Tap the breaks for a second, Minnesota.

Brad Childress Receiving Far Too Much Criticism in Minnesota

Admittedly, trading for Randy Moss was a mistake. The way he’s almost taken a back seat to Brett Favre has been a mistake. But that should not erase what has been a successful stint thus far as the Minnesota Vikings head coach for Brad Childress.

Childress inherited a Mike Tice-led 9-7 team when he became the head coach in 2006. From there, the team started ’06 at 4-2, but bombed the rest of the season and wound up 6-10. However, all wasn’t lost since the pick resulting in such a failed second half of the season resulted in Adrian Peterson in 2007.

Talk about making the best of a bad situation.

In 2007, the team went 8-8 and just barely missed the playoffs. The following season in 2008, Childress led the Vikings back to the playoffs, but lost to his former head coach Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles.

In 2009, Childress pulled out all the stops. He signed Favre and, with Favre at the helm, the Vikings went 12-4 and made it to the NFC Championship. Of course, had the officials not been totally blind that day — and if the team could have held onto the ball — the Vikings would have been in the Super Bowl and would have had a very good shot at beating the Indianapolis Colts as the New Orleans Saints did.

So why exactly would a guy who has improved his team’s win total by two games every year for his first four seasons as the head coach be taking so much heat after one bad half of a season?

It hasn’t been pretty, but it also hasn’t been all the fault of Childress. And even if it were, it certainly doesn’t constitute firing him or all the talk of what a terrible coach he is. Clearly he must have been doing something right for his teams to steadily improve the way they had been doing.

Eventually, the improvement was going to stop. We all knew that. It has been a rather ugly meltdown, but it still shouldn’t erase what he’s done to build the team thus far.

For instance, take a look at some of the guys he’s drafted: Chad Greenway, Cedric Griffin, Ray Edwards, Peterson (as we’ve already mentioned), Sidney Rice, Tyrell Johnson, John Sullivan, Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt, Asher Allen, Jasper Brinkley, and then there’s a guy like Tarvaris Jackson who has looked like the real deal at times and rookies like Chris Cook and Toby Gerhart who have unlimited potential.

The man can obviously recognize talent. He’s built talented teams. I’m having a tough time wrapping my mind around why so many are willing to turn on him so quickly.

What is the alternative? Leslie Frazier? Sure, he looks like a guy who could one day turn into a head coach, but do Vikings fans really want to see their team turned over to a rookie head coach or stick with the guy who’s currently five games over .500 for his career after taking over a medicore team and has two division titles and a championship game appearance under his belt?

From where I’m sitting, the choice is simple. I’m not denying that 2010 has been a complete and total disaster but all coaches have those years. To stick with a guy near and dear to Childress’ heart, Andy Reid had a disaster season in 2005 when everything completely fell apart at the seems and he went 6-10.

It’s Philly, so everyone was calling for his head, but I don’t think it was even as bad for Reid then as it is for Childress now.

Cutting Moss was the only thing to do. He admitted he made a mistake cut out a locker room cancer. Percy Harvin can bitch and moan all he wants, but the bottom line is that Moss is no good in a locker room. That was never more evident than when it came out that 31 teams passed on him when he hit the waiver wire.

He clearly has Hall of Fame talent, so that has to speak to the lack of character Moss possesses.

No one is denying Childress is having a bad season on and (somewhat) off the field, but firing him — based on his track record — is not warranted or wise.

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Tags: Brad Childress Brett Favre Football Minnesota Vikings NFC NFC North NFL Opinion Percy Harvin Randy Moss Zygi Wilf

  • John

    I wish you knew what you were talking about. The number one priority for a football coach is to win games, nothing else. These are grown men we are talking about. They can behave however they want (short of ending up in jail) as long as they produce on the field. Moss was in the Pro Bowl last year, and six other times before that. If you are a coach that wants to win you want him on your team. If you are a coach that wants to promote model behavior above winning, then go coach high school teams instead.

    As fans we want to put the magnifying glasses on these players lives, treat them as celebrities, and get disgusted when we don’t like what we see. On the football field none of that matters though. All that matters is they are the best at what they do.

    There is also a double standard you fail to point out: Moss was wrong to call out the coaching in his press conference, but Childress did the same thing to Favre and the league the week before. Childress was denounced by Dilfer for being unprofessional the week before, Tom Brady said Bilichick would never do that, and the league fined him $35k. Moss was wrong to subordinate Childress, but Childress was wrong to subordinate Wilf. The right thing to do? Only if you don’t know what you are taking about.

    • Dwayne Hamilton

      So why did all those NFL teams pass on him then? Seriously, he admitted it was wrong to bring him in and he was decisive in correcting that mistake. Watch Moss on film, the guy just doesn’t care most of the time. Childress made a knee jerk reaction to get him, which I’m sure New England was hammering him with calls knowing his situation and how much they wanted to get rid of him. I would say you don’t know what you are talking about. Aside from the occasional nine route success, Moss has done nothing to win games for either Minnesota or NE. I’ve become a Vikings fan this year, because I hate to see stuff like this. Some fans just don’t know how to appreciate what they have.

  • Dr Logan

    I don’t have a problem with a head coach asserting his authority, but I have a problem with the inconsistency with which Childress applies his “standards.” Calling out Favre a couple of weeks ago at a post-game presser was idiotic. Luckily, Favre has been around long enough not to get caught up in distractions like that. However, a player like Percy Harvin, who is only in his second year, might not be mature enough to react to being called out by Childress in practice on Friday. Why mess with your own players. I want the Vikings to win, but I think Moss should have been canned. He is an ass. He called out Childress – the problem is, Childress is not mature enough to let due process take its course. He should have consulted others before releasing Moss in a knee-jerk decision.
    Not to get all trippy, but Chilly needs to find himself before the team can have an identity. Grow up Childress, and most importantly, just let Favre and Bevell take care of the offensive game plan on Sunday.