View Full Version : Vikings adapting to new routine under Childress

04-10-2006, 06:17 PM
Vikings adapting to new routine under Childress
Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Asked about his supposed elation over finding backup quarterback Mike McMahon available as a free agent, Brad Childress responded aptly in a manner befitting his personality.

"I don't know if I deal in 'happy' that much," began the Minnesota coach's reply.

The question became irrelevant, but the flat, blunt tone and the stone face provided a perfect snapshot of the method Childress will use to run his new team.

In all seriousness.

"The discipline and enthusiasm I've seen over the last couple of days here really bodes well for us this coming season," owner Zygi Wilf said this weekend during the first of two minicamps the Vikings have scheduled this spring.

Childress looks a little bit like Gerald McRaney, the lead actor in the 1990s TV sitcom, "Major Dad," and he approaches his job as if he were a Marine sergeant, too.

The minicamp was conducted at a military-like pace, as players sprinted from snap to snap and drill to drill and assistant coaches enthusiastically barked instructions, criticism and praise. The short, slender Childress, his gray T-shirt neatly tucked into black warmup pants, stood solemnly in the middle of the frenzy -- rhythmically sharing his insight, shouting occasionally, as he experienced his first practices as an NFL head coach.

"We just kind of stuck our toe in the water in terms of system, but I think we've got some people acclimated into our tempo and what our expectations are on the field, off the field, in the meeting room," Childress said. "And I think those are important things to set."

Safety Darren Sharper remarked about how sore he was following Sunday's practice.

"I think that's a good thing," he said, "because it means that we're working hard."

Working hard with little doubt about the way things will work under the new staff.

Mike Tice, who was fired in January, routinely stressed crisp workouts and placed a premium on efficient practices. But one area where Tice had trouble was with projecting a consistent persona to his players. Some days, he was the stern taskmaster. On others, was the deeply caring father figure. On still others, he was the class clown.

Childress, at least so far, isn't leaving any room for wonder.

"He's a straightforward guy," Sharper said. "His job here is to do his job. You don't really come in here and expect to be going up to eat lunch with your head coach too often. You want to come here and work and that's what championship teams do."

Eventually, as he spends more time with the team and gets to know individual players on more of a personal level, Childress might let the guys get to know him better. Sharper and Childress share mutual friends in football, and Sharper said he's been told that his new boss does, indeed, have a personality.

Between now and the start of the regular season, though, the priority for coaches and players will be placed on establishing comfort with the offensive and defensive schemes.

Very few jobs are safe, either, especially with the draft fast approaching and the strong possibility that several of the 65 veterans on the roster will be released later this spring or summer.

"Everybody's out here working, trying to prove themselves," tight end Jermaine Wiggins said. "Because it's a year-to-year league. It doesn't matter what you did a year or two years ago, it matters what you're going to do every season."

Quarterback Brad Johnson was excused by Childress from Sunday's practice for a personal matter. ... Defensive end Kenechi Udeze is ahead of schedule on his rehabilitation and already back at his starting spot. Udeze suffered a serious injury to his left knee last September, but he said he feels fine.
As I was readin' dis, I kept tinkin', Man, dis mug reminds me of Bud Grant, y'know?
Den again, I also remember how Les Steckel ran his practices like a military boot camp, an' dat didn't woik, y'know?

I guess we'll see.

04-11-2006, 02:49 AM
good move, Childress keepin it strictly business. If it worked for the Eagles I wont knock it