Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Childress Out?

A source close to Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf has indicated that Wilf is contemplating buying out the remainder of current head coach Brad Childress' contract. The buyout would elevate current defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to head coach for the remainder of this season. Wilf is said to be displeased not only with Childress' on-field results but also with the second-year coach's lack of appeal among the fan base. The move could come as early as this week.

If true, the move to Frazier likely would provide the rookie defensive coordinator an opportunity to audition for the full-time position of head coach. Though the performance of the Vikings' defense has been mixed in 2007, Frazier has proven much more comfortable speaking to the media than has Childress, providing straight answers to clear questions and offering insight where Childress has refused to do so.

The move to Frazier, a move that would have been more popular prior to last week's defensive collapse at Green Bay, would nevertheless fare the team no worse than where it currently stands under a coaching regime that appears lost in time.

More updates to follow.


Ryan said...

Dear Lord, Vikes Geek. I hope you're correct about this. Where did you read or hear this?

I have a very terrible feeling that Childress will try to rush Peterson back to preserve his job. I'm even more afraid of this because of Peterson's work ethic and drive. If he is well enough to run forward and Childress gives him the go ahead, I know he'll be back out there. I just am horrified that this will invite a nagging injury of a player who will, arguably, serve as the cornerstone of this team in the future.

Vikes Geek said...


I'm obviously not at liberty to divulge the source, but I do trust it.

With that said, I still believe it is more likely that Childress will finish the season, barring a poor showing against the Raiders. One would think if Zygi is going to can Childress this week, he would have done so early Monday, at the latest, to give Childress' replacement time to prepare for Sunday.

Of course, Zygi has proven to be impulsive in the past...

I believe it is also possible that Zygi will push Childress to bring Peterson back as early as possible to fill seats in the Metrodome. If Childress were to refuse, Zygi could offer the job to someone who would oblige his request.

It's not a good situation no matter what happens.


Scott said...

My bet is on Childress finishing the season (or within a game or two of the end). If things do not drastically improve between now and then, Childress is definitely gone.

As for Peterson, I would be surprised to see him play again at all this season. Why take the risk? He is clearly the future of the franchise and this team is going nowhere this year. Let him get healthy for next year. Playing him again this year only exposes him to a more serious injury.

Plus, Peterson alone is not going to sell out the dome. Would you pay $75 to watch a star player on a 3 win team from the top rows of the upper deck?

Ryan said...

Even when Peterson was playing, the Vikings were having problems selling out the Metrodome. I really can't imagine that Wilf is going to want to risk the primary reason that his team is getting any fan interest whatsoever.

However, I've seen this organization do dumber things. So, I guess we can only really cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Ryan said...

Here's another thought.

Could he leverage the firing of Childress to generate fan optimism and sell tickets? It may be possible that he's waiting for next week, so he can see if they are able to sell out the upcoming Oakland game.

Scott said...

Ryan - Interesting thought.

After re-reading the initial VG post, I think the key word is "contemplating". To me, this suggests Zygi is mulling it over and it could all hang on the Vike's performances over next 2-4 weeks. Since there is almost no hope for this Kick Ass Offense, I don't see Childress making it past the last game of the season.

old time fan said...

There's nothing wrong with this team except they can't pass, they can't stop the pass and they don't have a head coach. if they got a REAL head coach he might let his defensive coachs blitz and mix it up...see san diego game. we have plenty of talent except at qb. he might even bring in an experienced vetern qb for next year. this year is lost, lets hope for a high draft pick and a new regime and at the very least not ruin AD's future for nothing.

35 yr Vike fan said...

Vike's Geek you offer the only glimmer of hope in this season of the most disgusting Vikes performances since Les Steckel. Man I hope Childress is fired soon, but you seem to be back tracking some in later posts you make responding to other people. I'm a die hard fan and this season has been hell on me, I don't mind losses, what kills me is what appears to be not trying or not caring, ala, Dwight Smiths antics on the sidelines and his comments later. If Childress can't inspire or coach these guys with a plan they buy into then what good is he? If he doesn't have there respect by now he isn't going to get it and its only going to get worse.

mikethevike said...

I get the frustration with Chili but I don't get the sense that everyone realizes this is not just his fault. And I sure don't get the love affair with Frazier. He was the mastermind behind the plans that gave up 34 to the Pack. Last I checked we are still dead last against the pass and now we are giving up 100 yard rushers. That defense with the exception of EJ played with absolutely no passion/intensity. We still provide very little pressure from our DE's. Our Safteys are slow and old. With that being said changing Chili without changing out some of these "players" and our Defensive Coach is not going to fix a thing. We need an off season like the Patriots where we go out and spend on 2-3 receivers, we need a Veteran QB that could actually start on an NFL Team, We need a Right G and Right T that don't get pushed back 3 yards on contact, We need DE's that can actually get to the QB. We need a lot! So all of you that think firing Chili fixes everything....It doesn't.

Joe said...

Childress has just killed himself with his handling of the QB position, which is certainly and ultimately his responsibility, but the issue to date would have pressed virtually any coach's ability to manage it effectively, much less one in his first two seasons.

When they couldn't work things out with Culpepper (who was being difficult for a few reasons, among them being booed and subjected to Dennis Green like revulsion from a vocal segment of fandom despite being a pro bowler) the wheels came off. When Childress said that he thought the Vikings presented good team situation and that he thought they could win when taking the job he said it in the context of assuming he'd have Culpepper as his QB - something that is never noted when the media folks like to (daily) invoke this Childress quote.

Ever since, QB play for the Vikings has been absolutely putrid and yes that includes Brad Johnson who was simply godawful in historic fashion the entire season last year. Certainly Jackson (if capable) needs more development but would it have been prudent at all for Childress to continue it under the gas hose arms and concrete shoes of Brad Johnson? How Culpepper became reviled by the same people that tolerated Johnson's pathetic performance last year and then piled on Childress for it instead never ceases to amaze me. Childress would have been an idiot to bring Johnson back and acclerating Jackson was the best of a set of very poor options.

Fast forward to people screaming for the benching of Jackson since game 2 and every week new and concrete reasons from the talking heads why Holcomb should start, why Bollinger should start and even why again Jackson should start. I've heard the same personalities say each of these names with conviction going into separate games all season. When you have 3 poor options there is no right one and no one seems willing to roll with the only one that has any potential to help down the road at all and to make matters worse he can't stay on the field anyway.

Now we have people (and media) screaming for Marty freakin' Schottenheimer(!), a coach who is 100% subject to the same and allegedly primary criticism that eventually felled Dennis Green. Ugh. Are you kidding me?!

Jackson probably was a miscalculation (and has been a costly one so far) but why people keep screaming for stop-gaps like Garcia, etc. in his place just floors me. Even if Garcia did well we'd need another QB in a season or two at best and people already don't want that to be Jackson - so when are they going to be able to build anything with that kind of approach?

No team is going to go nor has ever gone anywhere without superior play at the QB position and there will be no chance for sustained success if the fans and the media keep treating the role as a mercenary competition. I don't even know the scenarios but would we even have Peterson had we managed to get Schaub??? What kind of heat would Childress/the team have drawn had they pursued Schaub after drafting Jackson? What backups are/were out there that would have solved the depth problem and what rookie did we miss that would have stepped in and done so much better? What kind of heat would the team have taken had they not been able to hire Childress when the buzz at the time was that every team looking wanted to hire him? It's a freaking mess.

The team is absolutely terrible no doubt but anyone paying attention can see that a competent QB would solve at least the problem of being competitive on a basic level. Right now the position simply gives entire games away and there is no solution on the roster that people can see. Even if it could eventually be Jackson it has been proven from the start of the season that people (fans/media) are not willing to even attempt to find that out.

Poor use of poor options has doomed many coaches in the past. It's frustrating and hard to see how they get out of this mess anytime soon no matter who is at the helm and I'm sure it's frustrating for Childress to not have played a better hand to date - I really doubt he's as stupid as everyone piling on loves to pretend he is.

scott said...

Vikes Geek, I hope you're right.

Nice comments on here, too. Good to see some thoughtful commentary.

I understand there are many more problems in addition to Childress, but I honestly think the guy is a mental patient (bizarrely arrogant, stubborn and just plain not too smart). It's also pretty obvious to me that he is in WAY over his head.

Yes, there are other problems but you can't even begin to address them with Childress calling the shots.

Motkue said...

Firing Childress will fix MOST of the problems.

This man has THE poorest decision making skills of any coach I have seen on any level! HR decisions like cutting 1 receiver made for the type of offense he installed ...on Christmas Eve, Docking a player his game check to take care of his grandmother's funeral arrangements and then telling the press he never reported in.

He draft receivers who are known for speed, but for the short pass- oriented West Coast style, you are not going yard that much (so don't blame the receivers).
As for Tarvaris Jackson- he never had a chance! If you have a "project" QB let him learn under an ESTABLISHED veteran (not an also -ranlike Brad Johnson) don't make him compete right after a 6-10 season knowing he will just stink (so don't blame the QB)

And finally don't blame the defense did you see the time of possesion? The Packers had the ball for 40 minutes!!!!!!!! With the "D" on the field all day did you EXPECT them to give up less than 34 points?

Childress has done ABSOLUTELY nothing right in hi 25 games with the Vikings and every day he coaches is costing Zygi money.

Motkue said...

...By the way does anyone see a game that we CAN win?

mikethevike said...

Let me be clear here. I'm not a Chili fan but much like most of you I've been a diehard viking fan for the last 34 years and the state of this team compared to others is truly lacking. But looking at last week yes the defense was on the field for 40+ minutes but they could never stop them! Did they ever stop a 3rd down conversion? No! The first drive by the Packers was a joke! The First drive of the second half by the Packers was a joke! We will not win defensively when we cannot put pressure on the QB and rushing 2 or 3 DL is not the answer! UGH! Frazier was paid for that game plan? Again I would submit that Sharper has seen his better days! Dwight Smith? We are strong at the corners and we are strong at the DT's and we are strong at the LB's. DE's and Safetys No way. On offense is there one wide receiver with the exception of Sydney Rice that you would play on another team? Last I looked we are paying an awful lot to V S the TE and what has he brought to this team? Right Tackle and Right Guard are getting us killed in most cases and even Brian McKinnie shows his gaps when it comes to the speed rushers. Then there is the QB. Hey TJ is young and he does belong on the bench learning but the season is over now so get him out there and let him learn! Then finally there is Adrian Peterson he did give us something to smile about all be it for just a short while! Here's to keeping him on the sidelines until he is 100% healthy even if that means he does not touch the field until next year. Look I will never give up on my Vikes but I really would like to see some vocal Leaders emerge on this team. I think EJ has it on Defense but I'm not sure who it is on Offense. I was embarrassed by the way the team played on Sunday with no emotion, energy or attitude. It just seemed like they were going through the motions. In regards to the question who can we beat this year? This Sunday is becoming our best chance for another victory, past that my guess is we will be the underdog in the remaining games. I do wonder if we will take a very aggressive Patriot like approach to next years free agents?

Bob said...

You people keep blaming the O line. Why do we have 98 million dollars zone blocking on the left side? If you'd check around, you'd find that the coordinators are a peeved for not being able to do their job without interference. Brad Johnson was unable to audible last year. The play sent in was the play that was ran despite the defensive set. What kind of mentality allows that to go on. Childress is an ego maniac. If you listen to other coaches it was a stretch to pick Jackson in the 2nd round. There is nothing about this franchise today that Max Winter would recognize. I've been a fan since Tarkenton came in to save the day against the Bears.

Rob said...

Are you the same Vikes Geek that knows Mr. Cheer or Die? Used to post on his website?

Krelm said...

This franchise's problems can all be solved by building them (entirely on taxpayer money) a $1 billion state of that art stadium, where the billionaire owner doesn't have to pay property taxes, uses the facility rent-free, and gets every last dollar of concession revenue and luxury box fee money. Oh yeah, and they might consider putting qualified football people in charge of key decision-making activities like player personnel director, head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators, and starting quarterback. Other than that, they can stay the course, because they're THIS close to that Super Bowl ring! They can just taste it, it's so tantalizingly close!

Go Pats!

Doug said...

The problem (at least one of many) with Childress is that he is either too stubborn or incapable of changing the game plan after the game starts, even if the other team has it completely figured out.

As far as the QB, since they decided against bringing in a "good" veteran QB for him to learn from, they decided that he should start....well, how about playing him then? Stop coddling him and get him out there. He should have been out there for at least 3 quarters of each of the pre-season games as well. The kid needs to learn to play with the typical injuries that he's going to get playing in the NFL, if he doesn't want to, then he won't make it.

On defense, the Tampa 2 only works when you get PRESSURE on the QB. Wow, what a profound idea, you actually have to hit the QB, wonder if we remember how to do that? That doesn't only fall on the DE or DT positions, it falls on the DB's to get up there and chuck the receivers a bit, get their timing off and stop giving a 10 yd cushion (especially when they only need 3!!!).

Here's to hoping for a nice high draft pick!!

GW Mush said...

Vikes Geek,

I heard about your blog over at Pro Football Talk.com, you might get more traffic to your blog because of that.

I dont care if Childress is fired this week or the end of the year as long as he is fired and we start out fresh for 2008.

The QB problem is troubling.
We also could use a young good safety with good range to shore up the pass defense.

Get these 3 things accomplished and Vikes could sneak into the playoffs next year.

bgman said...

The problem with Childress is arrogance. He thinks he's smarter than everyone else, and shrugs off critisism and talks down to the media with the attitude that he knows better because he's the coach.

It's that arrogance that resulted in the QB situation (he thought you don't need an experienced and talented QB to win, just someone to manage the game) and the disconnect with the fans.

And that arrogance has turned off most of the players. Don't blame Leslie Frazier for the D's performance against Green Bay. Childress lost this team after the San Diego game with his handling of the Troy Williamson situation. And the result showed on the field.

So Childress needs to go. And an experienced coach who demands respect needs to be brought in. If there was any way to get Bill Cower here, that would be ideal.

As bad as they looked, this teams isn't far from being a playoff team. You see it every year where a team comes off a 4 or 5 win season to post 11 or 12 wins the next year, and the Vikings have the players at most positions to be that way.

Just bring in a coach who is a winner and demands respect, bring in an experienced QB, sign a WR or two in free agency, and let the D play more like the Packers (what a concept -- have the corners bump receivers off their routes at the line of scrimmage to give the pass rush time to get to the QB instead of allowing quick short passes to open receivers from playing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage), and next year people will be talking about the Vikings like they are the Browns this year or the Saints last year.

But it starts with dumping Childress.

Joe said...

It's amazing how many so-called "arrogant" coaches we've had in this town.

How long before Tubby gets tagged with it? My guess is that it won't be long.

Joe said...


...it's easy to agree on most of the listed items of what this team needs but the notion of "an experienced QB" is pathetically vague and simplistic. Even if you fill the need with such a person it is an ultimately self defeating short term fix.

SirFrancis said...

This is the lowest point in my 35 years as a Viking fan: I want Childress out as badly as anyone, but do I root for them to lose in order for this to happen (Plus a better draft pick)?

Wilf has said in the past he has great faith in Childress, so I fear that he'll give him one more year. If that's the case, let's pray that he at least forces him to end the failed Jackson experiment and try for McNabb (or somebody, anybody else!)

Cidvik79 said...

Great site .. I have been a Vikings fan since 1970 and the coaching of this team needs to be addressed. Childress is trying to run this offense like a high school team. He acts as if playing not to make mistakes will win in the NFL and that is just a joke. After each loss he just points out the obvious stats. Stats don't reflect effort, motivation, will to win. Stats are for losers. When Romo threw 5 picks and the Cowboys won anybody think we have a team that could ever do that? When Manning threw 6picks and is playing without at least 4 starters. And the only reason they lose is 2 missed fg's anyone think the vikes would ever do that? No way because with the system Childress is playing he plays so tight to the vest that if you make a mistake and get down 10 pts the game is over. Peterson is a blessing but he will waste his talents behind this coaching staff.
Let's pray a change is made. Can you believe we let Tomlin get away. Frazier is too much of a flat line guy to be a head coach Tomlin was the man and we let him just walk away. No doubt Chili knew he was too big a dog to keep now we are left with the chicken crap philosophy that hamstrings our best players and makes us so predictable it is pathetic. Childress will kill the fan base if he is allowed to stay another year. He has to be one of the worst game day coach's I have ever seen on the sidelines. Remember what Chili said about TJ he is a flat line type of guy. Anyone ever call Elway, Farve, Manning, Brady, or any NFL Qb worth a salt flat line? I equate flatline with death! We need someone with some fire to kick the backside of the underachieves and give our passionate players a chance to take the handcuffs off that the Childress game plans are based on. His record speaks enough about his abilities the facts are he starts 4-2 and now is 5-13 over the last 18 games. Time to own up to a hugh mistake and move forward.

bgman said...

This goes without saying, but a full house cleaning of coaches needs to be done.

Is Darrell Bevell calling the plays? They're just as predicatbale and unimaginative as Childress' calls.

And who is the special teams coach? The players seem so unprepared.

The field goal run for a TD against the Chargers they didn't seem like they knew that was a possibility and gave no effort to tackle.

Kicking to Devin Hester when they struggle to cover medicore returners? That was brilliant.

AP fielding a kickoff at the 1 yard line and stepping out, and Bobby Wade fielding a punt at the 1 in the final minute of the game? Were they not coached when to field the ball and when to let it go?

And how about the fake punt by the Packers punter in the game at the Dome? The Vikings looked like the Keystone Cops running into each other trying to tackle this guy. That one play alone summed up the enteire season as an embarassing display of futility for the Vikings as much as the entire performance against the Packers in Green Bay last week.

I just don't see any area of the game where the players look prepared and that's an indictment of the entire coaching staff.

Motkue said...

our brilliant coach ADMITTED teaching return people to catch the kick going out with the foot out of bounds!!!

Oh yeah...and why the Hell was AD returning kickoffs anyway????

Joe said...

Guys - - play calling and strategic thought needed in specific game situations we've had to date is not the culprit. It is the QB position - period.

Childress' handling of that item and the limitations the team has imposed on itself as a consequence is the issue. What does it matter what scheming and tactical thought there is when you can't convert a 3rd down on offense over an entire game? Do you really think they are calling plays to limit offensive opportunities?

They have guys at the most important position on the team that they flatly cannot trust to make a play...so the margin for error is nonexistent. The coaches have jeopardized their jobs with their solution to the QB dilemma to date. That said, I certainly don't envy their options for addressing it from day 1.

There are indeed many problems on this team right now but I see folks so focused on elements that aren't even top 10 that it's just silly and this kind of thinking has become pretty matter of course in this town for all the teams of late.

If Childress is going down it's because his QB's and his decisions from available options for the spot have stunk - not because he and his staff don't know their way around a football game.

GW Mush said...

I think the offensive coordinator is doing a great job. I see wide receivers running wide open many times.

People who are blaming the Off. Cord. are missing the point. You need superior QB play in the NFL to succeed and the Vikes just dont have that.
Also, guys like Norv Turner and Brad childress are better suited to be assistant coaches. They dont have the leadership abilities that it takes to be a good head coach.

Childress will be fired because Ziggy is a good business man first, and firing Childress is a good business decision.