Friday, December 22, 2006

Swampland in Florida

In the 2005 NFL entry draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected wide receiver Troy Williamson with a pick the equivalent of an NBA lottery level pick. Vikings' fans were told that the pick, though not intended to replace departed wide-receiver Randy Moss, would provide the deep threat that the Vikings' offense lacked with Moss' departure.

Though skeptical about the Williamson selection, I deferred to those who claimed to have their finger on the pulse, to those who claimed a greater authority, to those who claimed to have inside knowledge, and to those who contended that Williamson would bear fruit.

Two years later, Williamson looks like he looked coming out of college. With one reception for one yard against a bottom-feeding Green Bay secondary, Williamson looks every bit the bust that he appeared headed for on draft day.

Similarly skeptical about the hiring of Brad Childress as head coach given Childress' lack of experience at the head-coaching level, his decision to bring aboard a novice offensive play caller, and his commitment to a stable of quarterbacks that literally required a dominant running game, I nevertheless deferred to those claiming greater command of the head-coach hiring landscape.

With almost nothing on the line on Thursday night at Lambeau Field, Childress substantiated my initial reservations regarding his hiring, once again opting for the mind-numbing, virtually unthinkable, and clearly untenable offensive play-calling that got the Vikings to 6-8 heading into the game and that delivered them to 6-9 by game's end.

When the putrid stench of the game had wafted out of Lambeau field and into the packing plants, and Favre had waved his triumphant wave in honor of god knows what, the Vikings were left with some stark numbers the likes of which have not been witnessed since the pre-forward pass era.

For the game, the Vikings amassed 104 total yards of offense, 27 passing yards, and three (!) first downs, all on the strength of the arm of the quarterback that Vikings' head coach Brad Childress today called "the team's best chance for victory" and the team's quarterback of the future.

In addition to these mind-numbing numbers, the Vikings produced exactly zero points on offense in yet another horrific display of Childress' offensive "genius" that is run on first and second down and pass short of the sticks on third down. As icing on the cake, Childress' "disciplined" team kicked in 10 penalties for 68 yards to pad its already sizeable lead as the NFL's most penalized team.

For Vikings' fans looking at the Tarvaris Jackson era as the route to Super Bowl nirvana, it might already be time to make contingency plans. With four years left on his contract, Childress undoubtedly is here for the long haul. And, as long as he remains, frustration clearly will abound.

As one famous actor once said, if you think you've seen it all, baby, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. And for the Brad Childress' led Vikings, the future looks pretty miserable.

Up Next: Who Must Stay, Who Gets to Leave.


vikinghooper said...

Long time no comment VG.

I've been reading you all year and you're right on.

My two cents is that Tice and now Childress were brought here to drive the Viking franchise into the ground.

Nobody who was actually trying to win could do this 1 yard route running offense. To be mad at Brad Childress is to not see what is in plain site. The Vikings are unwatchable, show unbelievable sloppiness in picking up fumbles and in general line up wiht their heads up their butts.

I've been a Viking fan since the 72 7-7 Tark returns season, and I look forward to a rejuvenated Los Angeles Vikings in 2010.

The illegal shift call on Taylor's catch, the unreal roughing call on Harris' hit on favre, the non call when they THREW Tarvaris down in the first half are all NFL signs to kill Minnesota interest in the Vikings so they can giddy up to LA.

I could assume control of the Vikings tomorrow and improve their play, as stifling everyone's talents seems to be Childress' MO. Zone blocking, 1 yard passes, challenging 2 yard catches.

Childress is third rate and Viking fans are told take it and be quiet.

ss said...

Yeah, wow, that was unwatchable, and thankfully I missed most of the first quarter. Tarvaris didn't make anybody miss, but rather seemed to just expect people to miss him. They didn't. Williamson is AMAZING in his uselessness. The penalties are unfathomable. And the playcalling is perfectly adapted to years of picking up early draft picks. Maybe we'll be stocked by the time we get a new coach.

While vikinghooper's conspiracy thing is annoying, he's right on about Childress stifling talent by playing to the team's weaknesses. Zone blocking? Why force some new, screwy, demonstrably ineffective scheme down the throat of a Pro-Bowl-laden offensive line? Why do all the pass plays require the fleet-footed rookie to drop back 12 steps and sit in the pocket amid collapsing protection, then dump it off behind the line of scrimmage? No roll-outs, no quick hitters, no QB draws.

Anonymous said...

And you were wondering why Andy Reid wouldn't let Childress call plays ;-)

Don't ever let him plan a surprise party.