Childress takes blame for 12 men in the huddle

One of the best reader comments we’ve ever seen (then again, the bar ain’t very high), came yesterday, when someone made this observation regarding Minnesota’s collection of all-stars.

“There will be 10 Vikings at the Pro Bowl.  And 12 of them will be in the huddle.”

And so it will be that whenever a football team has too many men on the field, especially after a time out, the Vikings’ unprecedented blunder will be mentioned.

(On a brighter note, it’s a hell of a lot less embarrassing than the Love Boat.)

On Tuesday, coach Brad Childress absolved fullback Naufahu Tahi of responsibility for the error, explaining that the mistake resulted from an “error in communication.”

To his credit, Childress took responsibility for the situation, which inexplicably arose after the team had taken a timeout.

“[W]e had talked about the same play
with two different personnel groupings,” Childress said at his season-ending press conference, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  “The initial
conversation was about a personnel grouping with a tailback and a
fullback and we ended up settling on a tight end and three-wide type
operation.

“Typically when you hold your guys as we do, because [the Saints]
are looking from that sideline to see what personnel you have, you are
running people on when people are running off, but Tahi had gone in the
game because that was the first part of the conversation.  It’s an error
in communication and it all comes back to me not having it
over-communicated.”

Childress later made it more crystal clear that he’s taking ownership of the error.

“Like I said, that’s my mistake.  Not that I’ve accepted it
myself.  I’m harder [on myself] than any of you guys are.  It hurts a
great deal and it hurts everyone a great deal.  I’m disappointed that it
happened.  I know why it happened, but it happened.  It didn’t happen in
a vacuum. . . . Like I said, most of those guys were so focused that
nobody noticed who was by whom and they’re all just trying to do right.”

That’s fine, but Childress should be feeling awfully fortunate that he received a contract extension long before the final game of the season.  Because if he’s willing to take full responsibility for one of the worst coaching mistakes in NFL history, he should have to accept accountability for it as well.

And if it weren’t for the four-year buyout that would go along with it, the mistake was big enough to justify a debate as to whether Childress should be fired.

73 responses to “Childress takes blame for 12 men in the huddle

  1. “Sidney should’ve came back for the ball harder…he sorta messed up on that play” — Brett Favre

  2. @Mike Florio:
    “(then again, the bar ain’t very high),”
    ———-
    Nice cheapshot at the comments posted by people who make this site what it is.
    Quite frankly, I read this website FOR the comments, not for the lame jokes, cheapshots, and rumor-mongering that this site pervades on a daily basis.

  3. 1. thanks for insulting all of people who come to this site.
    2. How is getting a crucial penalty in the NFC championship game less embarrasing than the Love Boat incident…which did not involve losing a game?
    3. Childress should be fired and that will become crystal clear as soon as the Vikes are back to being led by TJax/Sage.

  4. Maybe they can have the players hold up number cards as they walk to the huddle.
    Brett will hold up #1 (if he plays), Peterson # 2
    ( if he is around)etc, etc.
    I hope they can manage not to have duplicate #’s
    …..I just realize, we will have to them be careful of 6 and 9.

  5. I heard Brett wanted 13 guys cause he was tired of getting his ASSSSS BEAT but Chilly said he’d try to sneek in 12.
    Oh well, on a side note, is it possible that by retiring every year till august that Brett could pump him self full of HGH without being drug tested. Then come back in august and pass the tests? It’d make sense and prolly be the reason he can barely walk in Dec & Jan.

  6. i’ve roasted chilly on plenty of occasions over the years, but i will say that he had the team very well prepared for both games. putting the ball on the ground six times, and throwing two picks contributed to the 3 point loss every bit as much.

  7. What about not challenging the Saints TD? Dude was down at the one.
    Worst coached conference championship game ever.

  8. As long as Chilly is on the sidelines and/or Favre is flinging the ball, the Vikings will always have a chance to lose in the playoffs.

  9. Hey Florio, the bar “isn’t” very high for the reporting on this site either. Nice cheap shot at your readers. By the way, are you picking the Redskins to go to the Superbowl again next season? You’re an awesome sports journalist.

  10. So you’ve never made a big mistake like, to take a random example, saying someone famous was dead when he wasn’t??
    Seriously this media obsession with sacking someone for one mistake in a pressure packed, frenzied atmosphere is crazy.
    If you want to sack Chilly for his overall record there’s a case that can be made but no Coach should ever be sacked for one mistake.

  11. Love Packer fan….rubbing it in though….because Aaron Rodgers has won a helluva lot Post Seasons games….

  12. Unfortunately that reader comment was not original. I think I heard it on KFAN on Monday a good 13 or 14 times.

  13. chilly is a piece. first he throws his own player under the bus now he says its his fault. why didnt he say this right after the game. And one more thing, he got his extension for recruiting favre cuz they were so sure thats all they needed to go to the superbowl, not for his coaching skills. Favre, mcnabb, whoever it is next year, no qb can help this team if sorry ass childress is still the coach

  14. 12 men in the huddle you say is one of the worst coaching mistake in NFL history, how old are you Mike or you just started following football. I think you should have been a trial lawyer and when a guy ran a red light and you as his lawyer would probably receive a life sentence. It was a big mistake, like the pass interference call in overtime, no call on hitting Favre below the knees (remember how Jared Allend was fined and told he was a dirty player for his hit in Texas)or how about the fumbles which kill the Vikings.

  15. What is your continuous hard-on for Brad Childress?
    Here’s a guy who contributed to roughly 8 years worth of the Eagles success as perrennial contenders for the SuperBowl, and now he has taken a Vikings team that consistently underachieved and put them in a position where they were literally a play or two away from the SuperBowl – even with turnover and turnover after turnover!
    The guy made a mistake – but so did Tahi and several other coaches on the sidelines who didn’t catch this error in time.
    Childress may not be the most eloquent speaker, or the most likeable guy, but as far as I’m concerned he has done a good enough job where Vikings fans should be happy to have him around, and you Florio should cut the guy some slack.
    There are at least 20 other coaches in the league that are worse than Chilly.

  16. I have not been a Childress fan but there is no denying his improved teams since taking over….he has built arguably the most talented team in the nfl but perhaps not the smartest…..it’s easy for us to slam him for the 12 men in the huddle, but how many teams would prefer to deal with a screw up like that in the conference championship game vs. being at home watching and not making the playoffs or losing in say the first round. Point being, it’s far too easy for “fans” to build themselves up by trying to knock others down, instead of admitting the faults of their own teams who didn’t make it as far as the vikings and jets did, or cowboys and cards, etc. My freaking team didn’t even make the playoffs and I feel worse about that than I would a mental error in one game at that level. Give me the playoffs every damn year and I will deal with what happens once my team is in the playoffs.

  17. lol @ the coop
    i guess you havent been a pft’er long? this site just started allowing comments. it was thriving and well-established long before it allowed clowns to comment.
    now – was childress’ blunder really one of the worst in nfl history? that bit seems silly. sure – it came at a terrible time, but i think we have seen much worse.
    lastly – i dont think Chilly is lucky to have had his extension that much earlier. the dude has two strong winning seasons, one with Ferotte and TJack as his QB’s. give the man some credit.
    i also think he did alright with the Favre debacle from summer to present day. think about all the nonsense that has come out…. and now imagine all the nonsense he has had to deal with that we havent heard.

  18. Funny thing that nobody seems to be talking about is on that play Favre tried to call a second consecutive time-out. That would have resulted in a penalty also.
    Total cluster on the Vikings staff and Favre.

  19. Florio, you really don’t get it.
    The head coach must take responsibility for EVERYTHING that goes wrong. If not, he’s not a good leader. He has to take the blame no matter what.
    Childress is a good leader, and the Vikings will fix this.

  20. JSpicoli:
    Are you talking about the Reggie Bush TD? Because he was clearly in and it was called out at the one on the field so the Saints challenged it.

  21. baldy blew that game and should be fired. Once Favre leaves it will only be a matter of time before this guy is canned.
    Viks have not won anything the last 50 yrs and look for many many more yrs of bitter defeats in big games.

  22. This is hardly in the same category as the Loveboat, that was simply an absence of morality and decency, something that should be guarded against on the part of the GM as he brings players in. But when the coach is scalping superbowl tickets and you hide behind the MN court system for violations of illegal substances, the fish rots from the head as they say.
    There should be no debate on the firing of Childress, the rest of the NFC would actually fear the Vikings if they ever hired a real coach.
    Ok the guy is pretty vanilla in his play calling, has poor game management skills, tends to throw his players under the bus, and thinks he is really smarter than other coaches that actually won Superbowls but hey, he is not as dumb as their fan base. In the land of the blind, the one-eye man is King.

  23. “(On a brighter note, it’s a hell of a lot less embarrassing than the Love Boat.)”
    Oh really ? You think so ? Sorry, but making an incredibly stupid mistake that likely cost the team their chance to play in the Super Bowl is far worse than some off the field hijinks.

  24. How many Vikings fans would make Leslie Frasier the head coach if they could? I sure as hell would. If every single person in MN threw in a couple bucks, we could buy out Childress’s contract.

  25. “one of the worst coaching mistakes in NFL history”
    That covers a lot of ground. Is it worse than Denny Green playing for a tie, or Marty Mornhinweg winning the coin toss and kicking off in overtime? Go down the list and every coach has a few boneheaded decisions he wishes he could take back. At least distinguish between mistakes made with the clock running and more considered decisions that backfired.
    BTW, how is Terry Bradshaw?

  26. Love Boat Scandal – Shocking!! people have sex. Raunchy sex, dirty sex, even gasp ORGIES!. Rich men hire hookers…err dancers… (yeah poor men do too) Yeah maybe it SHOULD be embarrasing. But really it isn’t.
    The major screw up that weighs heaviliy on the outcome of the game, yes, embarrassing.
    BTW a measure of embarrassment is different then a measure of morallity.
    Fire the coach over it? Come on!. Yes its a screw up but if you fire a guy for taking responsibility for the error and standing up and being a man about it (which we complain we dont see enough – See Farve quote in comments above). If you set up the issue amongst a series of errors, then its worth bringing up. But as one isolated incident no.
    Jury really is out on what kind of coach Childress is. We all say he will lose next year if he doesn’t have Farve, but do we expect Knoll, Walsh and Cowher to win with Sage/Travaris? If a coach can say, all we need to really contend is one more piece of the puzzle, and he gets the piece and contends, does he deserve an extension? Or do we say you are only winning because you have the pieces?
    The people whining about the “insult” to the commentors on the site need to grow up. Florio’s always poked at anyone. Whaa whaa whaa he poked fun at me.

  27. The fact that those two things happened back to back – 12 men and the pick make you have to believe in destiny.
    Brett Favre made a comment, probably to make his teammates believe it, that this was the best team he has played on.
    He made a similar comment about his team in 2007 saying he thought they were the most talented group he had played with.
    It offended his teammates from the 1996 Championship team. They said prove it.
    Bottom line is the 1996 Packers were the best team he ever played with – they won it all and would have never coughed up the football 5 times in a game of that magnitude.
    Challenging a second and goal without complete replay from the one would have been stupid and they did not even show it until they came back from commercial.
    I think Childress failed when after a running play to leave 2nd & goal from the four, he did not give Favre two chances to run what basically would have been two chances of 2 point conversion pass plays for a TD and instead the muffed handoff happened.
    If Minnesota fans should be pissed at anyone the most it is Adrian Peterson. averaging 12 fumbles over last two seasons and coughing it up the way he did in this game makes him worse than an average back in the league when he is considered a potential GOAT.

  28. Go ahead and blame Chilly…He had this team prepared to win.
    I have been a Chilly basher since he came into the league. But when a team commits 6 turnovers and still only loses the game by three points, in overtime, after a couple of questionable calls that put the Saints in FG range, and not giving the offense a chance to get in the game…I was impressed.
    As a Vikings fan, I always get a bad feeling in big games. I hope Favre, Williams, and everyone else comes back. Another Draft, another FA season, and another year to rest up. The Minnesota Vikings will be back.

  29. Chilly is the reason the Vikes lost. Players make mistakes. And the Vikes made too many.
    But it is inexcusable that the Coach cannot add or communicate properly or delgate some assistant on the sidelines to count the players on the field. The Coach doesn’t have someone beating or slapping on his bald noggin’ while he is doing whatever it is he does.
    Now I am stuck with a numbskull coach for at least another year.

  30. Love_Boat_Scandal says:
    January 27, 2010 11:50 AM
    As long as Chilly is on the sidelines and/or Favre is flinging the ball, the Vikings will always have a chance to lose in the playoffs.
    ============================
    Yup, and as long as Capers is sleeping in the booth and GayRod hangs on to the ball for 5-7 seconds and fumbles at crucial times, the pack has a chance to lose in the wild card round every year.

  31. Florio takes a cheap shot at everyone who has ever commented on PFT, film at 11. Wonder what would happen if PFT got no clicks or comments for a month.
    Back to the West Virginny labor law practice, I suppose.

  32. I’m not sure that’s one of the worst coaching calls in NFL history… I don’t even think it’s as bad as Bill B’s call to go for it on 4th and 2 from his side of the field against the Colts earlier this year.

  33. After a long day I can always count on coming to PFT and reading some sensationalized chit that florio posted and get some good laughs from the posters that put their ignorance in writing……if you eliminated the “sour grapes fans”, the “homers” and the “rednecks” (gotta include the packer and cowboy fans right), there would only be a handful of us true football fans left who have the ability to be objective and insightful in our posts. Do you really think anyone takes seriously a post like “so and so player is a choker” or “my team is gonna kick ass next year” or “my qb is the best in the league” even though the damn fool has a .500 record and no playoff wins, LMAO at the absurdity of so many .

  34. The Vikings’ Brad Childress installed a killer game plan. The Vikings beat down the Saints and then through shitty execution beat themselves down.
    I’ve never seen such consistency in fumbling before. It was absolutely pathetic.These drops do not preclude a victory in any circumstance. You’ve gotta hand it to the Vikings D for making those big stops and for a great offensive playbook. The Saints interior DL is good and showed how good it was but the Vikings were beating it only to fumble.
    12th man, bullshit. Should not have been there.The Vikings, no, no professional team ever should have been in the position the Vikings were. Poor execution–FAILURE TO OWN THE BALL–is what cost them.

  35. If I’m not mistaken, I saw Favre calling for time just before the flags came in for twelve men. Wouldn’t that be back to back time outs and a fifteen yard penalty?

  36. One of the best reader comments we’ve ever seen (then again, the bar ain’t very high),

  37. AR12isBetter says:
    January 27, 2010 11:48 AM
    I heard Brett wanted 13 guys cause he was tired of getting his ASSSSS BEAT but Chilly said he’d try to sneek in 12.
    Oh well, on a side note, is it possible that by retiring every year till august that Brett could pump him self full of HGH without being drug tested. Then come back in august and pass the tests? It’d make sense and prolly be the reason he can barely walk in Dec & Jan.
    ——
    Makes sense. I think you could be right.

  38. jeffragnarchicken says:
    January 27, 2010 12:32 PM
    Love_Boat_Scandal says:
    January 27, 2010 11:50 AM
    As long as Chilly is on the sidelines and/or Favre is flinging the ball, the Vikings will always have a chance to lose in the playoffs.
    ============================
    Yup, and as long as Capers is sleeping in the booth and GayRod hangs on to the ball for 5-7 seconds and fumbles at crucial times, the pack has a chance to lose in the wild card round every year.
    ——
    Capers was looking down at a Polaroid. ill provide the link if you need to see it again. GayRod? LOL

  39. mightysimi says:
    January 27, 2010 1:03 PM
    If I’m not mistaken, I saw Favre calling for time just before the flags came in for twelve men. Wouldn’t that be back to back time outs and a fifteen yard penalty?
    ——
    That is correct but they broke the huddle before the king of all picks signaled TO therefore the 5 yard penalty was enforced and no time out charged.

  40. Wow, you folks need to lighten up if you’re really insulted by the headline. Perhaps your panties are riding up your crack?

  41. The people on this site deserve to be insulted. There’s no low people won’t stoop to and no insult they’re unwilling to throw. I read this site for the news and am inexplicably drawn to the comments like I am to an accident on the highway…..then I see all the negative, stupid, ignorant b.s and wish I hadn’t looked. It’s a shame that people have such a valuable medium as the internet an all they do is use it to bitch and snipe anonymously.

  42. It gets so tiring always reading the negative about a team, you don’t think any other team in the NFL has been called for 12 men in a huddle, your mistaken I’v seen it happen.
    Also your always quick to put down a team, and “AR12isbetter, what you need to learn how to do is spell corrrectly, prolly is actually spelled probably, you must have missed the spelling class in school.
    One more thing you keep bringing up faults of the Vikings, what about McCray almost breaking the legs of QB Favre, should he even be playing, last thing I read on him was about his arrest for DWI and he was put in jail oh yea I know he didn’t do it, it was pizza right.
    Shame on you people for being so mean and thinking that everything you do is perfect and you don’t make mistakes in life or your jobs. Wish I could say I was that perfect.

  43. pkrlvr- Aww,bring it in bud.Give me a hug…..feel better? Thats the goodstuff.Want to come over to watch Golden Girls tonight?

  44. How, exactly, is it that grown, adult men hanging out with strippers on a boat is more embarrassing than an NFL Coach choking away his team’s shot at a Super Bowl appearance because he can’t count past 11?

  45. It was the running back coach at fault, Childress was screaming at him after that happened. They had 2 different personel groups for the same play and both of them were out there, so they had an extra back in.

  46. “I am deeply sorry for my transgressions,” said Childress, possibly referring to the multiple times he wanted to bench Favre. “I apologize for hurting the team, and especially Brett. Please respect my privacy as I try to deal with the extremely difficult matter of having Tarvaris Jackson as my starting quarterback.”

  47. MaybeNextYear says:
    January 27, 2010 1:44 PM
    How, exactly, is it that grown, adult men hanging out with strippers on a boat is more embarrassing than an NFL Coach choking away his team’s shot at a Super Bowl appearance because he can’t count past 11?
    ————————————————–
    Exactly! Those ladies were hot,not a damn thing to be ashamed of. I would film it and send it to Sean Salisbury.

  48. you think it was bad coaching in this game, look at the ref’s that was bad calls through out the whole game, not calling a letha hit on a QB, calling TD that weren’t TD, poorest Refereeing I’ve ever seen

  49. Yeah, they should fire Childress. Follow the example of the Chargers, who smartly fired their coach who took them to 14-2 but lost in the AFC championship, and replaced him with a coach who now loses in the divisional round.
    What do I know? But it seems that the Vikes are one decent QB of the future away from years of consistent success. (That’s no slight against Favre, who did a phenomenal job this year and probably raised the entire team’s concept of what it was capable of–something that could have long-term benefits.)

  50. quote from “Maybenextyear” How, exactly, is it that grown, adult men hanging out with strippers on a boat is more embarrassing than an NFL Coach choking away his team’s shot at a Super Bowl appearance because he can’t count past 11?”
    I don’t think it was just that call alone, and you might want to go back and watch some of the game the ref’s didn’t actually do that great a job either.

  51. Supersuckers says:
    January 27, 2010 1:10 PM
    jeffragnarchicken says:
    January 27, 2010 12:32 PM
    Love_Boat_Scandal says:
    January 27, 2010 11:50 AM
    As long as Chilly is on the sidelines and/or Favre is flinging the ball, the Vikings will always have a chance to lose in the playoffs.
    ============================
    Yup, and as long as Capers is sleeping in the booth and GayRod hangs on to the ball for 5-7 seconds and fumbles at crucial times, the pack has a chance to lose in the wild card round every year.
    ——
    Capers was looking down at a Polaroid. ill provide the link if you need to see it again. GayRod? LOL
    ================================
    As far as Capers, saw the video.
    He looked like he farted himself out of a sound sleep. It looked to be one that feels like a sand burr coming out.

  52. Six fumbles is a reflection of poor coaching and attention to fundamentals.
    They went out lame last year as I recall… and now you have to look back at the Eagles poor clock management in the Super Bowl and ask yourself if this is a pattern. or coincidence?
    Poor clock management, play calling and personnel management at the end of the game.
    Situational football 101.

  53. whatajokethissiteis @ 2:09
    Right, not the 12 guy thing alone. I’ve finally completed my careful analysis of all the potentially culpable Vikes (took awhile — there were lots of them).
    I’ve determined it’s Adrian Peterson’s fault — for the goal line fumble. Could just as easily be Berrian’s fault for the fumble on the Saints 10 or Harvin’s fault for the fumble on the Vikes 10. Frankly, we should probably pin it on Harvin because that’s the only one that actually, honest to god put points on the board for the Saints. The Peterson and Berrian fumbles inside the Saints 10 just “probably” cost the Vikes points — purely speculative.
    But I don’t feel like blaming Harvin. I feel like blaming Peterson — mostly because if he hadn’t fumbled in OT to lose the Bears game in week 15, Sunday’s game would have been played in the Metrodome.

  54. DanielPC is right about Childress screaming at Bieniemy on sideline. I also recall Favre waving to sideline while setting up to run a 3rd down play prior to Vike calling the timeout.
    Offensive coaches need to be reviewed; particularly if Kevin Rodgers’ moves on. After this season’s running game issues Bieniemy’s position may be precarious.

  55. It was not Childress’s fault, although he has to take the blame as the face of the organization. And why are they now studying Peterson’s fumbling problem? It’s nothing new. Cut him, bench him or deal with it. You hold on to the ball, it’s Football 101. Fine him $50,000 each time he drops the ball.

  56. If it’s not as embarassing as the, Love Boat Scandal, could someone please tell me why the players at the time didn’t just own up to the accusations? Nope, they denied every last one, hell most of them couldn’t even admit to being on the boat. The front office went to great lengths to cover up the entire thing, starting seconds after it started. If it’s not embarassing then they just would of let it play out. Yes, it happens everywhere, it’s how you go about it. Besides the defense who kept the game as close as it was, the mistakes and loss was a collective effort. Wake up Minnesota this is what happens here.

  57. The Biqueen fans need to keep beating themselves up over this. It is great entertainment after a year of bragging and insult throwing on their part when the rest of us were telling them to STFU because they hadn’t won anything yet. And they still haven’t, 4o plus years and counting.

  58. ChillyP says:
    January 27, 2010 11:53 AM
    Love Packer fan….rubbing it in though….because Aaron Rodgers has won a helluva lot Post Seasons games….
    ———————————————–
    Aaron Rodgers has exactly one less post-season victory than Chilly.

  59. Jimmy Smith — it’s 49 years and counting. Not to quibble.
    And you should know that any Viking fan that is talking smack on the internet can’t be older than 20 — max.
    Vikes fans older than that learned their lesson about talking smack a long time ago. Say, oh . . . around 1998.

  60. Does anyone else in the world realize that it’s the QUARTERBACK’s job to count the players in the huddle before joining it. Obviously the player and the coach made the communication error to have him go out there, but it’s the QB’s job to be last line of correction, and spot the error before the penalty is called

  61. Fired for this? You’re insane. He’s done nothing but improve the team each season he’s been their coach. He cleaned up a situation that was a complete mess. He had them on the verge of the super bowl, his team clearly outplayed the other, but his guys fumbled 6 times. Obviously that isn’t his fault, nor is it his fault that Favre threw a pick instead of running the ball 5 yds to set up the game winner. Quit overracting, you’re like a little girl.

  62. I’ve been enjoying pro football for nearly 50 years. I loved playing football in H. S. and college, just wasn’t good enough to make it beyond that. If I or any of you brave Favre haters out there could play football just half as well as Brett Favre I believe we’d probably all have a healthy egos too. In 50 years of watching I’ve never enjoyed watching any player more!

  63. They had a chance to win that game until Favre threw that interception. Why is everyone too afraid to finally blame him for something? It’s everyone else’s fault but his. Get real, people!

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