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.