Monday, November 01, 2010

Childress Signals Own Troubles in Waiving Moss

Randy Moss held up his arms prior to halftime last week, as his then head coach Brad Childress opted to sit on the ball rather than attempting to score. This week, Moss failed to catch a ball for a touchdown after being interfered with by a New England defender and having the ball float in front of him. Last night, Moss called out his coach.

Today, Moss is among the wealthy unemployed--a presumably temporary status.

The Vikings' waiving of Moss just three weeks after trading a third-round draft pick for the mercurial wide-receiver, signals not only the Vikings' bizarrely schizophrenic nature this year, but also Childress' on-going struggle to earn the respect of his players. Dating to the Christmas Eve release of unhappy wide-receiver Marcus Robinson and following with his well-documented disputes with quarterbacks Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels, and Brett Favre, Childress continues to be the one person at the center of each dispute who remains with the team.

Clearly, these disputes are borne out of a belief on the part of the Vikings' players that Childress is both a control freak, as many NFL coaches are, but also one that insists on his way even when his way is not working. How it is not working for Childress has been documented here and elsewhere since day one of his tenure in Minnesota, with the occasional corner being turned, only to have it reestablished the following week.

Last year, Childress changed form in bringing Favre into the fold. Now, Childress is considering benching Favre for the hopeless but compliant Tarvaris Jackson and Moss is gone.

Moving Moss could be an important team unification move were the source of the problem Moss. Moss, no doubt, is a handful, but Childress is the petulant child who owns the ball and who, despite his lack of ability, threatens to take the ball and go home if he is not allowed to play quarterback.

This has all the makings of Childress' final move.

Up Next: More on Moss.


HBandM said...

C’mon VG, NO head coach in the NFL can stand for Moss’ attitude in his presser (here’s the link if anyone missed it:

Even if he’s playing for the worst coach, team, and organization in the NFL you cannot let your dirty laundry hang out to dry like that in front of the world to see. Looks like just another example of Moss not growing up and pouting about not winning. What a waste for such a talented player.

Even if you grand Childress is at the center of the team’s problems, the team did take a risk in bringing Moss in and it didn’t pay off. Remember, Chilly DID help to bring the team to within one throw of going to the Superbowl by bringing in other risky players over his tenure, like Allen and Favre, which nobody would argue didn’t pay off now.

My opinion in this case is that it’s Moss being Moss, and I have a hard time blaming Childress or the ownership for wanting to lower the drama in the locker room. Add in Rice probable for coming back, Moss’ stock dropped off and there should be little tolerance for his antics *anywhere* in pro football.

bmc13 said...

I think what is the issue here is not if Childress is a buffoon, but exactly how big a buffoon.

To HB (with all due respect) and others who will say that Moss dogged it on the one throw, I don't think so. My resons being that were he to continue through the play, he would stand a very good chance of being flagged for offensive pass interference. Second, given the whining that Childress did this past week, do you think the refs would not be apt to turn a blind eye, so maybe he was following orders? Third, you have the home field advantage working for you as well, in New England. Fourth, it was all of three weeks for a new offense, even a pro needs a bit of a better learning curve that that.

My questions: Why did Peterson disappear in the second quarter?(just like the week before) Why did you keep Harvin on the bench in the Red Zone? What was that challenge for? Do you know how to do anything that isn't predictable, like running off the weaker side of the line? Do you know how to adjust if the script goes to hell? Why couldn't the defense stop the Patriots when the game was on the line, more than once? Do we even know if Rice will be able to come back? Who exactly will they throw to next week? McMullen? Jennings? Berrian? a brick wall? Does it matter? Let them put 9 in the box, our line can open holes in it...I hope....NOT.

While Gerhart didn't exactly set the world on fire, he didn't suck too awful bad either. What did suck was the pee-wee league level play calling. Jackson didn't impress me too much either, while he did hit a couple of nice passes, he did have a few throws that were to another zip code.

And I think last year it was more letting Farve improv instead of the handoff up the middle, handoff up the middle, incomplete pass left(or right)., punt.

VG, feel free to commnent on my ramblings, but one question if I may... Would Frazier be the best choice for the team or are we looking at another comedy of errors...or maybe someone like Cowher(long shot I know)?

Thanks for an insightful blog that raises some very difficult points, but upon reflection, they are all too true. It beats reading some of the newsrags with the major bias with rosy glasses.

vikes geek said...


As I stated, Moss clearly is a handful. There's not any question about whether he was an impetuous child in his own right. Rather, the issue is one that continues to be a common theme with Childress. Childress continues to drive wedges between himself and his players. Of course, that wedge probably already existed between Moss and Childress before Moss even took the field for the Vikings. But that was part of the bit.

If you read back through my entries, you will note the prediction that something like this would happen. It was a given. If Childress was unable to deal with that headache, that sentiment should have been made evident before the deal went down. And if Childress did make that sentiment evident prior to the deal, he should have accepted that he was being overruled and essentially told to deal with it. Childress did not deal with it. He used Moss almost exclusively as a decoy (Childress' own words) and ignored the value that Moss brought to the team (on the field) to pull defenders back off the line.

Assuming that Childress wins the current power struggle and that Moss is, in fact, waived, one can argue that the move was necessary. It just verifies, however, Childress' continuing problem trying to deal with characters many of whom are renegade, by nature. It might simply be that Childress not only does not have the acumen to be a head coach in the NFL but also that he lacks the ability to deal with the myriad, often difficult personalities.


vikes geek said...


The question with Frazier is whether he is holding together a defense that is void of true corners and safeties or whether he is failing to adapt his defense to take advantage of the schemes the team faces. Three games without a sack, continuing problems hauling in easy interceptions, virtually no safety picks in Frazier's time in Minnesota. These issues raise questions about scheme. What we don't know is whether Frazier is making the best of a bad secondary situation or too little of a very good defensive line and strong linebacking corps.

I put the odds at about 50/50 that Childress is still head coach of the Vikings next Sunday against Arizona. If Childress attempted to move on Moss without coordinating the play with GM Rick Spielman, he might well have signed his own pink slip. We'll know tomorrow.

If Childress is out and out this week, the Vikings almost certainly will install Leslie Frazier as head coach. Frazier is viewed as head coaching material and has the respect of the players and, more importantly for the Wilfs, the media. The team could also use the rest of the season to evaluate Frazier's ability and decide whether to tender him long term.


bmc13 said...

What did Rosenfels do to be banished, I missed that one.

Cabrito said...

Well, as I said recently in response to one of your previous blogs, VG, Moss is headstrong and not one to suffer fools gladly. I hate having to defend him, because he's obviously such a jerk, but I really can't blame him for being totally honest about his feelings. A few weeks ago, when he threw up his arms in disgust over Chili's refusal to go for points at the end of the half, he made his first public statement about Chili's incompetence. I'm sure Chili didn't appreciate that. The diatribe in New England was the final straw -- don't diss Col. Klinck, as many fans call him, or you have to go.

One thing I admire about Moss is his competitiveness. He wanted to come to Minnesota because he wants to win, and he thought the Vikings had the makings of a winning team. (Sidebar: Recall his days in Oakland. He lost interest in playing for the Raiders because he didn't see any commitment to winning. "Why should I care?" he said back then. "Nobody else around here does.") I think he came to realize that the Vikings weren't going anywhere with Childress at the helm, and voiced his frustrations accordingly. Admittedly he often behaves like a spoiled child, but I commend him for telling it like it is and, I hope, providing the spark that gets Chili canned. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

vikes geek said...


Rosenfels expressed his displeasure with not dressing his first year in Minnesota and then having to battle with T-Jack for the backup position this year. Only after Childress realized he might have a future quarterback in Joe Webb--and after Childress insisted that Webb had no future in the NFL as a quarterback and would have to make it as a wide receiver (insert quarterback mind comment here)--did Childress find his opening to release Rosenfel, as long as NY would take our punt- and kick-returner off of our hands so that we could search for one anew.


vikes geek said...


If a coach like Belichick, Tomlin, or Caldwell makes this move, all is understood. It would be viewed as a coach dealing with a malcontent for the better of the team. The problem for Childress is that Childress always has problems with anyone who aspires to rise above mediocre (AKA, "the system"). Moss voiced his displeasure in a childish but honest way. Childress got rid of the messenger. Childress almost certainly will follow, not because he waived a guy he just traded for, but because he has a dysfunctional personality not suited to being a head coach in the NFL. And he cannot get good players to win. If that's not on the coach, there's no reason to have a coach, other than as a figure head.