View Full Version : Childress not afraid to make the tough calls

03-26-2006, 03:11 PM
Childress not afraid to make the tough calls

As trading Culpepper has shown, the Vikings coach is willing to make bold moves.

Kevin Seifert
Last update: March 25, 2006 – 11:33 PM

As he pondered his first 2½ months as the Vikings' coach, Brad Childress paused and looked out the window of his makeshift office. It seemed one of the first times Childress has reflected on a time period more tumultuous than anyone could have imagined.

"Things are not always as they appear once you come in and look into the goings on," he said eventually.

Yes, Childress considered Minnesota the NFL's "plum job" when he became the first of 10 new head coaches hired this offseason.

Since then, he has taken the unapologetic lead role in a painful separation with quarterback Daunte Culpepper. He has moved to replace as much as 40 percent of the starting lineup, overhauled most of the team's football-related staff -- including the coaches' secretary -- and even restructured his wing of Winter Park into what will be a more private office suite when renovations are complete.

As he gathers with his brethren at this week's league meetings in Orlando, it seems Childress can lay claim to one of the shortest coaching honeymoons in recent memory.

"It's like I tell my kids when I'm disciplining them," he said. "'I'm not your friend. I'm your dad.' And so there is a certain protocol that the dad has to pay attention to. If a byproduct of being your dad is that a friendship comes, then so be it. But first and foremost, after 30 years of coaching, to me there are certain things that have to happen.

"Sometimes they're not all pleasant for everybody, but they have to happen. It's part of the job."

The analogy was appropriate for a franchise that vowed to place a renewed emphasis on discipline and character last fall in the wake of an alleged sex party on Lake Minnetonka. Yet the scope of the overhaul -- which has included 10 veteran free agents and an influx of so many new staffers that the Vikings closed the Sid Hartman media center to accommodate their cubicles -- was unexpected for a team that finished 9-7 last season.

According to Childress, the Vikings' original infrastructure led him to accept their offer before meeting with the half-dozen or so teams that hoped to interview him. So what has happened since?

In some instances, changes were typical of many transitions -- for instance, replacing athletic trainer Chuck Barta with Eric Sugarman, who worked with Childress in Philadelphia. In others, Childress said, he learned new facts once starting the job.

In all cases, however, the changes rocked a building that had experienced relative stability on the football side thanks to an internal transition from coach Dennis Green to Mike Tice in 2002.

"When you're standing away from it, you judge one thing," Childress said. "When you're standing on top of it, you think [another]. I'm talking about the whole organization and all the people that were involved. You have a perception of somebody from afar ... but there's perception and there's reality."

There is no greater example than that of Culpepper. Although Childress has hinted that the emotional Culpepper was never his ideal type of quarterback -- "I kind of like my quarterback to be a flat-line guy, not ride a roller-coaster," he told the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce last week -- he initially appeared to have an open mind about keeping him.

So Childress' willingness to part with a top asset for a second-round draft pick, and his subsequent public assault on what he considered Culpepper's "me" approach, revealed an obvious message to the players who remain on the roster.

Childress insisted last week that "you'd make an error to paint [the trade] with that broad of a brush" and added he only was "trying to do in an individual case what I felt like needed to be done."

Tell that to the next guy who steps out of line. The honeymoon is over.

Childress not afraid to make the tough calls (http://www.startribune.com/503/story/330943.html)

03-26-2006, 03:50 PM
I'm likin Childress, but I won't believe in his whole system until I see results.

03-26-2006, 04:49 PM
I'm getting tired of hearing all this other stuff about him. Lets see how he is as a game coach.

03-26-2006, 05:06 PM
He is a product of Andy Reid.. He was a product of the Eagles. He had that offense running on all cylinders until last season. He along with Reid won the Eagles 3 or 4 consecutive division titles, went to 2 or 3 NFC champioship games. This guy knows how to win, and he knows how to get the respect of his players and coaches.. I will take Childress over Mike Tice anytime..

03-26-2006, 05:39 PM
Good article sp...I believe in childress...i most deffinitly do

03-26-2006, 05:59 PM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

He is a product of Andy Reid.. He was a product of the Eagles. He had that offense running on all cylinders until last season. He along with Reid won the Eagles 3 or 4 consecutive division titles, went to 2 or 3 NFC champioship games. This guy knows how to win, and he knows how to get the respect of his players and coaches.. I will take Childress over Mike Tice anytime..

Amen, my brother.

03-26-2006, 06:24 PM
Yea, the media just isn't use to this style of coaching in Minn. Denny and Tice were both talkers and liked to explaine things in detail. Brad seems more secretive and withdrawn. I'm sure they realize this is the smartest way to do things, but dont get alot of info to write on. Thats why all these articles lately, all basically sum up to the same conclusion. I for one am extremly pleased with the changes and feel the pride of the purple, that seemed to have dulled lately, shinning thru once again.

03-26-2006, 06:27 PM
So Kevin did this interview in Childress' compound??

"Looking out his window," what happen to this.

As I was trying to conduct an interview with Childress from outside his window.

I am finally glad to see that they are opening up.

As far as Childress the coach, he must have some ideas that he took away from Philly on what to do or not to do as a coach. My impression of his Philly years and Reid, is that Reid is my way or the Highway guy. You are told how to coach and that is what you do.

Childress does seem to be a very confident person with strong convictions and I think that will serve him well as a head coach, it definitly is a good quality in a leader. We still need to see how he conducts himself on the field.

03-26-2006, 07:01 PM
I heard Mike Meyers (sp?) on "The Drive" Fox radio dis' Childress for his public statements regarding the D.C. trade. I think Meyers was short sighted and didn't realize Childress had to respond to set some expectations for player behavior.
I hope I'm not wrong. I sense a new era of class and professionalism.
Professionalism is playing hard to earn the big salary; not just collecting a paycheck.
Professionalism is making a touchdown then handing the ball to the ref. because that is your job. No dancing or demonstrating unless it's the game winner in the Superbowl.
I hate to see someone get a sack, or a stop for a loss ,then start dancing when it's only first or second down or worse yet, when you are losing the game.
I miss Bud Grant. I hope Childress is a little closer to another Bud Grant than we have had for years.


03-27-2006, 12:22 AM
Correction: it was Chris Meyers and VIKINGS ALWAYS AND FOREVER!