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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Sep 2005

    Childress - Rookie coach pushes Vikings

    [size=13pt]Rookie coach pushes Vikings[/size]

    By Kathleen Nelson


    Among the 10 coaches hired last year, Brad Childress seemed to have inherited the best gig. The Minnesota Vikings finished 2005 just out of the playoffs with a 9-7 record and had many of the pieces in place for a quick turnaround. Their biggest need seemed to be a little moral housekeeping.

    Thus, they seemed good candidates for the incremental formula that Childress carried with him from his mentor, Philadelphia's Andy Reid: "To have a plan and step by step lay that plan out. Get a little bit better every day. Hold the line."

    Off the field, Childress accomplished the mission of cleaning up the Vikings' image; there was no repeat of the Love Boat incident. On the field, Minnesota has taken two steps back for every step forward. Thus, Childress and the Vikings enter the season finale against the Rams with a 6-9 record, worse than all but three of the rookie coaches.

    "It's certainly disappointing we're not in a spot with a swing at the playoffs, which, in the crazy NFC, we were until last week," Childress said. "But more or less, I guess it's about what I expected. Things aren't always as they seem. I guess I learned that being the offensive coordinator. I wondered why Andy wasn't in the offensive room all the time. I guess I know that now."

    The Childress Era started so auspiciously. Owner Zygi Wilf approved a spending spree, and the Vikings announced some glittery signings early in free agency: running back Chester Taylor, guard Steve Hutchinson and kicker Ryan Longwell.

    But after a 4-2 start, the Vikings sputtered, in large part because of a dysfunctional offense that has trouble finding its way to the end zone. The Vikings average 17.4 points a game, 26th in the NFL. Veteran quarterback Brad Johnson was the first to take the fall. He was replaced last week by rookie Tarvaris Jackson, a second-round pick out of Alabama State. Jackson completed 10 of just 20 passes for 50 yards with an interception in a 9-7 loss to Green Bay.

    "I just felt like he gave us the best chance to win as we headed into that last two-game stretch," Childress said.

    The next to feel his wrath was receiver Marcus Robinson, a 10-year veteran who led the team in touchdown receptions. Childress waived him Christmas Eve, citing lack of performance. A few days earlier, Robinson criticized Childress for "a total lack of communication."

    The dysfunction hasn't affected the Vikings' rush defense, toughest in the league, yielding just 54.5 yards a game. If they hold the Rams to 152 yards Sunday, they will break the record for fewest yards allowed since the merger, held by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

    "I think first of all if you're going to stop the run, you're going to have to face it sometimes. So in training camp, it's not fast-break basketball. There's a physicalness to the way we practice," Childress said. "The second thing is they're excellent across the front, starting with Pat and Kevin (Williams). They're strong. Linebackers, who were an area of concern when we moved into the season, have played well. They've played together. You don't stop the run with seven men forcing it. Safeties have to come to the line and play.

    "... I've never heard a defensive coach yet say, 'Let's stop the pass but let's let them go ahead and run it.' They say, 'Take away the run, and they have to pass it.'"

    On the flip side, Minnesota ranks last in passing defense, allowing 238 yards a game. The situation grew more dire last week, when injuries sidelined cornerbacks Fred Smoot and Cedric Griffin for the season.

    Teams average 39 attempts a game, highest in the league, but the Vikings have picked off 21 passes, third-most in the NFL. They also have given up just 14 TD passes, fourth-fewest in the league. Childress seems to believe in the law of averages.

    "If someone throws it 50 times, two or three will hit you in the face," Childress said. "I guess that's the way we look at it."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    2beersTommy's Avatar
    2beersTommy is offline Team Alumni
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Childress - Rookie coach pushes Vikings

    "If someone throws it 50 times, two or three will hit you in the face," Childress said. "I guess that's the way we look at it."

    LOL, in Troy Williamsons case..that will literally happen

  3. #3
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
    VikesfaninWis is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Childress - Rookie coach pushes Vikings

    Very nice read with alot of truth to it.. I just hope they build off of everything and have a solid season in 2007..

  4. #4
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Childress - Rookie coach pushes Vikings

    With so many attempts and yards a game, it's actually pretty good that we're 4th in the league in pass TDs. I think even with a pass defense that gives up so many yards, these games would be winnable with a decent offense of our own.

    I think things have LOOKED a lot worse this year because we give up 300 passing yards and only have 1 or 2 drives of over 3 downs the entire game.

  5. #5
    bearitall Guest

    Re: Childress - Rookie coach pushes Vikings

    From the sounds of BC knows where he needs to work on things and where his strengths will come from.
    I truly hope that in the off season he can find the means and players that are going to best benefit this program.
    I truly think that we will be GREAT in 07.

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