to be in trouble, it’s not necessarily a great thing when the big bossman comes around to check how things are coming.

That’s the position in which Vikings coach Brad Childress has found himself the past few days as owner Zygi Wilf – who famously was NOT consulted by Childress when the coach decided to cut a player that Wilf loves, Randy Moss – has visited Minnesota headquarters.

Writes the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Wilf did not address the entire team on Wednesday, but he did speak to a select few team leaders, including Brett Favre and Pat Williams. …

Wilf's Vikings activities today include eating lunch in the team cafeteria and watching practice, including a sideline chat with Childress for more than five minutes.

FOXSports.com reported today that Wilf apologized Wednesday to the team for the distraction created by the release of Moss and expressed optimism that they could turn around the season.


Just because Wilf flew in from New Jersey to monitor team activities, that doesn’t necessarily mean Childress is on his way out any time soon – and by that I mean before the end of the season. Since he’s the owner, Wilf – who, according to Aaron Wilson, personally apologized to the restaurateur who was disparaged by Moss last week, flies in from time to time to make sure everything is running smoothly.

At 2-5, the Vikings certainly are not. And neither is Childress’ job security. As Wilf’s presence surely has reminded him.

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 3:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 3:31 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: We Talking About Stamina

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, Mike Shanahan inexplicably pulled Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. Were it not for Randy Moss and Brad Childress, that's all anyone would have talked about Monday and Tuesday.

To counter said distraction, Shanahan and the Redskins brought in Jamarcus Russell for a tryout.

As much as all of that reads like an Onion Sports story, it's the truth, folks -- and as such we have some sort of a quarterback controversy going down with the 4-4 Redskins.

Well, perhaps "controversy" is too strong a word. After all, Grossman isn't as good as McNabb, and Russell, who weighed in at 286 pounds, might have trouble making a Lingerie Football League team. (Actually, he might have an easier time getting on an NFL squad than that, but you see the point.)

The hemming and hawing of Shanny was the worst of it all -- he originally claimed that Grossman was better at running the two-minute offense (clearly a) a lie and b) patently wrong) and then decided that McNabb wasn't in good enough shape to stay on the field.

Regardless of why, Kyle Shanahan (yes, son of Mike) protege Grossman entered the game and immediately guaranteed the Lions a win with a fumble-turned-touchdown.

We understand now that there are locker room issues with Washington (I mean, duh, right?) thanks to Shanahan's decision, and that while he certainly doesn't have the problems of the aforementioned Childress, he's getting dangerously close to blowing up a Washington season that once had promise.

Will Grossman start for the Redskins the rest of the way home? We can only hope so -- after all, that means when the Vikings sign McNabb next year, Leslie Frazier will finally get the respect he deserves.

Whatever, that's a lot of projection, but is it really worth discussing whether or not Grossman should replace McNabb in the starting lineup? Of course it's not -- if the possibility of David Carr replacing Alex Smith in San Francisco a mind-boggling mishap of mediocrity (and it was, as I said and then we saw) then this is just a slap in the face to common sense.

Most coaches go out of their way to avoid quarterbacks controversies like these -- somehow, Mike Shanahan has managed to invite one, while also insulting his veteran leader and the only talented quarterback on the roster.

No amount of humiliation-based motivation is worth the obvious downside to this. And swapping out McNabb for Grossman at this stage would just be proof that Shanny had his brain surgically replaced with Dan Snyder's.

****


Speaking of the 49ers, Troy Smith did a pretty good job of making sure that David Carr won't be seeing the field as a starter (there are always injuries, and he'll seemingly always get a job based on just potential, sigh) any time soon.

But what happens when Alex Smith returns in a few weeks? At that point, Troy will have had multiple weeks with reps as the starter and possibly even more wins than Alex, in many less tries.

It's not like we're discussing someone off the street either -- Troy has the credentials to a degree (the Heisman Trophy has to be worth something, right???) and reasonable stats when he started. His accuracy isn't as good percentage wise as Alex, but he doesn't cough the ball up as much, and San Fran is very much a Frank Gore-based team.

Just saying we shouldn't be so quick to roll right back to Alex just because he was the top pick a few years ago.

****
Matt Moore and Derek Anderson will continue getting the nod -- both moves are the smart play, in reasonably similar situations -- both teams are equal at -65 in point differential, both have star wide receivers, both have a talented pair of running backs that are underperforming, both teams have rookie quarterbacks they believe to be the future, etc., etc. The only difference is that the Cardinals are in a crappy division. And given the way Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall have played, which is to say, "not good," it behooves both coaches to allow their youngsters to develop on the bench and learn while watching for a little while.

****
Pants on Fire (Hot Seat Watch)

- Brad Childress: If I fired Andy right now, no one would notice or care, but the bosses would probably say "um, why did you do that without telling us?" and then fire me too. (Just kidding, I don't have hiring/firing power. And if anything, I'm the Randy Moss of the group. You should see what happens when my coffee isn't premium brand.) Thin ice for Chilly.

- John Fox: Someone asked Sean Payton if he would be willing to hire Fox as an assistant next year, even though Fox still has a job (technically). That's an indication of something, insomuch as 1-6 is at least.

- Wade Phillips: At some point, the awkwardness of Wade's eventual firing will wear off. Thank goodness he doesn't have a primetime game this week!

- Jack Del Rio: Betting against Del Rio when his job is on the line is like betting against Michael Jordan these days. Still, the Jags are going to be hard pressed to make the playoffs in that division with that talent and you have to think Wayne Weaver will at least explore something new once the CBA gets sorted out.

- Mike Singletary: The bright side of eventually losing the NFC West race to the Seahawks and Rams is that he'll be immediately employed as a six figure motivational speaker.

- Marvin Lewis: No one's really talking about Lewis' job being in jeopardy because it's too easy to place blame on Carson Palmer for stinking. But there's a lot of talent on this team and they're underachieving badly.

- Josh McDaniels: The biggest problem for Pat Bowlen is that admitting he messed up with McDaniels is about as fun as Mike Shanahan admitting he messed up with Grossman. Which is like full circle or something, man.

- Norv Turner: A win against the Texans on the road would go a long way towards keeping Norvell safe, particularly with divisional games coming up and Vincent Jackson returning. He should also give Philip Rivers 10 percent of his paycheck for winning games with a receiving corps only outflanked in mediocrity by the Bolts' special teams.

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Posted on: November 3, 2010 1:06 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2010 1:06 pm
 

Sidney Rice coming off PUP Wednesday

Posted by Will Brinson

During Brad Childress' weekly press conference (which may be broadcast in Times Square at this point), most of the questions were focused on this Randy Moss fella (more on that in a bit).

But in terms of players who are actually still on the Vikings roster, Childress had some good news, telling the media that Sidney Rice would come off the the Physically Unable to Perform list Wednesday, and begin practicing.

The Vikings will have three weeks to evaluate Rice and see if they want to activate him.

Rice underwent surgery on his hip during the offseason after a Pro Bowl year and some questions about his contract (which pays him $550,000 in the last year of his rookie deal).

As for who would fill Randy Moss' void on offense while Rice is evaluated, Childress' response was, "We have Hank Baskett." Oof.

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Posted on: November 3, 2010 9:25 am
 

Vikes ownership cheesed at Chilly over Moss?

Posted by Will Brinson

Anyone who's ever had a job knows that 99 percent of the time, there someone to answer to -- a "boss" if you will. And if you do things like, say, fire other employees, without making sure your boss is cool with it, you can get in trouble.

Enter Brad Childress into our little hypothetical metaphor; Chilly as we all are fully aware of by now, canned Randy Moss from the Minnesota's roster on Monday. And he did so without consulting the people (owner Zygi Wilf and president Mark Wilf) who sign his paychecks.

Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer-Press reports that this has the Wilfs, who were doing other business elsewhere when the Moss fiasco went down, a touch upset. "Rankled," even, according to a source.

"They were not happy with the decision but more so the process," said the source, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity. "These guys are lawyers. They're process people. Part of the confusion is that there is no clear conformity within the organizational structure. And that's flawed."

Part of that flawed process is that Childress has full control over the Vikings' roster.

"And when you have a flawed structure you get the kind of Keystone Kops atmosphere that's out there now," the Pioneer Press' source said.

The possibility that Childress "went rogue" on dumping Moss because of his attitude seems like the likely scenario that actually played out in Minnesota now; it also explains why there were conflicting reports about whether Moss had actually been waived on Monday, and why the team knew about Moss being released before Moss did.

Interestingly, this removes the "it's either him or me" (Childress and Moss, natch) from play. But it doesn't necessarily close the door to the "Chilly takes a stand and is fired because he refused to back down and totally not because he's a bad coach" scenario, which could play out quickly if the Vikings don't start winning.

None of that's to say that Childress WILL get fired, but if he had any inkling before now that his job was on the line (and that, say, ownership wanted to take a gander at defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier), this is his only shot at going out for reasons outside incompetence.

Not that insubordination is necessarily better, though.

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 8:01 pm
 

Rice practicing this week? 'There's a chance'

Posted by Will Brinson

So, this thing happened recently with Randy Moss and the Vikings where they're no longer BFF's (for those living under a rock, he got waived and then maybe not waived and then definitely waived and now there's plenty of drama between the Vikings and head coach Brad Childress).

How about some positive wide receiver news coming out of Minny instead then? Because it turns out that Sidney Rice, who last we heard was just off crutches a few week ago, could return to practice this week.

Via Chip Scoggins of the Star-Tribune, Chilly says "there's a chance" that Rice could be back this week.

So, um, YAY!!!!.

Or something -- even if Rice is back to practice this week, he certainly won't be 100 percent for quite some time, if ever, when it comes to actual gameplay.

And even if he's back on the field this week for practice, he probably won't be able to actually play in a game for several weeks. Which won't do a whole lot to take the heat of of Childress for dumping his only talented deep threat, or provide him with an excuse outside of "the caterer ate my homework" for why he waived Moss.

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 10:33 am
 

Even more from the Moss trough

R. Moss is expected to be placed on the waiver wire officially today (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Because we can’t help ourselves, here are a couple more takes on Randy Moss before he’s officially placed on the waiver wire today (we assume as much, anyway).

No. 1: Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver has a stunning story about why some of the Vikings players are, in fact, happy to see Moss go. It’s because, according to Silver, Moss has exhibited obnoxious behavior recently that has made his teammates uncomfortable.

Take this passage for instance:

As is the team’s custom on Fridays, a local food establishment was invited to the training facility to serve a catered, post-practice meal in the locker room. In this case, a St. Paul restaurant that is a favorite of former Vikings center Matt Birk. As the proprietors helped serve chicken, ribs, pasta and other dishes to Vikings players, Moss paced up and down the serving line and loudly expressed his displeasure with the offerings.

According to one player who witnessed the scene, Moss yelled, “What the [expletive]? Who ordered this crap? I wouldn’t feed this to my dog!”

Said the witness: “It was brutal. The truth is, he deserved to be cut after that. It was such an uncomfortable moment. You know that feeling where you just can tell someone feels so small? That’s what it was like being there.

“This wasn’t a chain – it was a mom-and-pop restaurant, and you could tell it was their best stuff. They had a special carving station set up, and there were players and other support staff lining up to eat it. And [Moss] is at his locker saying, ‘You know, I used to have to eat that crap – but now I’ve got money.’ You just felt so sad for them. I had never seen anyone treated like that.

“And by the way, the food was actually really good.”


Read the rest of Silver’s story. It gives some interesting insight. It doesn’t make coach Brad Childress seem all that more sympathetic (especially if you read the story I wrote late last night), but it might give Moss apologists something to think about.

No. 2: Do you remember Monday night when Moss’ agent, Joel Segal, released this statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune?

It read, “Randy is very sad to find out about being waived by the Vikings this morning. He has and always will remain fond of the fans in Minnesota. We will let the process of the waiver wire take its course and we will move on from there."

Apparently, that was a hoax. So writes USA Today, which quotes the NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi (who broke the Moss story in the first place).

Just when you think this story couldn’t get any crazier …

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 1:18 am
 

Can Childress survive this?

Brad Childress released R. Moss, but apparently didn't clear it with ownership (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Brad Childress hasn’t been popular in the Vikings locker room for quite some time now.

Some in the organization believe Minnesota went to the NFC championship game last year in spite of Childress, not because of him. He came off looking awfully weak during the preseason when he traveled to Mississippi multiple times in an attempt to sweet-talk Brett Favre into returning for one more season. He’s made other people in the organization deal with his dirty work when talking to the media, and he’s made two of his top players (Favre and Randy Moss) look bad in recent press conferences.

There’s a faction of the locker room that wants to see Tarvaris Jackson as the starting quarterback. They can’t like the fact Childress starts Favre. There’s another faction of the locker room that is in Favre’s corner. They can’t like the fact that Childress basically called out his quarterback in his postgame news conference following the Packers loss last week (and oh yeah, Brad, Favre was playing on a fractured ankle. No matter what you think of Favre, the dude plays hurt. And you look small for bashing him.).

As a result, many of the Vikings don’t like playing for him, and worse yet, they don’t respect him as a coach. You can be a hardass if you’re Bill Belichick, and yeah, maybe some players despise playing for guys like that. But there’s no question Belichick has the respect of the locker room. Childress simply doesn’t.

That leads us to Childress’ performance today when he released Moss. A performance that could lead to Childress’ eventual firing.

After talking to people close to the Vikings organization, here’s what we know.

Stunningly, Childress, who can shape the 53-man roster as he sees fit, apparently didn’t consult ownership about his plans to release Moss. It’s stunning because of owner Zygi Wilf’s love for Moss. The first time the Vikings got rid of Moss, it was because ownership grew tired of his act. Wilf, who took over the team a few months later, said he never would have seen Moss go if he was in charge.

Suffice to say, Wilf must have been extremely happy when Moss returned to Minnesota from New England. For Childress not to know that – or for him to willfully ignore that – is the height of arrogance or stupidity.

For now, it looks like Childress has won this power struggle (if there was a struggle in the first place), because for a few hours Monday evening, we weren’t sure if the ownership would veto the Moss waiver and, instead, fire Childress.

“If they really are all-in (for the Super Bowl), who gives the team a better chance to make the playoffs right now – Moss or Brad Childress?” Vikings Rapid Reporter Dana Wessel told me earlier tonight before the Vikings released a statement unofficially confirming that Moss had been waived. “It’s Randy Moss, no question.”

Knowing that, you have to know that if the Vikings don’t quickly turn around their season, Childress is a prime candidate to be let go.

The reasons: 1) Everything I wrote above.

2) When the trio of Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson flew to Mississippi basically to beg for Favre to return, Childress let offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special teams coach Brian Murphy answer to the media for him. Basically, not knowing what to do, the coaches lied. Childress apologized later for putting his assistants in that awkward position. Today, after not telling the media about his plans during the presser, a stunned LB Ben Leber had to answer a media horde’s question after the Moss news broke. Childress did not talk to the media again, though he did release a one-paragraph statement.

In effect, others have to clean up his dirty work.

3) There’s a hot assistant coach waiting in the wings. His name is defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. He very obviously wants a head coaching job, and one of these days, somebody is going to give him one. From what I understand, Wilf might not want to risk losing him like the team lost Mike Tomlin to the Steelers after the 2006 season. If you’re choosing between Childress and Frazier, who do you go with? You already know what you've got with Childress.

4) The Vikings are trying to get a new stadium built. Childress isn’t well-liked in the city, doesn’t really excite anybody. If he’s lost his locker room, he’s lost his city, and if he’s lost his city and his locker room, does Wilf have any other choice but to fire him?

A better question: can the future of the organization count on a coach like Childress? I say no.

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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