Apparently the captain doesn’t go down with his ship in the case of Minnesota Viking’s head coach Brad Childress. Instead, Childress is quick to throw sailors off the ship with the hope that people will see his actions as attempts at correcting this miserable season rather than the truth he is trying to veil that he is failing and floundering as commander in chief.
I am not one who will blame the head coach as soon as things don’t go well. Obviously there are several directions a person could point the blame for the Vikings 2-5 start. However, considering the history of questionable decision making that has accompanied the head coaching tenure of Childress, I feel justified in placing the majority of the blame on his shoulders. I believe, and hope, that we are witnessing the final chapters of the Vikings-Childress era.
Going back to the days after the Vikings lost to Green Bay, I wrote the following but never finished the post so it just stayed as a draft:
“The acquisition of Moss was a good move and will get better over time. Sure, the numbers aren’t off the charts but if there was a stat category that gave players points for drawing defensive attention, Moss would be the all time leader there. Look no further than Percy Harvin and what he has done since Moss joined the squad. The reason I say it will get better over time is because once Sidney Rice returns the Vikings will have another weapon that defenses can’t ignore.”
Even after the Vikings decide to part ways with Randy Moss in a surprising move today, I still believe the above to be true. The Patriots double covered Randy Moss most of the game which freed up Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson to do some extra damage. No Moss basically means one more defender to concentrate on stopping our run game or quick passes. The return of Sydney Rice will help, but who knows how long it will take him to get back up to speed and how effective he will be.
Up until today’s move to drop Randy Moss from the team, I would given Childress a good review for his personnel moves. Acquiring Jared Allen, drafting Percy Harvin, pursuing Favre (at least for the 09 campaign) were all great moves for the Vikings. When Childress brought Moss in a few weeks ago I remember thinking that Brad is lucky that he makes good roster moves to help offset his questionable, bordering ridiculous, play calling over the years. Ask any Viking fan or follower and he’ll be able to rattle off a top ten list of play calling decisions that left them scratching their heads or punting small objects across the living room.
People can blame Favre for what they want, but the truth is that you are delusional if you think that either a) he’d have a repeat performance of what he did last year or b) are surprised at his poor play and penchant for throwing picks this year. With Favre comes the good and the bad, no coach has been able to separate the two and no coach ever will. When Childress essentially threw Favre under the bus after the Green Bay game he appeared surprised that Favre threw some ill-advised passes. Apparently he was the only person surprised, as anyone else who has ever seen a Brett Favre game know that it happens, a lot. On a team loaded, or formerly loaded, with the best deep threat the game has ever seen, the best running back in the NFL, a veteran QB coming off of his best season, a dynamic young receiver and tight end, a high level offensive line, a good overall defense, and one of, if not the best defensive line in the game, there is simply no reason a coach can’t do better than 2-5.
So now, on top of all the play calling, time management, and play challenging gaffes, Childress can add “letting a mercurial but freakishly talented game changer go mid-season with no compensation” to his resume. That can probably be placed right below “consistently failed to appropriately and effectively utilize one of the best running backs of this generation in his prime”, but that is another story.