Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brad Childress

Pat Reusse writes a good defense of Brad Childress (Star Tribune). One of the things I often come back to is the poor state of the Vikings' skill position players when Childress took over the team: just look at the names of the leading receivers in 2006. Now their skill positions are stacked (Reusse pointed out that no team has better 1-5 skill position players than the Vikes in his last column where he tried to convince me to believe--yet another sign Reusse hates Viking fans). That talent upgrade (along with the remarkable defensive turnaround) is something that Childress, as head coach, had some role in bringing about, but isn't given much credit for.

Or maybe I just like Childress because I once heard him read at a poetry reading.


  1. Anonymous10:55 PM

    I still believe that as a coach he is less than spectacular. Maybe good at assembling talent (but maybe more credit should be given to Spielman on that via draft), but his in game decisions are often horrible at best.

  2. I used to agree with Anonymous up above, but I really do think that the dearth of talent from his first years just handicapped him too much. Last year showed what a quality QB could do. Of course, a quality QB covers for lots of things. And the blame for TJack has to be laid at his feet too.
    My point is that given decent talent to work with I think he's a fine coach.

  3. The best anti-Childress argument: the Vikes have consistently brought in bad QBs (starters brought in that Childress didn't inherit: Tarvaris Jackson, Kelly Holcomb, Brooks Bollinger, Gus Frerotte), and while he's been lucky/smart with Favre, I don't have much confidence we aren't going to return to the days of bringing in lousy stopgap QBs in 2011.

  4. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Personally, I believe Brett Favre masks the ineptitude of Brad Childress as a game-managing head coach (which to me is the most important quality of the coach). This off-season and his handling of the Favre situation (i.e. having coaches lie when really he didn't need to) shows more ineptitude of understanding situations and appropriate responses.

    He is a good coach, but this is his last shot at a Super Bowl because without Favre his ineptitude will shine once again.

  5. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Brad Childress had the 2006 offseason to upgrade the talent level, and while he did sign Chester Taylor, he also gave Koren Robinson a 3 yr/$12M contract (remember that?), traded Culpepper and gave the QB job outright to Brad Johnson. I don't need to remind you (or maybe I do) that Brad Johnson was awful, Koren Robinson played in one preseason game before being released, and Troy Williamson set an unofficial NFL record for dropped over-the-shoulder passes in which he looked like Ray Charles trying to catch the football.

    In other words...yes, the talent level on offense was down when he took over, but he did not help matters that offseason either. The man has repeatedly butchered the QB position, including this offseason when he refused to find a young QB who could take over for Favre. I hope you realize we're counting on Tarvaris Jackson as the future at QB, and while I have nothing personal against the guy, he's never going to be accurate enough to be an NFL starting QB.

  6. The WR talent was dreadful in '06 and '07, yes, but if he's blamed for failing to upgrade the WR position those years, he ought to get credit for the upgrades of Berrian, Rice, and Harvin. However, Childress said from the start that his goal was to build the team from the o-line and d-line out, and really, that's what he did.

    The QB position? Yes, absolute horror show until Favre, and probably will be another horror show after Favre. I've got no defense there, and it is a significant flaw.

  7. I do get the sense that Childress hasn't gotten credit for his actual record. He took over a team that had won neither 10 games nor a division title since 2000, and in his 3rd and 4th year he won back to back division titles with 10 and 12 wins. I'm not saying that makes him a great coach, but I get the sense a fair number of Viking fans don't even want to acknowledge that Childress deserves any credit for his actual record.

  8. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Like I said. He is a good coach. But I don't think he is a great coach. I think with another coach the Vikings would have reached the promised land. He has done a good job helping construct a good team (once again, I credit Spielman more than Childress for bringing in the young talent), but his in-game coaching (which I consider the highest criteria) is suspect at best.

    And lets be honest, Favre outright ignored him on calls last year.

  9. Anonymous2:43 PM

    What bothers me most about Childress, beyond his handling of the QB situation, are his game management skills. He is a terrible clock manager who obviously learned his trade from Andy Reid, and that 12 men in the huddle penalty against the Saints was no surprise to those of us who have witnessed Childress' management skills over the years. It may have shocked and apalled everyone watching, but it was entirely predictable if you've seen Childress' teams routinely screw up end-of-game situations.

    Remember the '08 finale against the Giants, where the Vikings got into the outskirts of field goal range, wasted a bunch of time, ran the ball for a loss, called timeout, sent the field goal unit on, then pulled them off for one pass which Jackson sailed out of bounds, then finally kicked the winning field goal? That was a disastrous final minute that was saved only by the great leg of Ryan Longwell. Anyone who witnessed that was not surprised when the Vikings had 12 men in the huddle for the biggest play of the season.

    Back in January after the '09 season finale against the Giants, I left a comment in which I stated it was very worrisome that during that game, Childress couldn't decide whether to go for it on 4th down or not, so he sent his offense out, then called timeout and sent his field goal unit on. It was no harm-no foul essentially, but it showed a distinct lack of game management skills. Do you know why that worried me? Because I knew that would show up at the worst possible time, which it did.

    You can give Childress all the credit in the world for improving the roster, but the Vikings will not win a Super Bowl until he learns how to handle end-of-half and end-of-game situations. He hasn't in four years, so I'm skeptical that it will ever happen.