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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    Posted on Thu, Mar. 02, 2006

    [size=18px]Follow the leader[/size]

    After 28 seasons as an assistant, Brad Childress finally is a head coach, a complex transition for a man bent on change at Winter Park

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press


    The pounding of jackhammers and the whirring of other power tools serve as background at Winter Park as new Vikings coach Brad Childress speaks.
    Childress hasn't complained or demanded an office down the hall. His comment: "It's about change."

    Childress has had nearly two months to work on altering the Vikings to meet his specifications. He sat down with Pioneer Press Vikings beat writer Sean Jensen to discuss his transition and his team Wednesday morning.

    Q.
    After 28 seasons as an assistant coach, you've been a head coach now for a brief time. What has been the most enjoyable part of being a head coach?

    A.
    Just putting people together. The pride in reaching out to people that you've worked with and that you know, and just kind of building a team. I'm not specifically talking about a team of players. I'm talking about a team that you're going to work with and relate with, and teach with.

    Q.
    What has been the most challenging part of being a head coach?

    A.
    Just all the multi-tasking. All you have to do is look at my desk. Work on game plans, then sign some pictures, return phone calls, from officiating, to the combine, to you (the media). Just learning how to juggle all those balls.

    When you're a coordinator, you're doing the football thing, and that's your whole focus.

    Q.
    Has your family been able to adjust to the Twin Cities?

    A.
    They're not here yet. They'll be out in April. We're trying to sell a house, and buy a house.

    Q.
    How has your relationship been with the other corners of the Triangle of Authority (Rob Brzezinski, vice president of football operations, and Fran Foley, vice president of player personnel)?

    A.
    Very good. Information flows freely, which I think is important. And we're talking to each other 15 times a day, the sharing of what's going on, where, and different people are talking to different people. So you always know exactly what's there. It's constant.

    Q.
    In explaining why you accepted this job without interviewing elsewhere, you said this is the plum job. Were you referring to the depth and quality of the roster?

    A.
    I think they had certain positions in place that at times are hard to come by. Looking at all the rosters, and looking at where they were, it was a multitude of things. Where they were in the cap. Where they were with the actual personnel that they had on the roster. Where those guys were at in their career, and in their contracts, and all those kinds of things.

    Now, as an assistant you didn't do any of that stuff. You didn't care if he was a bonus baby, making this much money.

    And obviously the decision was commingled with, "What were the owners like? What were those people like?"

    Q.
    What positions stood out to you?

    A.
    You have to immediately cast your gaze into the lines. But for the most part, the nuts and bolts are there, and I would include a guy like Matt Birk.

    Q.
    Is the offensive line an area you would like to address?

    A.
    We're always looking to address it. I mean, you have to see if you can do it and do it wisely. I would not say there is a position on this team that we're not looking to; if there is a value there, upgrade.

    Q.
    Now that you've had a chance to evaluate your personnel more, how confident are you in the core players you have under contract to run the West Coast offense?

    A.
    I think there is a core of players here, and the job is to build around those guys and get those guys better. Just because they're core players doesn't mean they don't have areas that they can improve.

    Q.
    What about your base defense?

    A.
    Obviously there have to be spots that have to be accounted for, just because there's nobody on the depth chart right now. You want to upgrade, and you want to add to it. There's no such thing as too many good players.

    Q.
    What position do you feel you don't have enough players at?

    A.
    There's not enough linebacker numbers right now. You're going to have to add, if you want to go to training camp and line up. Same thing with the defensive line and the back end. Right now we're minus a safety because Corey (Chavous) hasn't signed.

    Q.
    Is Chavous someone you'd like to bring back?

    A.
    I had a chance to deal with him at the Pro Bowl (in 2004), and I think he's a very bright-eyed, intelligent guy. Obviously, football is important to him, or he wouldn't spend time analyzing it (during the offseason).

    Q.
    Fred Smoot had a difficult first year with the Vikings, on and off the field. How does he fit into your 2006 plans?

    A.
    Fred Smoot is a good player, and I had a chance to compete against him for a while … when he was with the Redskins. So you kind of know all about him, from the standpoint of what his skill level is, how he plays the game and being able to stand right there on the sideline and watch him react to different situations. You have an idea how he deals with pressure and deep balls and getting beat. And how does he respond?

    But he fits right with whole rest of the secondary and really the rest of the team. The good teams that I've been involved with have competition for positions, and you have to try and create that. And good players create that.

    We were able to have a good visit (with Smoot), and he came in here and actually was out on the field, walking through with our defensive staff. He's a bright-eyed guy. Mike (Tomlin) has known him for a while.

    Q.
    So Smoot is a player who fits into what you're doing with this defense?

    A.
    Yes, he's a good player, and he'll fit in because he'll be coached to fit in.

    Q.
    What about tight end Jim Kleinsasser?

    A.
    I like his level of toughness. He's obviously proven that he can play on the line of scrimmage. There are all kinds of throws in this offense for tight ends. Most of them are between eight and 12 yards, so he surely has the ability to work zones. So I think he'll end up elevating his game, and I think this would be a tight-end-friendly offense.

    Q.
    Brian Williams' agent reiterated over the weekend that his client has nothing against the new coaching staff but that he still wants to move on and start fresh elsewhere. Do you still consider him a part of the Vikings future?

    A.
    I do. People obviously have a right to take a swing at him. But I'll stand by what I said the other day: He's a good player, and you don't want to let a good player go. I'm aware of his feelings, and now he's aware of mine.

    Q.
    Koren Robinson's agent said he is "pessimistic" that he can agree to a contract with the Vikings. Does that concern you given your interest in keeping him?

    A.
    Let me read you this quote on pessimists. "A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist. But an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events." (science fiction author Robert Heinlein).

    You know, that's just his feeling, and a lot of times when those guys are talking, they're posturing.

    Q.
    What did you learn last year in Philadelphia when Terrell Owens' frustrations about his contract impacted the Eagles?

    A.
    You just learn how important the team is. It really is a team sport, and everybody has got be pulling the oar the same way. To have one out-of-sync guy, particularly on the offensive side of the ball — on defense a guy can make an error and someone else covers up for him and makes a play. On offense, if everybody is not in it, mentally and physically, you've got issues. So it's just the team, the team, the team.

    Q.
    Is there anything from that experience that helps you with quarterback Daunte Culpepper this offseason?

    A.
    I'd just say they're two completely different situations.

    Q.
    In an interview with a national radio show last month, you said that the offseason program starts on March 20 and that you expected Daunte to be a part of that. Is that going to be the case?

    A.
    I expect everybody to be a part of it. I think Rob's done a good job of contracts and tying some of those guys to incentives within our offseason conditioning program. So that's a key point, and it's usually a key point when there's a new coaching staff involved.

    Q.
    Has Daunte committed to attending that at this point?

    A.
    Yeah. Yeah.

    Q.
    How incumbent is it for your quarterbacks, both Daunte and Brad Johnson, to be here as early as possible?

    A.
    It will be. I think it's important any time, at the end of a year, particularly a trying year, that you get away from football. And you kind of refresh yourself and rejuvenate yourself, whether it be with your family or getting somewhere warm. I think those things are important. But then, at a point in time, it's important for those guys to get in here and spend time with all the parties that be.

    Q.
    A day after your press conference last Friday, owner Zygi Wilf insisted that Daunte is part of your future plans and that he will pay his $6 million bonus. You hedged slightly last Friday on Daunte's future. Can you now say definitively that Culpepper will not be released or traded this offseason?

    A.
    I think that one can get answered the same way I answered it before. It's so fluid. The old "always" and "never," those are long times.

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

    Follow the leader

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  2. #2
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    Q.
    So Smoot is a player who fits into what you're doing with this defense?

    A.
    Yes, he's a good player, and he'll fit in [size=18px]because he'll be coached to fit in[/size].

    That is what we have been missing.



    Q.
    Brian Williams' agent reiterated over the weekend that his client has nothing against the new coaching staff but that he still wants to move on and start fresh elsewhere. Do you still consider him a part of the Vikings future?

    A.
    I do. People obviously have a right to take a swing at him. But I'll stand by what I said the other day: He's a good player, and you don't want to let a good player go. I'm aware of his feelings, and now he's aware of mine.


    At least the coaching staff has their head on straight.

  3. #3
    digital420's Avatar
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    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    i just finished copying htis article to my dad.. Had I just posted it i woulda beat ya by a few min singer...

    I do like Childress's attitude, and the way he looks at things and players.

    I really have a good feeling about where we are going. if anyone is to turn this lot into a well oiled machine i think Childress is one of them..

    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

  4. #4
    DaunteHOF is offline Coach
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    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    I dont like that line about DC11
    Its not braggin if you can do it!!!

  5. #5
    collegeguyjeff's Avatar
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    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    [quote="Del Rio"]Q.
    So Smoot is a player who fits into what you're doing with this defense?

    A.
    Yes, he's a good player, and he'll fit in [size=18px]because he'll be coached to fit in[/size].

    That is what we have been missing.

    exactly!
    I don t buy Wisconsin cheese.

  6. #6
    Salzy's Avatar
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    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    Super Bowl Super Bowl
    The Cheat is grounded!

  7. #7
    RK.'s Avatar
    RK.
    RK. is offline Ring of Fame Rally Cross II Champion
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    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    "Del Rio" wrote:
    Q.
    So Smoot is a player who fits into what you're doing with this defense?

    A.
    Yes, he's a good player, and he'll fit in [size=18px]because he'll be coached to fit in[/size].

    That is what we have been missing.

    At least the coaching staff has their head on straight.
    That is the part that jumped out at me as well. Last year we picked up all these great D players and the coaches had no idea what to do with them. They just threw them out on the field and expected them to play together. I am glad Smoot is coming back. I think he is a great player. Also Childress sounds like a head coach. I am really looking forward to next year.

    WWBGD

  8. #8
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    Childress appears to have his act together. Start tacking on LBs. The Smoot part really jumped out at me too, it is so nice to have a coach on board.

  9. #9
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    "RK." wrote:
    "Del Rio" wrote:
    Q.
    So Smoot is a player who fits into what you're doing with this defense?

    A.
    Yes, he's a good player, and he'll fit in [size=18px]because he'll be coached to fit in[/size].

    That is what we have been missing.

    At least the coaching staff has their head on straight.
    That is the part that jumped out at me as well. Last year we picked up all these great D players and the coaches had no idea what to do with them. They just threw them out on the field and expected them to play together. I am glad Smoot is coming back. I think he is a great player. Also Childress sounds like a head coach. I am really looking forward to next year.

    You hit the nail on the head RK. I think that Smoot needs to calm down with his trash talking like he did last year, becuase it seemed that everyone he talked smack to lit him up.. He is a really good CB, and that statement was right on, HE WILL BE COACHED TO FIT IN.. That is exactly it, Tice and Cottrell did not know how to use players that have alot of talent. You take guys like Smoot out of their element, and it causes chaos. Tomlin seems like a great coach and like I said before, my brother is a huge Tampa fan, and has said we are getting a great coach in Mike Tomlin.

  10. #10
    BIGDADDYG's Avatar
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    Re: Follow the leader: Q & A with Brad Childress

    I like the fact he is trying to be a coach and not trying to pals with everyone. It seems if the players are willing to perform and compete at their highest level they will be a part of the team.


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