View Full Version : Childress is good pick says SI writer

01-07-2006, 08:45 PM
Snap Judgments
Don Banks, SI.com

• I like the hiring of Brad Childress as head coach in Minnesota, for many reasons. First and foremost, as I wrote earlier this week, the former Philadelphia offensive coordinator will be a great fit in the upper Midwest with his calm demeanor and unflappable nature.

Childress is a Midwest guy, having been born in Chicago, and he coached at Illinois and Wisconsin, in addition to one season with the Indianapolis Colts. He knows what will play in that part of the country, and his strengths dovetail nicely with the Vikings' need for consistency of approach, thorough preparation and a dose of discipline. Think a slimmer Andy Reid, with less hair.

With Childress around, the Vikings won't be riding the emotional rollercoaster that was always in operation during the tumultuous four-year Mike Tice era. Minnesotans are known for their stoic reserve, and Childress stylistically will remind them more of Bud Grant than anybody else who has come after the Hall of Fame Vikings head coach.

Childress also gives the Vikings a chance to fix the problems that have brought quarterback Daunte Culpepper's career to a crossroads. The Vikings may still elect to move Culpepper, but if they don't, knowing that Childress worked so closely and successfully with Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb -- whose game has many similarities to Culpepper's -- is a huge plus in Minnesota's favor.

The Vikings moved so quickly on Childress because they viewed themselves in a very competitive market, with seven other teams also looking for a new head coach. Smart deduction in my book.

"This league is about coaching,' said one Vikings official. "We wanted to get our guy, and getting him early also gives you a head start on him hiring a staff of assistants, which is also very important. But we didn't just run out and start this process this week. We've been prepared for a long, long time to make this hire.'

The Vikings gave Childress a five-year contract, for somewhere in the range of $1.75 million per season. That's OK money for a first-time head coach, and the guess is he'll bring some of his fellow Eagles assistants with him.

The two question marks still lingering in Minnesota? Will the fact that Childress didn't call plays in Philadelphia end up being significant (Reid hadn't called plays when the Eagles hired him in 1999), and what happened to the Vikings' plan to hire a general manager-type to work above the head coach? Philly promoted Tom Heckert to GM earlier this week, denying the Vikings' their top candidate. Was hiring Childress akin to putting the cart before the horse? Time will tell, but Childress's arrival -- with or without a GM -- looks like progress from this vantage point.

• The Vikings interviewed four coaching candidates: Childress, their current defensive coordinator, Ted Cottrell, Kansas City offensive coordinator Al Saunders and Colts assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell. And besides Childress, they were most impressed with Caldwell, who recently served as Indy's interim head coach when Tony Dungy left the team for a week in the wake of his son's death.

"Caldwell is Tony Dungy junior,' said a Vikings official. "He's going to be a special head coach for somebody some day. Is he 100 percent ready right now? I don't know. But he's smart, a great communicator, and he's a leader. He's a Dungy clone. Somebody's messing up by not hiring this guy.'

Makes you wonder why Minnesota didn't take the leap if it had that much conviction about Caldwell.

• Numerous sources around the league told me Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Fassel thought he had the inside track on the Minnesota coaching job, based on Fassel knowing new Vikings owner Zygi Wilf from Fassel's days as the Giants head coach. But from all indications, Fassel was never seriously considered for the job. And when all is said and done in regards to the coaching carousel, it wouldn't surprise me if his name doesn't get called once again.

01-07-2006, 08:47 PM
F#$K FASSEL !!!!!!!

I hope Billick demotes him to QB's coach if not lower ... so damn happy he didn't get a chance to come here.

01-07-2006, 08:54 PM
Good to see some positive views from the media as you can be sure there won't be masses coming from some of the TC hacks- least not in the early days.
Glad that Fassel fell on his face and shows that Zygi is not just looking to employ NY/Giant/friends but that he is treating the issues on their merits.

Mr. Purple
01-07-2006, 09:02 PM
I'll drink to that Jamie, i was very worried that we where gonna get fassel. I'm very happy with Childress and got a great feeling about this guy.