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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Childress too safe in red zone

    Posted on Sun, Oct. 01, 2006

    [size=13pt]Childress too safe in red zone[/size]

    Imagine you're a novice chess player, and one of your first opponents is grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

    Or you're cast in a community production of Macbeth … opposite a former Tony award winner.

    Albeit extreme, that's akin to the daunting challenge Vikings coach Brad Childress has confronted.

    Despite his coaching pedigree, Childress admittedly had limited offensive play-calling experience in the NFL heading into this season, and he has engaged in X's and O's chess with three of the elite defensive minds in football.

    Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

    The Vikings' offense hasn't scored a touchdown since the third quarter of the season opener, and in the most strategically demanding sector of the field, the red zone, the Vikings are one of the league's most inefficient teams.

    But as he acclimates himself to calling his team's offensive shots, Childress has flashed his potential against three top-10 defenses from 2005. Most encouraging is the Vikings have reached the red zone on the opening drive in each game and trotted off the field with a lead every time.

    That's a sign that Childress' script is mindful of the opponent's weaknesses. Now, Childress needs to work on in-game adjustments.

    But just as the Vikings have to live with first-year cornerback Ronyell Whitaker's lack of experience, the team also must live with some of the play calls of their first-year head coach.

    It's easy to question throwing the ball deep down the sideline to Troy Williamson on fourth and 2 last Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

    But the more questionable decision was calling a trap play on third and 8 from near midfield with less than four minutes remaining and his team protecting a four-point lead. The trap is a risk-reward play, designed to take advantage of the opposing defensive linemen's up-field speed. On the play, left guard Steve Hutchinson swung toward right tackle, and center Matt Birk was supposed to shift left and slow down Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris.

    Hutchinson's body language, however, tipped off Harris that he would not be initiating contact and that he would be pulling. So Harris timed Birk's snap and blew through the gaping hole before Birk could even get out of his stance.

    Both plays against the Bears, in addition to the fake field goal that kicker Ryan Longwell and tight end Richard Owens turned into a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers, reinforce Childress' left-wing boldness.

    But inside the red zone, Childress calls plays that are metaphorically to the right.

    Although he cannot be blamed for penalties and missed blocks, Childress is responsible for the conservative play calls. Excluding the touchdown on the opening drive of the season, the fake field goal and the two drives that set up game-winning field goals, the Vikings' four other red-zone drives have been marked by one consistency: the lack of plays called for the playmakers.

    Of the plays inside the opponent's 22-yard line on those drives, the Vikings have not thrown a single pass to Williamson.

    With the opposing team protecting the end zone, a red-zone offense requires players to outmaneuver defenders. Yet Williamson, who leads the Vikings and is 17th in the NFL with 101 yards after catch according to STATS Inc., has been shelved in the red zone. No receiver screen, end around or a slant, which showed so much promise in training camp.

    Even Chester Taylor, who is second on the team with 78 yards after catch, has been underutilized. Instead, the ball has gone to players such as Artose Pinner (2-yard catch) and Jim Kleinsasser (two catches for 10 yards).

    They will never say so, but the Vikings are catching a break today and next Sunday. Dick Jauron and Rod Marinelli are defensive-minded coaches, but their teams do not have the personnel of any of the Vikings' three previous opponents.

    Advantage Childress.

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press


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

  2. #2
    Torontovik15 is offline Rookie
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    Re: Childress too safe in red zone

    I think that Brad Childress has done a great job with instilling a new atmosphere in the minny team.
    I am wondering if he has taken a little bit more then he can handle this year though.
    He is trying to acclimatize himself with being a head coach and trying to learn how to play call as well.
    I hope he doesnt run into Hitleritise, where just cause he wants to play call doesnt mean he would be the best at doing it. Most of the good head coaches take years at learning to play call, and most have done it as offensive cordinators, brad has no experience what so ever except watching one of the better coaches call plays, is that enough?
    The only positive I can say is that u have to start somewhere.

    Apart from the penalties, a couple of things I have noticed not happening is the over the top pass to someone successfull like Marcus.
    The other is using the tightends and short screens.
    It just seems to me that childress call the same plays in the middle of the field as in the red zone thinking that they will work the same.
    What we got here is a failure to communicate.

  3. #3
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: Childress too safe in red zone

    Coach Chill WILL improve...especially in the next two weeks before the bye week...the level of defensive competition will be a tad lower...allowing him to do more with the offense.
    By the end of the season, he will be firing on all eight cylinders!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  4. #4
    NordicNed is online now Jersey Retired
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    Re: Childress too safe in red zone



    I'm expecting to see some improvment with the O today, and for the TE's to get a little more play, I also think Chester is going to have a break out game against a smallish D line that our O line should control all day....We may see a couple of deep balls because of the running game of Chester's also....



    I see Troy having another good day also, I'll say
    7 catches for 144 yards


    I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE MORNING AIR.

  5. #5
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Childress too safe in red zone

    We may have not scored a Offensive TD since the third quarter of the first game, but we won 2 of
    the 3 games, and should have beaten the Bears.. That is some huge props to our revamped defense... When our offense figures their thing out, we will have one hell of a football team.. Hopefully we start that turnaround on offense today...


    Hoorah!!!!

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