Following the team's collapse from a 15-0 halftime lead to an 18-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Minnesota Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf was visibly and audibly upset. Wilf expressed dismay not with the team's 0-2 start but with the team's continuing penchant for playing tight football.
Outside Wilf's inner circle, the owner's response to the Vikings' come-from-ahead loss should be viewed as a sign that Wilf again is losing patience with his third-year head coach, Brad Childress. Though Wilf suggested no inclination to replace Childress at this point--a la last year's denouement following the team's 34-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers--Childress, himself, offered at least one sign that has received a cue from the owner to turn things around. And quickly.
After standing firm behind his hand-picked quarterback for the past season and one-half, Childress yesterday stated that the Vikings' coaching staff would be evaluating the team's quarterback position throughout the week. Shortly after Childress made his statement, rumors began circulating that he had already decided that backup journeyman quarterback Gus Frerotte either will start Sunday's game at home against the Carolina Panthers or be called on on short notice should Tarvaris Jackson struggle out of the gate.
Whatever happens on Sunday, it is clear that Wilf has Childress on nearly as short of a leash as Childress now has Jackson. For Vikings' fans who long ago grew weary of Childress' penchant for hyper-conservatism in all but the face of the most dire of straits, this should be good news. For, at Winter Park, it increasingly appears that undue patience finally is giving way to the type of urgency under which virtually all other NFL coaches, particularly those with so many talented and highly paid players, operate.