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  1. #1

    Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress


    [size=18px]Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress[/size]

    Authored by John McMullen - 19th January, 2006 - 7:27 pm

    With change comes hope and when Brad Childress was named to be just the seventh head coach in Minnesota Vikings’ history, the fans were rightfully excited.

    After all Childress comes from a winning program with the Philadelphia Eagles and developed a reputation as a disciplinarian, something the Vikings sorely needed according to the plethora of talking heads that dot the airwaves in the Twin Cities.

    Forget the fact that Childress had never called his own plays in Philadelphia or that the disciplinarian tag was fodder for a comedian’s act after the Terrell Owens fiasco -- the Minnesota fans had a right to be energized.

    Everyone knew there had to be a change in the defensive culture that has pervaded the organization since the early ‘90s and Childress coached in the same city as Jim Johnson.

    Johnson, the uber-agressive Eagles defensive coordinator, is known for blitzing at any time from any angle to make sure the opposing quarterback never gets comfortable in the pocket. That, in itself should have generated enthusiasm.

    Unfortunately most long-time observers of Minnesota football realized pretty quickly that Childress was just more of the same dressed in a different outfit. You see, the dirty little secret in the NFL is that most coaches are virtually the same, much like the cookie-cutter stadiums that dotted the sports landscape during the Astroturf phenomenon.

    The true greats in the coaching profession, like Bill Belichick and Joe Gibbs, are mavericks, who constantly adapt to a changing landscape with innovative and bold plans.

    With one hiring, Childress proved he is not an innovator or a maverick -- just the latest in a long line of copycats who couldn’t even recognize an original thought, never mind have the testicular fortitude to carry it out.

    If the average Minnesota fan understood the NFL, when Childress tabbed Mike Tomlin to be his defensive coordinator, they would have gasped and quietly uttered “ No....not again.”

    Instead Childress was lauded for hiring a proponent of the vaunted “Tampa-cover-two” defense. The ridiculously rigid scheme that is adhered to like the Gospel by NFL zealots who have no idea what the intracacies of the scheme are.

    First, a history lesson.

    “Tampa-cover two” is a misnomer. The Minnesota Vikings have been using this defense as their primary scheme since Dennis Green arrived in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1992 with a young hard working defensive coordinator named; you guessed it, Tony Dungy.

    While younger fans that have followed the Vikings might find this hard to believe, those early Green teams were successful because of the team’s defense not the offense.

    Green and Dungy inherited a spectacular defensive line featuring two of the greatest pass rushers in the modern era, Chris Doleman and John Randle. Add to that -- a third Pro-Bowl caliber lineman in Henry Thomas and an undersized speed rusher who excelled on the Metrodome turf, Al Noga.

    The Vikings also acquired an extremely smart middle linebacker who had a rare, innate ability to excel in zone coverage despite lacking great speed, Jack Del Rio.

    Now you might be able to understand why Dungy developed his “reputation” as a “defensive genius.” Those Vikings teams were able to get to the quarterback without the blitz and Del Rio was taking away the seam, the two things needed to make the cover-two succeed.

    That enabled pedestrian cornerbacks like Audray McMillian and Anthony Parker to put up great numbers by sitting deep in the zone and waiting for the overthrow.

    It was all great.................until the playoffs, when the scheme was exposed. You see, eventually these cover-two teams, face good or even great teams that can pass block and hold off the pressure. The result for a competent NFL quarterback? It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Easy throw after easy throw while the soft, inflexible defense waits for a mistake that isn’t coming. One upper-echelon quarterback once described to it me like this. -- “ It’s like playing against a prevent defense for 60 minutes.”

    The scary part is, imploding in the playoffs is your fate when you have the personnel to excel in the scheme. When you don’t get that pass rush or have a good zone linebacker -- forget about it.

    Look at the 2005 Vikings. I hate to break it two the fans but public enemy No. 1 in Minnesota, Ted Cottrell (the Vikings former defensive coordinator), used the cover-two about 60 percent of the time.

    Despite having the best trio of cornerbacks in team history (Antoine Winfield, Brian Williams and Fred Smoot), the Vikings pass defense was still abhorrent because the front four couldn’t get to the quarterback consistently and the team’s linebackers were hopeless in zone coverage.

    From all accounts, Tomlin is an extremely hard worker who will give his all to the position but if his old employer is any indication, you can expect Minnesota to line up in the cover-two 70 to 80 percent of the time.

    Translation -- Childress is already a disappointment.

    You can reach John McMullen at

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

  2. Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    John can suck my johnson!!! What a negative nancy!!! Give the guy a chance for a minute, will ya!!!

  3. #3

    Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    WTF! That McMillan dude is a putz...a very LITTLE putz for sure!

  4. Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    not sure how some 1 can say that childress is a failure. he has yet to coach 1 game. shit the guys undefeated.

  5. Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    we'll see who gets the last laugh.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  6. Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    He's right. We're all excited about this "cover 2" that we've already had for years. We need a 3-4 and some good linebackers, or a much better offense. Lets hope Tomlin can at least improve the implosive Vikes D.

  7. Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    First off as a VIking fan, it seems a bit negative.

    But, I think he is just saying it appears that Childress is just trying to be the cookie cutter. He is adopting the things that are popular in the NFL right now.

    But what I also read is that the good coaches have to be able to think and adapt. He doesn't see Childress as such. But he never says that it is out of the possibility that Childress will be able to adapt and innovate the game.

    I hope that he and Tomlin will be innovators and that is why it is titles "same old cycle." Here we are wishing again.

  8. #8

    Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    My problem with this article is that he is blasting Childress for not being an innovator and calls him a copycat. This may turn out to be true and he may get exposed by more innovative coaches, but this is the first time as coordinators for both of his hires so this writer does not know exactly what we will do or how Childress may be as an innovator. Obviously, the Cover 2 will be used but calling him a copycat based on these hires is ridiculous. Was Childress supposed to hire a DC from a system that hasn't been successful? Just a guess here but I'm sure Tomlin has a brain and isn't some robot that will do the exact same things from Tampa, but will implement his own version.


  9. #9

    Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    McMullen is a Joe Buck clone. It's not the coach's or teams that are almost all the same in the NFL it's the stupid sports pundits like this guy that trade real insight for snotty comments because they don't know crap about the game, players, or fans. What a putz.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Sandhurst, UK
    Blog Entries

    Re: Vikings Stuck On Same Old Cycle With Childress

    Methinks this smacks of a journalist getting in a negative view so that, if he by some chance was right, can then say " yah told you so, you heard it here first !"
    For his information anytime that you don't get pressure on the QB then you can be in trouble and that true whether you run a 3-4, 4-3, Cover 2 or rush all 11 players at the QB - hardly rocket science is it ?

    Questioning Childress and Tomlin for not being innovators is totally wrong, after all who at this stage of the year really knows what they are going to do ?? Hell I bet even they are looking at several possibilities. No smart coach is going to start laying down any gameplans or schemes to people in January when the season doesn't start until September.

    Gotta love these two-bit paid journalists ..... find better views and opinions on the fan sites than muppets like McMullen write !
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...

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