A few tidbits from inside da big house....
Childress: Calling own plays no biggie
by Paul Domowitch - philly.com
SO MUCH FOR speculation that offensive coordinators who don't call their own plays will have a devil of a time getting an NFL head-coaching job.
Brad Childress, who did very little of the playcalling during his 4 years as Andy Reid's top offensive lieutentant with the Eagles, was gobbled up by the Minnesota Vikings last week. And Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, who watched Mike Shanahan call the plays in Denver, is expected to be named the Houston Texans' coach as soon as his team's season is over.
"I think that's really overrated," Childress said this week in a phone interview from the Vikings' suburban Minneapolis headquarters. "I did it for 8 years at the collegiate level at Wisconsin. I did it for 4 years before that at Northern Arizona. That's 12 years right there.
"When you prepare [for a game] at this level, it's all laying in front of you right there. It's not appropriate to go out of the box and pull something that's not on the game-plan sheet. This is such a segmented game now that you've got your calls on third-and-3 or 4, or third-and-short, or inside the 5-yard line. Where the power of choice really comes in is on your normal downs. On your first-and-10s, where you have basically the whole card at your disposal, basically run or pass.
"We all sit and lay it out. We all work on it. We all put it together. What fits and doesn't fit. You know what you want to do situationally. It's just rhythm and the particular mind-set that person [calling the plays] has."
Childress said he actually did a good bit of the playcalling in the second half of the season this year, which partially explains why the Eagles ran the ball a little more down the stretch. In their last seven games, 42.3 percent of their offensive plays were runs, compared with just 23.5 percent in their first nine games. As it is, they still finished with the third most pass attempts in the league (620).
Will his Vikings emphasize the run a little more than Reid's Eagles?
"We're in the black-and-blue division," he said. "We've got to do it some. And the defense has to practice against it a little bit to be decent. So, I'm sure we will."
AROUND THE LEAGUE
-- You've probably noticed that none of Andy Reid's assistants followed Brad Childress to Minnesota. That's because Reid told Childress he couldn't have any of them. Since all of them are under contract to the Eagles, Childress would have needed Reid's permission to hire any of them, even for a coordinator's job. Reid lobbied hard the last couple of years to help Childress get a head-coaching job. But he always has made it clear to him - just as then-Packers coach Mike Holmgren did to Reid when he took the Eagles job - that he'd have to shop elsewhere for his assistants. Childress ended up hiring Bucs secondary coach Mike Tomlin as his defensive coordinator and Packers quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell as his offensive chief. Childress will handle the offensive playcalling.
-- Speaking of Childress' staff, he hired Philly native Jim Hueber to be his assistant offensive line coach. Hueber, who grew up in the Northeast and attended North Catholic, was a longtime assistant at the University of Wisconsin. His brother Tim is an assistant basketball coach at North Catholic.
-- Big-Back Alert: Sources in Atlanta say the Falcons will listen to trade offers for double-wide running back T.J. Duckett. The 6-foot, 250-pound Duckett played poorly this season. He rushed for just 43 yards on 38 carries in the final five games.
"From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, save us!"
-- From a monestary in Ireland.