After a night in which Saints running back Reggie Bush returned two punts for touchdowns in a losing effort to the Vikings, Minnesota coach Brad Childress played the “don’t blame me” game . . . by blaming his punter.
Both of those kicks are supposed to be out of bounds,” Childress said of the two punts that Bush returned for scores, “and when you say to somebody kick the ball out of bounds, that’s what you expect to happen.  That’s what I expect to happen with a professional football kicker.”
Bush’s second punt return for a touchdown could have come on the kick sandwiched between his two six-pointers, but once he broke free he tripped and fell.
Asked whether the strong-legged Kluwe can control his punts in that fashion, Childress was blunt.  “You know what?  If he can’t do that, I’ll find someone that can kick the ball out of bounds.”
Though Kluwe is only the punter, we’re troubled by the coach’s decision to make his displeasure with Kluwe publicly known.  The message to the rest of the locker room is clear:  “If you screw up, I’m gonna call you out to the press so they won’t call for me to be fired.”
Really, why else would Childress throw Kluwe under the bus for all to see?  The words are so stunning because it’s so rare to see a coach lambast a player through the media.
And so as Childress tries not to lose his job, he needs to be careful or he might lose his team.


  1. Sorry, when you’re a specialist and you can’t get your specialty done, then what should you expect? This isn’t a QB who has to work hard all week, study film, and make dozens of decisions on EVERY play.

  2. MrJJ:
    Yeah, you can. Especially if he didn’t ACTUALLY tell him to kick it out of bounds. How do you feel if your boss tells you to do something, you do it, then he tells you that you suck at your job and are an idiot because you did it? You think other people in the office are gonna wanna do what he says anymore?

  3. Childress should be fired for his chicken-shit offensive play calling. The Saints turn the ball over at least four times in the first 2nd half and your offensive play calling makes 10 points off them? You have the go-nads to blame the punter

  4. If he was told to kick it out, and twice failed, he should be called out. I’m getting tired of the Chilly show, but I’m with him on this one.

  5. Childress has now stunningly demonstrated at LEAST three times that he is unfit for a head coaching job. It is just ridiculous for a head coach to do that. He needs to go.

  6. Arrogant people are never wrong. This doesn’t surprise me one bit. I would not be surprised if the team consciously or unconsciouly saying screw it.
    This guy never ceases to amaze me. He reminds me of my brother-in-law. Makes a big deal out simple things because he thinks it demonstrates his brilliance. He’s impressed with himself and everybody else just waits till he shuts up. If things don’t go his way, he turns into “WUSS MAN”
    I got a feeling we are seeing a little or a lot of that right now with Childress.
    You bring Jackson in for 1 play and everybody knows it’s a run. Not getting anything on the play. It’s a given you are about to waste a play and 30 seconds off the clock. Take the shot and go deep. Nobody has anything to lose. If nobody catches the ball so what, the run didn’t get anything.
    Try thinking about scoring. It was obvious to everyone that Childress was going for the field goal instead of the TD. Mike Tirico said it and then a play later Ferrotte takes a shot at the end zone.
    It was like somebody in the booth called Childress and said “You’ll never believe this but they know what you’re doing….again.”
    “Okay, I’ll fake them out and pretend like I’m going for 6 but I want that field goal.” Chilldress.
    The mindset of this team is wrong. They are not focussed on winning. They are caught up in not losing.
    And I think you can lose a team by calling out the punter.
    People will only put up with so much before they say screw it – I’m done.

  7. You know, Childy…
    If you had a gameplan that could score a couple offensive touchdowns, then we wouldn’t need to worry about the punt placement.
    That was an offensivly offensive game to watch.
    start the chant with me folks.

  8. I agree with MrJJ. You’re not going to stir up the lockerrrom by calling out the punter.
    Hey, I like Chris Kluwe, but geez, he a punter. He has one job to do. If he is specially directed to punt out of bounds after Reggie Bush ran the first punt back for a TD and can’t execute that simple task on two more attempts (remember Bush almost broke another for a TD but slipped) which almost cost the team a victory, then Brad Childress has every right to call him out.
    There are times as coach where you have to take responsibility for when players’ execution breaks down and they don’t perform a play the way it was coached. But if Childress specifically told Kluwe to kick out of bounds and his punter couldn’t angle his kick, then the coach shouldn’t take the blame for that. If anything, the coach should be blamed if he doesn’t cut the punter, which is what Childress made very clear will happen if Kluwe screws up like this again.
    Actually if anyone should be thrown under the bus it’s the special teams coach. Besides Bush’s punt returns, the Saints had two or three kickoff returns go to or past midfield. Their kick coverage was horrible and has been all season (don’t forget they also gave up a punt return for a TD against the Packers in the season opener).

  9. It’s the punter’s fault that the special teams unit can’t tackle? I understand that if the coach told him to kick it out of bounds, then he should have, but he wouldn’t have to kick it out of bounds if the special teams unit were better coached. He also wouldn’t have to punt if the team could’ve gotten a first down. Is that Kluwe’s fault, too?
    Childress is a horrible coach just trying to deflect criticism.

  10. This win does nothing to show Childress should keep his job. They pulled that game out of their (you know what’s) by making a series of fluke catches and lucky calls.

  11. He’s a punter, not a player. In what universe are you not allowed to call out the kicker and the rest of the team rallies around him?

  12. It’s quite sad and pathetic when when a coach is so desperate that he pins blame on his punter. How about the coverage units? Even Gayle Sayers didn’t nearly break every return. And where was the run blocking? Or pass protection? You cannot mask your weaknesses by hiding behind the punter.

  13. It’s like the Bad News Bears when Coach Buttermaker tells the cool kid, Kelly Leak, to go out and make every play because the team sucks. Yes the coach is picking on the punter but the translation is “I have 10 guys on that field that can’t tackle anyone.” To sum up last night’s game, both teams suck and the officiating crew sucked more.

  14. First, I agree that Childress is among the worst HCs in the league.
    That said, there’s no “blame” for anything when you’re coming off a win. And if he follows through and cans Kluwe, then there’s nothing wrong with calling him out, IMO. On the other hand, if he spouts all that stuff and it turns out to be empty threat, he’ll lose whatever respect the team has for him. You don’t say you’re going to replace a guy and then let him keep his job. Either Kluwe is gone or this is just another symptom that Childress is a tool.

  15. Not sure how many of you guys live in MN and see what Childress dishes out to the media, but let me tell you this.
    He is the KING of ‘competitive disadvantage’ by not giving out informatoin. He is the KING of ‘I know what needs to be done to fix this team’ or ‘We are really working our tails off and I can see the fire in their eyes’ guy.
    So for him to not continue that attitude and setting an example as a coach, is beyond excuseable. Even if it is a punter. This is the same coach who said ‘Accountability is #1 around here’ after they had the love boat incident. Was Bryant McKinnie suspended by the team? Nope. Was Dwight Smith ever suspended last year? Nope.
    He knows the heat is on and when that happens, true colors come out. When you will stoop to the level of throwing a player under the bus, no matter who it is or what it’s for, as a coach, that’s a clear sign it’s getting to you.
    I was a big supporter of BC until this season. He has proven he is not capable of doing a good job or even mediocre job. The only thing ‘kick-ass’ about his offense is the poor play calling. Chilly, needs to go. Boom. Outta here.

  16. Surpising to hear this from a guy that used to be under Andy “i’m not gonna get into that” Reid. (Not literally under – cause that would, you know, hurt.)

  17. It’s also Kluwe’s fault that Childress doesn’t know how to spread out a defense to open up the running game.

  18. Hey Swaps – yes, Childress needs to be fired, but we don’t need Marty Ball. Like Joe Gibbs, the game has passed him by. He can keep his bible thumping out of the Vikings locker room.

  19. If Childress really said:
    “Both of those kicks are supposed to be out of bounds,” Childress said of the two punts that Bush returned for scores, “and when you say to somebody kick the ball out of bounds, that’s what you expect to happen. That’s what I expect to happen with a professional football kicker.”
    Why would he not have been all in Kluwe’s face after the first one didn’t go out. Or even moreso the second one, the Bush slipped on. But apparently Childress did not confront him then either. If my boss got on my case twice about flagrant insubordination, I am sure there would not have been a third time, which in Kluwe’s case led to the second TD.
    Childress comes off sounding like a cowardly piece of crap, defelecting his own ineptitude to someone whom, “just a punter” or not is a member of the team. And yes, that will indeed “lose the team” sooner than later.

  20. He’s only a punter. He can get called out.
    And, his poor punts helped his team give away 14 points – more points than the defense gave away.
    I hate Childress, but I’m not going to disagree with him here.

  21. Childress may be a bad coach, but he’s on the money with this one.
    Its embarressing how much these punters get paid to have so little talent. How hard is it to kick the frigin’ ball out of bounds??

  22. Childress should know better, after all, he did coach under Andy Reid. He needs to say: “I have to do a better job of putting the punter in position to punt the ball out of bounds.. that’s my fault, not the punter.”

  23. This guy is a clown. Childress is concerned about losing his job, as well as he should be. If his offensive play call could score some f’ing points, we wouldnt be worried about where the punt is ending up. Kluwe is well liked in the locker room by the entire team, and this could be the start of something wonderful. A mutiny perhaps. With the game that Winfield had, I imagine him being the first to call out the coaching staff. He had a phenomonal night, and it was almost overshadowed by the complete ineptitude of Brad Childress and his West Crawl Offense.

  24. As long as Chilly doesn’t throw any of the 51 football players on the team under the bus I think he will be fine.

  25. I’ve soured on Chilly a long time ago but I don’t disagree with him. Not only did Kluwe fail to kick it out of bounds he line-drived every freakin’ punt which gave the coverage unit NO time to get Bush contained.
    Kluwe should be called out…nothing good has ever come from coddling a punter.
    Anyone have Todd Sauerbrun’s phone #?

  26. Hey,maybe Kluwe wanted to see another Reggie Bush punt return like the rest of us.He just couldn’t resist…rofl

  27. How does he keep his team if he loses the job? that makes no sense, like pretecting the ego of a punter. If he told him to kick it out of bounds twice and he failed twice, he is lucky he still has a job. If getting blamed or called out gets the message accross, then it was a good move. Saying nothing and just cutting the guy may not send the same message, but really who are you to judge?

  28. For those of you that are defending Childress for calling out the kicker, which is easy and cowardly to do, remember, this is the guy who squandered an immensely talented team by starting Tarvaris Jackson at QB.
    Childness, have some dignity and chew out the kicker on your own time, don’t take advantage of his non-real football player status by blaming him for your own inept play calling. The Vikings got stomped, and only escaped by the Saints beating themselves and random chance, Childress should STFU and take the win he didn’t deserve.

  29. Childress is as good as gone in the near future. He sucks, and his team has been greatly over-rated from the start. Maybe he should also call it his whole punt team for the breakdowns. It isn’t all the punter’s fault that the other 10 guys on that squad can’t get it done across the field either.
    There’s a difference between putting a kick out of bounds with goo yardage under it and just kicking it out of bounds for 15 yards. This guy probably just tried to get off a couple of nice long punts to set the Saints back on field position and failed in his exectution. It happens.
    LOL. Childress and the Vikes listened to all the Super Bowl talk during pre-season and now that it’s highly unlikely that any of it could or ever would happen the wheels are falling off. Win or not, that team is WAY overblown.

  30. Seriously Vikings fans/haters? Kluwe has been money in every game for us so far…Why in the world would be kick it to Bush all game if he wasn’t told to do so? Did Childress tell Kluwe, his ST coach, or not even at all? Even if Childress did say that to Kluwe, and I doubt he did, Childress should stand up for his players and not call them out. I am so sick of Childress defending himself above all others. If Wilf is that stupid to believe this bs, then maybe Wilf shouldn’t be involved in football. Plus, when Kluwe did kick to Bush, where was the Special Teams stopping him? Come on!

  31. Now it’s NOT ok to criticize your players publicly? I thought coaches were supposed to call out players and make them intimidated for their jobs. Isn’t that why Wade Phillips is being lambasted by you, Florio, and the rest of the “media”…because he’s too soft on his players?
    So Wade can lose his team if he doesn’t call out his players and Childress can lose his team if he does? Which is it?

  32. @malpine . . .
    A coach should call the players out behind closed doors, like in the film room. That was the point about the Wade Phillips story from the other day. The Cowboys players are no longer fearful of getting their asses chewed out in the film room. Parcells rarely called out a guy publicly, except to shame him into practicing or playing when he thought he was injured (e.g., calling Terry Glenn “she”).

  33. Wait a second Mike. You are free to take shots at Childress, but he is not allowed to call out his punter? Who made you the commish?
    You are entitled to an opinion, but it clearly is different than the HC of the Vikes. Parcells does it for a reason, and I can see why Brad did it here.
    He is not going to cut the guy, so he is going to call him out. Are you trying to turn every press conference into a Sara Palin type response to every question? He is a Maverick, he calls it like he sees it. He is talking straight to Joe 6 pack who said why in heck is he kicking it to Bush again? He may be on my team, but there were clearly some blunders made, like in every game.

  34. How can anyone believe everything that comes out of Childress’ mouth anymore. Especially when he is saying that he was making correct in-game decisions (punt when down by 13 with less than 2 minutes left). If Childress told Kluwe to kick the first one that got returned out of bounds, I would call it a bad decision, we were stopping Bush up until the first one. If he told him to kick the next one out of bounds it would be a good decision, he had just burned us. Kluwe would have gotten an earful on the sidelines and we all would have seen it on TV. The next punt after getting yelled at would have been 20 yards out of bounds by the time it got to Bush, so he wouldn’t have to hear it from the coach again. Kluwe is a good directional punter, that is his specialty, if he was told to punt out of bounds twice as Childress said, one of them would have made it. Kluwe is not stupid, Childress is. Look at how all of it played out and see who made the mistake. It would not be Childress’ first mistake.

  35. You won the game, why bother calling out anybody?
    Also, to blame the punter for some blown tackles is ridiculous.
    Maybe he wouldn’t have to blame the punter if his awesome offense scheme could do more than 3 straight 3 and outs. 7 step drops when they’re stacking the box and blitzing = Gus in a body bag (almost).

  36. There is a difference between calling someone out and throwing someone under the bus to the media. From everything I’ve read or heard about Childress, I would not be at all shocked if Kluwe first heard about this in the media. Childress doesn’t seem like he has ever had a good grip on his team, and has always liked to take his battles to the media.
    Regardless if the headcoach is in the right for calling out a punter over another player, there are some things that should be done behind closed doors. Your punter sucks? Cut him and then trash him to the media.

  37. The point of the Wade Phillips story the other day was that Phillips is a “nice” guy and “nice” guys, according to you, don’t make successful coaches. That’s in public or in the film room.
    There are different styles to coaching, obviously. While guys like Switzer get called a joke of a coach, I’d bet a million that Jimmy Johnson wouldn’t have been able to take the mid 90’s Cowboys back to a third Super Bowl win after losing the year before, because by the time JJ left, his act had worn thin with the players.
    Point is, there is no universal way to coach so for you to say any coach should or shouldn’t do anything is pure fan speculation on your part. I love that you have this forum that allows real NFL fans an outlet for that speculation.

  38. Calling out the punter is surreal at this point. Next week it will be “The dog did it.” The dog ate the playbook. It is so obvious that this boat won’t float.
    What does he have to say about the rest of the game??? All those yards Peterson racked up? What about how if it wasn’t for the defense this game would have been embarrassing.
    But hey, lets shoot the frickin punter. He’s responsible for at least 2 minutes of the game. YOU WOULDN’T NEED HIM IF YOU COULD MOUNT A DRIVE AND SCORE A TOUCHDOWN.
    People are going to start wearing T-shirts with “Kick Ass Offense” on it.

  39. Childress has already lost the fans. His next step is to lose the team, and finally, the owner. I don’t really have a problem with Chilly calling Kluwe out in the media, but then he shouldn’t be surprised if Zygi Wilf does the same thing to him when he continues to field his ridiculous excuse for an offense. If we didn’t have Adrian Peterson, we wouldn’t gain any yards at all.
    We could still win the division, but at this point, most of the credit should go to the players for the rest of the season, because our schedule is pretty easy from now until Week 17 when we play the Giants. Chilly could probably stay home for those games and the team would do about as well as they would do with him on the sidelines.
    Unless Chilly can get us to an NFC Championship this year, I’m ready to “find someone else who can get the job done” too.

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