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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    Posted on Thu, Aug. 03, 2006

    [size=18px]Childress saying hello to a new challenge[/size]

    By PAUL DOMOWITCH
    [email protected][
    Philadelphia Daily News
    Philly.com


    MANKATO, Minn. - A little more than a year ago, Brad Childress, then the Eagles' offensive coordinator, sat in front of a TV at the team's Lehigh University training camp and watched Terrell Owens attempt to set fire to a coaching reputation that took him nearly 30 years to build.

    His blood boiled as he watched Owens accuse him on national television of "antagonizing" him with horrible, unwelcome hellos. The veins in his neck nearly sprang a leak as the wide receiver told a national audience how he had warned Childress not to talk to him unless he addressed him first.

    Not exactly the kind of stuff a guy who is trying to convince people he's NFL head-coaching material wants prospective employers to hear.

    "I sat there and watched it," Childress said. "Sometimes, you have to just sit and take it. But there's other times when you can't, when you shouldn't.

    "That got my Irish up. It curled the hair on the back of my neck. I said, 'You know what? This isn't right.' "

    A furious Childress wanted - needed - to tell his side of the story. He went to his boss, head coach Andy Reid, and asked for permission to address the media and defend himself. Reid gladly obliged.

    "It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time," Childress said. "I said, 'Andy, I've been doing this for 30 years and this guy's saying this [bleep]? It's not right.' "

    Owens' slings and arrows were not enough to prevent Childress from getting his first NFL head-coaching job. Neither was an injury-plagued 6-10 season that saw the Eagles finish 19th in the league in points scored and 18th in yards gained. Four days after the Eagles' season ended, he was hired by the Minnesota Vikings.

    Childress' first few months on the job have had some rough patches, including the departure of unhappy quarterback Daunte Culpepper (traded to Miami in March for a second-round draft pick) and the firing of player personnel director Fran Foley, who was canned after just 3 months for, among other things, fudging his resume and being unable to get along with anyone else in the organization.

    "It's probably not the way you'd draw it up," Childress said yesterday. "But you have to deal with what's dealt and deal with it the best way you can."

    Less than a week into his first training camp with the Vikings, the 50-year-old Childress has absolutely no second thoughts about his decision to take the job here. He has a team that, even without Culpepper, appears to have more than enough talent to contend for the NFC North title. And he has an owner - Zygi Wilf - who hasn't been afraid to spend money to help the Vikings win.

    "He's got a passion for winning," Childress said. "He wants to be good. That's the biggest thing I had to figure out when I was interviewing for the job. You're trying to sell yourself to get the job. But by the same token, you're looking across the table and asking, 'Who are you people?' You're trying to figure out if they're real. And it turned out they are."

    The Vikings were one of the most active players in the free agency this offseason, signing, among others, guard Steven Hutchinson, running back Chester Taylor and fullback Tony Richardson. They spent more than $30 million in free-agent bonus money, including $16 million on Hutchinson alone.

    Wilf also has opened his checkbook to help change the culture of the Vikings organization. He gutted the team's antiquated locker room and built a new one. He hired turf guru George Toma to install a grass practice field. He built a large office for Childress, as well as new staff rooms for the offensive and defensive coaches. He bought new strength equipment. He put refrigerators stocked with Gatorade in each of the players' training camp dorm rooms at Minnesota State to make sure they would stay hydrated.

    NFL head-coaching opportunities don't grow on trees. If you get one of the 32 jobs and blow it, there's no guarantee you'll ever get another one. So, Childress is determined to get it right the first time - just like his mentor, Reid.

    "I'm not banking on the fact that I'll be lucky enough to get two, three opportunities like some other guys," he said. "I'm not thinking, 'Well, if it doesn't work here, I'll get another shot down the road.' You get one shot. And you have to do it the way you believe it needs to be done. Hopefully, 30 years of coaching has taught me some lessons.

    "You've got to do it your way. I've told every free agent that's come in here. I've told every guy we've drafted. Every player on this team understands that we're going to do it the way I think it needs to be done."

    He told that to Culpepper, too, but the quarterback preferred his way. So they traded him.

    "It's hard to let good players go," Childress said. "But you have to feel you want to be here. There's a buy-in factor. Especially with a quarterback. He's in a place now that he wants to be, and I feel good about the direction we're going."

    Culpepper is enormously talented, and has put up some impressive numbers in his 7 years in the league. But he's also prone to turnovers - a big negative for Childress, who is big on ball security.

    Enter Brad Johnson, who turns 38 next month and doesn't have Culpepper's arm strength or mobility, but keeps turnovers to a minimum.

    "Since I've coached quarterbacks, I've always talked about taking care of the football," Childress said. "You may not be playing real good sometimes. But if you don't turn the football over, you've got a chance to be in every football game, every single one.

    "One of the things I'm sure Donovan [McNabb] is most proud of is being a 30-touchdown guy and a single-digit interception guy [in 2004]. He knows how to take care of it and obviously, Brad understands the gravity of it as well. He's a savvy guy. Fifteen years in this league, you understand what's important."

    In those 15 years, Johnson has played in six offensive systems for seven coaches. Childress is coach No. 8.

    "To watch him and listen to him, you'd think Brad's been a head coach for the last five years," said an impressed John-son. "It's just there with him. He has a way of carrying himself and getting his message across. Whenever he speaks, guys listen. He's not going to take a lot of nonsense. You can tell Andy has rubbed off on him in a big way."

    Childress spent 7 years on Reid's Eagles staff, including the last four as his offensive coordinator. Being the offensive lieutenant for an offensive head coach who does most of his own playcalling, isn't always easy. But he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

    "Andy was a great teacher," he said. "He allowed you to grow. He wasn't a 'just-because' guy. When he'd tell you something, he'd tell you what the thought was behind it. He'd say, here's where it was when Mike [Holmgren] brought [the West Coast offense] from Bill [Walsh]. And here's what we're doing differently with it."

    Childress hired Darrell Bevell, who had been the Packers' quarterbacks coach the last 3 years, as his offensive coordinator. But just as Reid did, Childress will do most of his own playcalling.

    "Andy used to say [calling the plays] was one of his true enjoyments about the job," Childress said. "I enjoy it, too. It's your offense. You installed it. You know where all the bones are buried."

    One thing Childress is expected to do a little different from Reid is run the ball more. He has said repeatedly that you have to be able to run the ball to win in the NFC North. With December road games against Chicago and Green Bay, he's probably right. But Childress also said the Vikings still will be a pass-first offense.

    "Football is a physical game," he said. "I never met an offensive lineman that looked at me and said, 'Coach, let's pass. Let's pass some more.' They don't say that. They want to get their hands on people.

    "[Eagles tackle] Jon Runyan's a great example. He's a much more effective pass protector if you let him grab some people and shake them and twist them and stick his elbow in their back and step on their neck. I understand that. But I also know that in the NFL, you've got to be able to throw the ball and create explosive plays. It's too hard to drive 14 plays [to score]."

    Childress said he's looking for about a 60-40 pass-run split, which is pretty much the same thing Reid has been saying. But Childress says it a little more earnestly.

    "If you say 50-50, you're probably horse[bleep] at both," he said. "I know that's a nice thing to say, that you'd like to be 50-50. I'd like to be president of the United States, too."

    Childress saying hello to a new challenge

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

  2. #2
    digital420's Avatar
    digital420 is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    nice read man, glad to see B.chill really workin to be the coach he needs to be. I like his outlook and his view of the team as a whole. lets just hope that turns into W's for Minnesota!!!

    DiGiTaL

    "We tried to stick with it, but there was a point where we were beating our head against a wall," Seattle Coach Mora talking about running at the Williams Wall

  3. #3
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    That was a good read!

    I am impressed more by the fact it comes from a Philly newspaper 6 months after Childress left there, I think it shows how highly regarded he was in Philly.

    I wish that he would have included the response that Childress gave to T-Ho's whining because I don't remember what it was.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  4. #4
    Json is offline GM
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    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    What a great read. One of the best this offseason IMO. I think Brad will do a great job with the Vikes. Things have changed in Minny and I think it will be for the better.

  5. #5
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    Missed this one. Nice to hear that angle on the story, good for Childress. We have the man for the job.

    Makes me hate T-Ho even more...if that's possible.

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    Missed this one. Nice to hear that angle on the story, good for Childress. We have the man for the job.

    Makes me hate T-Ho even more...if that's possible.

  7. #7
    Vikes_King's Avatar
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    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    Childress said he's looking for about a 60-40 pass-run split, which is pretty much the same thing Reid has been saying. But Childress says it a little more earnestly.

    "If you say 50-50, you're probably horse[bleep] at both," he said. "I know that's a nice thing to say, that you'd like to be 50-50. I'd like to be president of the United States, too."
    lol, i love this guy.....


    http://vikesking.blogspot.com/

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  8. #8
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    Childress said he's looking for about a 60-40 pass-run split, which is pretty much the same thing Reid has been saying. But Childress says it a little more earnestly.
    That would be about right for a dink & dunk WCO offense wouldn't it?

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

  9. #9
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    "To watch him and listen to him, you'd think Brad's been a head coach for the last five years," said an impressed Johnson. "It's just there with him. He has a way of carrying himself and getting his message across. Whenever he speaks, guys listen. He's not going to take a lot of nonsense. You can tell Andy has rubbed off on him in a big way."
    I love this quote from Johnson most in the entire article. We have a no nonsense coach and that's been needed in Minesota for a long time.
    That and the fact that this comes from an opposing teams newspaper makes it all the sweeter.
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

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  10. #10
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    Re: Childress saying hello to a new challenge

    "digital420" wrote:
    nice read man, glad to see B.chill really workin to be the coach he needs to be. I like his outlook and his view of the team as a whole. lets just hope that turns into W's for Minnesota!!!

    DiGiTaL
    I agree. I hope that the experience that he had with Owens translate into more wins and a total team concept. Because having a Superstar is great, but when you have a whole team of superstars, it makes the team that much better. The 49ers were that team. And the Steelers are that team. We gotta do that, have a whole team of stars.

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