When the Browns hired former Vikings coach Brad Childress to serve as offensive coordinator in Cleveland, Minnesota fans everywhere said, possibly in unison, “You can have him.”
But Browns president Mike Holmgren is indeed happy to have Childress.
“Brad’s an outstanding coach, and I’ve known him a long time,” Holmgren told Vic Carucci of Cleveland Browns Daily, on ESPN 850. “When I first met him, we had just arrived in Green Bay and Brad was on the staff at the University of Wisconsin, with Barry Alvarez, and then he had been friends with [Eagles coach] Andy Reid, who worked for me, and so we knew some people and so we became pretty close. So that’s — what? — 20 years ago. Our connection over the years because he worked for Andy in Philadelphia and Andy and I are very close, and so we kept in contact. And then I thought he did a really great job in Minnesota in an unusual set of circumstances near the end there with some of the things that happened. But he came very close to going to the Super Bowl. He’s an excellent football coach, a very, very bright guy, knows how to coach quarterbacks. He’s a tough guy, he demands a lot and I think it was a great hire for Pat [Shurmur].”
And still Vikings fans everywhere are saying, possibly in unison, “You can have him.”
The “unusual set of circumstances near the end there with some of the things that happened” were largely created by Childress, based on his handling of Brett Favre and the inexplicable decision to fire Randy Moss without giving ownership advance notice. And while Childress indeed came “very close” to the Super Bowl, one of the reasons he didn’t get there came from an inexcusable 12-men-in-the-huddle penalty that pushed the Vikings five yards farther away from a potential game-winning field goal on the final drive in regulation of the 2009 NFC title game.
Of course, with the reconstituted Browns playing only one playoff game in 13 seasons, the denizens of the Dawg Pound likely would love to lose a close conference championship game again, like they did way back in 1986. And 1987.
Then again, maybe it’s better not to make the playoffs at all.