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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    [size=18px]There's no question who's in charge of the Vikings[/size]

    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune

    As a top assistant in Philadelphia for seven seasons, Brad Childress knew his role. His opinion was Andy Reid's opinion. His style was Andy Reid's style. His thoughts were Andy Reid's thoughts.

    Andy Reid? Oh, yeah. He was the head coach.

    "I prided myself when I was with Andy in that I could say things exactly the way he wanted them said," Childress said. "As an assistant, it's too easy to say that the head coach wants you to do it one way, but you can also do it another way. You have to speak with one voice. As the head coach, you know how you want it run, and you know exactly how you want it said."

    There might be no better way to describe Childress' methodology in hiring his inaugural Vikings staff this winter. Culling a mix of former colleagues, ex-players and ex-interns, Childress collected a group he expects to execute his vision for the team.

    In the process, Childress made himself the unquestioned football architect at Winter Park.

    Speaking Wednesday for the first time since forming the staff, Childress said one of his proudest moments thus far has been hiring his first choice at nearly every coaching position. The original list was based, he said, on his belief that a staff should get along and, in essence, coach their positions the way he would.

    "I have a set way of how I want to do things," Childress said. "I'm a victim of my past. You know what's been successful for you. You need to be organized and have a plan. There are some things that are open for discussion, and there are some things that are the way we're going to do it. You don't always have time for 20 different opinions. Ideas are good, but somebody has got to be running the team. When I'm in that coaching room, I'm running the team."

    The staff will have no qualms conceding that point. If one end of the spectrum is hiring big-name coordinators -- as Detroit coach Rod Marinelli did on both offense (Mike Martz) and defense (Donnie Henderson) -- Childress aligns at the other end. The Vikings, in fact, will be the only NFL team this season without at least one veteran coordinator.

    Darrell Bevell (offense), Mike Tomlin (defense) and Paul Ferraro (special teams) all are first-time pro coordinators. Combined, they have 12 years of NFL experience.

    Including Bevell (36) and Tomlin (33), Childress hired 12 assistants (out of 17) who are younger than 40. Only three coaches -- offensive line coach Pat Morris, defensive line coach Karl Dunbar and linebackers coach Fred Pagac -- have previous NFL experience at their current position.

    Childress appeared neither insulted nor defensive Wednesday when asked about his staff's experience level, even while pointing out the combined 60 years of college experience between assistant offensive line coach Jim Hueber and quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers. But Childress made clear that "expertise" is more important than experience and ticked off a list of prominent coaches who started young; Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher, for example, got his first NFL assistant job at 28, was a coordinator at 32 and a head coach at 35.

    "Obviously, [Cowher] had an expertise and a way about him," Childress said. "I don't think you can get strapped by the age thing. Bobby Knight was named a head coach at a very young age. Those guys were given a lot tool-wise, and they've obviously took it and run with it."

    Ferraro, meanwhile, has been a defensive coordinator at Bowling Green and Rutgers. But his stint last season as Carolina's assistant special teams coach was his first both in the NFL and on special teams.

    "First of all," Childress said, "you understand it's mostly defensive guys on special teams. If you can coach, you can coach. That's one of the things [Carolina coach] John Fox said to me. He said, 'He's a football coach.' "

    Childress had the pick of the NFL litter when the Vikings made him the first new coach of the 2006 offseason Jan. 6. And almost to a man, those picks now have offices in Winter Park.

    Wednesday, Childress briefly displayed the two-deep of coaching candidates he presented to owner Zygi Wilf during the team's interview process. It included Darryl Wyatt as his top choice for receivers coach, Eric Bieniemy for running backs and Jimmie Johnson for tight ends. All three men recently served coaching internships with the Eagles while working as college assistants.

    The list also included Hueber and assistant special teams coach Brian Murphy, former members of the Wisconsin staff Childress once worked on. The only first choice who turned him down was Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove, but Childress quickly turned to Pagac.

    "I'm kind of proud of that," Childress said. "When you look at that list that I presented to them, I delivered what I said I would deliver. And it's a good mix."
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  2. #2
    cajunvike's Avatar
    cajunvike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    I wonder if the other coaches razz Pagac for being the only second choice coach! :lol:

    I agree with the expertise over experience...look no further than Cottrell...tons of experience but couldn't put it all together!

  3. #3
    so-cal vike's Avatar
    so-cal vike is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    It's expertise that Childress knows and is familiar with. That alone adds another level of depth between himself and those working with him. There is plenty of experience on many other teams. However, the possibility of clashing egos from former head coaches comes with that experience.

    Minnesota gains an advantage starting fresh.

  4. #4
    LuckyVike's Avatar
    LuckyVike is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    Childress is the man, I hope his coaching is smooth as his words!
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  5. #5
    Benet's Avatar
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    Finally an article that seems to validate our new coaching staff! It all looks good to me, and the best point made in that article was that the Vikings "had the pick of the NFL litter" for almost each coaching role during this cycle. I say Great Job Vikings!

  6. #6
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    "Benet" wrote:
    Finally an article that seems to validate our new coaching staff! It all looks good to me, and the best point made in that article was that the Vikings "had the pick of the NFL litter" for almost each coaching role during this cycle. I say Great Job Vikings!
    I'm optimistic as well. I'll still hold my horses though, on labelling them great untill they've showed us what they are made of.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  7. #7
    Prophet Guest

    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    Defensive promise in young coordinator
    Author: Mike Wobschall
    22 February 2006

    Not a dull day has gone by at Winter Park over the last month and a half. With a new head coach, and consequently a brand new coaching staff, and all of the stadium talk, the Vikings organization has barely had time to breathe. New Head Coach Brad Childress was introduced on January 6th, just five days after the team's last regular season contest. And only four days after that, Childress and the Vikings selected 33-year old Mike Tomlin as the new defensive coordinator.

    Since then, Childress has filled out his staff entirely, and the team has a plan and a vision for the 2006 season and beyond. Tomlin's hiring began somewhat of a trend in the NFL this off-season. Numerous coaches of relatively young ages were hired by teams, headlined by former New England Patriots assistant Eric Mangini, who is just 35-years old and is now the New York Jets newest head coach.

    Childress and the Vikings show no concern, however, for their new defensive coordinator's young age.
    "I think that as he teaches, there will be no doubt about him being an authoritative figure on exactly the way that he wants the defense played," Childress said.

    Childress' respect for Tomlin has come after many coaching confrontations between the two when they were coaching in Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, respectively.

    "We probably had a chance where I came from to play Tampa Bay as many times as anybody over the course of the last five years and have come to know the defense he is going to put on the field," Childress said.

    Childress was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles and Tomlin was the defensive backs coach for defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin in Tampa Bay.

    "We've had some epic battles here the last five years, so you come to know what style he is coaching and how his guys are playing," Childress said. "I think that's a direct reflection of the coach, how those guys play. I think if you were to go seek out, which I have at a few Pro Bowls, Ronde Barber or John Lynch or anybody that has played for him, I think you'd find out exactly how they feel about that guy."

    Tomlin may be a little short on age, but he certainly isn't so on experience. A graduate of William and Mary, Tomlin will enter his sixth season in the NFL. He spent 2001-2005 as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backs coach. Tomlin's backfields helped the Buccaneers defense rank among the league leaders over the past five seasons. In 2005, Tampa Bay led the NFL in total defense, allowing opponents just 277.8 yards per game. The number one ranking was the second time in Tomlin's five seasons that the Buccaneers led the league, the other coming in 2002. The Tampa Bay defense never fell below sixth (2001) and had a pair of fifth-place finishes (2003, 2004). The Buccaneer pass defense ranked first in the NFL in 2002 and 2004. Tomlin also helped the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII over the Oakland Raiders in 2003.

    Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Tomlin spent two seasons as the defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati (1999-00). In 2000, the Bearcats ranked eighth in the nation in interceptions and fourth in total turnovers. Tomlin also spent two seasons at Arkansas State, coaching wide receivers in 1997 and defensive backs in 1998. He spent the 1996 season as a graduate assistant at the University of Memphis. Tomlin began his coaching career as the wide receivers coach at Virginia Military Institute.

    Tomlin was a three-year starter at wide receiver for William and Mary (1992-94) and finished his career with 101 receptions for 2,046 yards and a school-record 20 touchdown catches. He was a first-team All-Yankee Conference selection in 1994. Tomlin was a teammate at William and Mary with Vikings safety Darren Sharper.

    Tomlin is used to making adjustments during his career in football. After excelling at the wide receiver position as a player, Tomlin accepted a job coaching defensive backs in '98 at Arkansas State.

    "At that time [of switching to coaching defensive backs] I enjoyed having the opportunity to explore what defensive football is about. It intrigued me," Tomlin said.

    "As a guy that played receiver you were always concerned with things that they were doing and it became an interest of mine and it turned into a very serious passion of mine and I was able to make that transition back in Jonesville, Arkansas."

    To go along with many tremendous team accomplishments in the NFL, Tomlin's players have also done extremely well under him. All-Pro cornerback Ronde Barber has earned three trips to Hawaii ('01,'04,'05) and safety John Lynch was selected to two Pro Bowls ('01,'02).
    Going from Tampa Bay to Minnesota, Tomlin is excited to work with the same kind of talent.

    "I know that they are a very talented crew. There are a bunch of young and exciting players," Tomlin said.

    Veterans like Cory Chavous, Sharper and Antoine Winfield will gracefully pick up the style of defense that Tomlin wants to install. Also, a formidable defensive line will only add to what Tomlin hopes to accomplish as the leader of the Vikings defense.

    It's been widely speculated that Tomlin and the defensive staff will want to implement the "Tampa 2" defense. This defense plays primarily a cover-two scheme, with two safeties over the top, keeping all plays in front of them. Tomlin insists, however, that the defense in Minnesota will be a scheme that fits the personnel here just as much as it is a replica of Kiffin's scheme in Tampa Bay.
    "I think you go into a new situation with a mindset about what you want to do, but at the same time you do what the players are capable of doing," Tomlin said.

    Tomlin has emphasized that he's not hung up and coming into a new situation and worrying about putting in a system with which he is familiar. Early in January at Tomlin's initial press conference, he stressed the fact that he was ready to work hard for Head Coach Childress and the organization.

    "My willingness to work hard will help me contribute here," Tomlin said. "I think that in this profession you have to be willing to do that. You have to be willing to work with others, put yourself behind the cause and I am willing to do those things."

    Childress has already gained the reputation of a no-nonsense guy, and his endorsement of Tomlin in such a short amount of time should speak volumes to Vikings fans. Looking back on Tomlin's time in Tampa Bay, Childress has nothing but the highest expectations for Tomlin.

    "You can check the numbers and see where they finished," Childress said.

    "Mike is a great teacher first and foremost and I think that is important with free agency and people moving in and out that you are able to communicate your thoughts and get those things in play on the field."

    "You've got to remember, he replaced Herman Edwards (in Tampa Bay), who was a pretty good coach in his own right. Any time you replace somebody that is a good coach, people look at you just a little bit funny. You have to earn their respect and I think he did that in a very short period of time. From there, he actually took it to another level."

    And that is what the Vikings are looking to do with their franchise in 2006 - take it to another level.

  8. #8
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    [size=18px]Fresh-faced gang[/size]

    Last update: February 22, 2006 – 9:13 PM

    Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell
    Age 36. Played QB for Childress in college, trained in Green Bay's West Coast system.

    Childress says: "I know exactly what his values are. I know exactly what he's teaching. I know exactly how he's saying it."

    Defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin

    Age 33. Rising star of Monte Kiffin's defensive coaching staff in Tampa Bay.

    Childress says: "In our business, your résumé is on tape. ... How your guys play speaks volumes. You're talking about the No. 1 defense in the NFL [in Tampa Bay], and Mike was no small part of that."

    Special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro

    Age 47. Has been a successful defensive coordinator at college level, but has only one year's experience on special teams.

    Childress says: "If you can coach, you can coach. He can coach."

    ... and the rest

    Eric Bieniemy, running backs

    Interned with Childress in Philly

    Karl Dunbar, def. line

    Credited with Kevin Williams' development at Oklahoma State

    Jim Hueber, assistant offensive line

    Coached with Childress at Wisconsin

    Jimmie Johnson, tight ends

    Played 10 NFL seasons, interned with Childress in Philly

    Tom Kanavy, strength coach

    Served in Philadelphia with Childress

    Pat Morris, offensive line

    Coached 10 NFL seasons, most on staff

    Brian Murphy, assistant special teams

    Coached with Childress at Wisconsin

    Chad O'Shea, offensive assistant

    Was on Kansas City staff last season

    Fred Pagac, linebackers

    Battled Childress' Wisconsin teams while at Ohio State

    Kevin Rogers, quarterbacks

    Impressed Childress as Donovan McNabb's college coach

    Kevin Stefanski, adminstrative assistant

    Ex-Penn player, intern in Philadelphia

    Martin Streight, assistant strength coach

    Has spent time with Arizona and Philadelphia

    Joe Woods, defensive backs

    Worked with Tomlin in Tampa Bay

    Darryl Wyatt, wide receivers

    Interned when Childress was in Philly


    Fresh-faced gang

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

  9. #9
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    I think this is the begging of something really good for us.

    Somewhat like an offensive line, we may have our ups and downs in the start, but the longer the season goes and the longer Childress coaches the team with the support and help of his young coaching crew, the stronger we will get.

    I think this staff, based on coaching quality rather than age and experiance, will give Childress and his staff the chance to grow together and form the Vikings into a team that Childress believes can be a champion.

    Personaly, the more I think about it, the more I believe this is more than not, just what we've needed here. A breath of new and clean air....

    I for one, can't wait to see what kind of team and plan, Childress and his crew put on the field for us next season...

    Thanks guys, nice but of reading there...


  10. #10
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
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    Re: No Question Who's In Charge Of Vikings

    I like the fact that there is not a lot of experience of some levels. That way egos do not get involved and these guys are really going to try to leave a mark on their work which equates to a better and more productive football team.

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