Childress shouldn’t get a second chance


With plenty of football developments from Sunday to be updated and summarized and dissected, there’s a news item from Sunday morning that merits a brief mention, and a slightly less brief comment.

Dan Pompei suggests that, in the coming wave of NFL head-coaching vacancies, former Vikings coach Brad Childress could get a second chance.  “It will be an upset if Childress isn’t a candidate for a head coaching job or two in the offseason,” Pompei writes, explaining that front offices are taking a “harder look” at Childress’ efforts given the Vikings’ performances following his departure.

Front offices should look a lot harder.

The Vikings are struggling now in large part because of Childress.  His inability to develop Tarvaris Jackson (or, alternatively, the failed decision to trade up in round two to draft Jackson in 2006) eventually forced the Vikings to bend a knee twice for Brett Favre.  Without Favre, Childress was a .500 coach who couldn’t win a playoff game.  With Favre, Childress was just good enough to send 12 men onto the field after a time out to blow a golden opportunity to steal a Super Bowl berth from the Saints.

Though this isn’t intended to be an exhaustive and comprehensive list of Chilly’s failures, he simply doesn’t have the total skill set or temperament to be an effective NFL head coach.  He’s too thin-skinned, as demonstrated by a pissy email I received earlier this year after mentioning that Percy Harvin’s migraines cleared up completely after Childress left town.  Indeed, his people skills leave much to be desired.  At press conferences, he comes off at times as mean-spirited (like when he suggested that Jeff George should go to a fantasy camp if he wants to play quarterback) and out of touch (like when Childress used the laughably goofy phrase “programmatic non-fit” to explain the decision to fire Randy Moss).

Regarding Moss, Childress committed the cardinal coaching sin by using his final authority over the roster without giving the guy who signs the checks the courtesy of a head’s up and/or a chance to try to talk Childress out of it.  He sparred verbally, and unnecessarily, with guys like Daunte Culpepper over his rehab and Troy Williamson over time off for his grandmother’s death.

Childress proved the Peter Principle at the NFL level, rising through the ranks to a level that ultimately was above his head.  Childress is less deserving of another shot than Super Bowl-winner Brian Billick, two-time NFC finalist Dennis Green, or even NFC champion Jim Fassel.  At most, Childress should get another opportunity to be an offensive coordinator, and if he does well then maybe he should be considered eventually for a head-coaching job.  But to suggest that the Vikings’ current predicament should make Childress look good by comparison is to ignore Chilly’s role in running the ship aground.

That said, plenty of Vikings fans would support his candidacy for another job.  Especially if the Bears fire Lovie Smith.

53 responses to “Childress shouldn’t get a second chance

  1. Total agreement. It’s mindboggling to continue to see coaches and personnel people who have essentially failed getting treated as prospects and getting rehired over and over. The same holds true for QBs.

  2. I’m no fan of Childress but you might recall a certain coach whose initials are BB being run out of Cleveland and then not doing too bad in his second stint as a head coach.

  3. Someone needs to hire Billick just so America doesn’t have to listen to him “broadcast” a football game.

  4. Childress needs to be back in the NFL. He may be a terrible coach, but we need him back on the microphone where he was AWESOME!

    Certainly he can be a programmatic nonfit somewhere.

  5. I would love it if he was the coach of the bears. Think of all the positive interactions he would have with Jay Cutler….It would almost be too funny

  6. Man, you have railed for years on Vikings coaches, much more passionately than any other coach. Will you be writing the same thing about Tony Sparano if/when he is let go from the Dolphins? I would guess not, because only a Dolphins fan would do so, as you are doing this obviously only as a Vikes fan

  7. Would it be possible for him to coach the Bears AND the Packers at the same time? I would fully endorse that. He’s great I swear!…. I swear I said that with a straight face.

  8. as a Vikings fan, I cannot believe anyone would give this clown a second chance. He completely and totally mismanaged this franchise from day 1. Thanks to Favre, he had a tiny bit of success. The whole Randy Moss fiasco was a joke. Moss was completely disrespected by Childress. You don’t trade away draft picks for a future hall of famer and cut him without approval from the management. Considering Childress was fired a couple weeks later, I can’t believe the management didn’t veto the release and hold onto Moss. Childress and Josh McDaniels are alot alike. Both were given the keys to a franchise without knowing how to drive, and both drove the franchise into the ground. Hard to believe McDaniels got a chance as a coordinator, and hard to see Childress getting a chance ANYWHERE

  9. He is an idiot. Never should’ve gotten a chance. Only place he should a second chance is Seattle, half the rejects from MN are there. He set the Vikings back 5 years. Atleast the Vikings are still better than packturds.

  10. citizenstrange says:
    Oct 31, 2011 2:35 PM
    What about all the pickups from the airport? Do they mean nothing?

    Yes they mean he should a taxi driver, except people could tell him where to go as he already know where and they are just wrong.

  11. As a dislocated dolphin fan in MN, I must say this little write up us spot on. That guy sucks as a head coach. He seemed to be on a power trip all the time. For example, disallowing the silver fox to audible and taking AP out if games for no apparent reason when the guy isn’t tired.

  12. If Chilly wants a job in football, he might have to settle for being Andy Reid’s personal intern (fetching his coffee and adding cream/sugar, making runs to the vending machines for him, fetching his slippers, etc.)

  13. Sorry Joemart, but the Packers already have the best head coach in the NFL. I’m sure the Bears would love to bring him in for a taste test, though. 😉

  14. Agreed!!! Plus, the decision to just rip or get rid of others at the wrong or awkward time is a sign of poor judgement.

    When players need to be preached about good judgement Chilly can’t be the guy!!!

  15. Every season to Chilly was an all or nothing go for gold style season. He constantly brought in veterans and failed to establish a core of young players for the future of the franchise. It is all good if it is a one year shot, but he treated it like every year was.

    Now we are suffering from a lack of quality depth and aging Veterans who are looking just plain terrible. Very few of the players we have now can we look forward to having in the future. We are now going through a complete overhaul that should have been a process over the past two or more years.

  16. I can think of no team that has a fanbase that would be energized by bringing in this LAPD look-alike retread. He was a bad hire to begin with and his extension was laughable.

  17. If Christian Ponder had been available in 2006, Chilly would be a Hall of Fame coach.

    Seriously, a coach is about as good as his quarterback. I don’t think there have been any good quarterbacks available when the Vikings drafted since 2006 until they got Ponder this year.

    Lest anyone gets the wrong idea, I still think Chilly was a terrible coach. It’s just that any coach can look good if he has a good QB. In 2009, Favre got him a contract extension.

  18. Wow, just when I thought I couldn’t see anything funnier, I see somebody calling Lord Favre a Pre-Madonna. Wonder if he set “Like A Virgin” as the background music in his text to Jenn Sterger?

  19. How can you expect anybody to succeed in the poisonous environment that is the Vikings? Obviously, he’s not good enough to coach the Green Bay Packas, but he may very well have a moderate amount of success elsewhere – say Dallas or San Diego.

  20. I think Chilly’s biggest failings were his personnel decisions.

    He got rid of more talented players in order to protect “his” guys, especially when his guy was getting consistently outplayed by one of Speilman’s guys. To the detriment of the Vikings, and to the benefit of other teams out there – who were happily picking off the talented Speilman picks, this happened far too often, and not just at QB.

    Frankly. I wish some hungry sports media guy would do a story on it.

  21. I agree that Chilly is not a great football coach, but he should not take the entire blame for all of their personnel moves. The GM and owner (who are both still there) also share some, or most of the credit for Favre, Moss, and others. The Vikings tried to buy an NFL championship through free agency and could not do it.

  22. I think this analysis is quite good. The only exception I take is how the Daunte Culpepper situation was handled. DC had a miserable 2005 season before it ended in injury; he was literally a human turnover machine. He then had the gall, before the rehab fallout, to march into the Viking front office and declare “I’m a $10 million per year QB”. Childress was right to send Culpepper packing, and DC’s performances after that proved to be the right move.

    Otherwise, Childress completely mismanaged the QB position from the word go. He started out handcuffing Brad Johnson, a 15 year vet with a SB ring, by not allowing him to audible, and then blamed him for the 6-10 record. He forced Tarvaris Jackson into the starting lineup before TJack was ready, and refused to bring in any solid competetion for him. Hell, the only reason he lasted more than three years is because Gus Frerotte saved his bacon in 2008 before Favre did it again in 2009.

    Childress was not a bad talent evaluator in some respects. His drafts included Ray Edwards, Cedric Griffin, Chad Greenway, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, and were better as a whole than the drafts that happened under Mike Tice. But Childress acted like a control-freak who thought he was the second coming of Bill Belichick.

    Some coaches were meant to be coordinators. Kevin Gilbride was a miserable head coach, but is still a very successful coordinator to this day. That may be the best Childress can hope for.

  23. So many “What ifs” in the NFL. I’ve always been extremely grateful that the Vikings wouldn’t let Col. Klink out of town after interviewing him. His next appointment was in Green Bay. Whew!

  24. As long as Childress is not the coach of the Vikings, I wouldn’t care if he coaches for a different team! He has an eye for talent (besides QB position), but coaching kind of sucks!

  25. STEAL a super bowl birth??? The vikings dominated the saints in that game. New orleans was the team doing the stealing…

  26. The NFL has never been more of a quarterback-driven league than it is today. You don’t often hear about a “great coach” unless he has a “great QB” running the offense. Look at Shanahan’s record since Elway retired. Look at Belicheck’s failed stint in Cleveland compared to his string of success with Brady under center. Translation young coaches like Sean Peyton, Mike Tomlin, McCarthy, etc., wouldn’t be considered great coaches if they didn’t have Brees, Roethlisberger and Rodgers under center every Sunday. As for MN, we have Ponder, and as Sunday’s game showed, decent QB play makes any coach look a lot smarter.

  27. Giving Childress a call and asking him to interview for an NFL coaching position is about the same as giving Bernie Madoff a call in jail and asking him for some investing advice. Doesn’t make sense!

  28. I would like more information on this “pissy email” that was sent…. possibly a transcript of it would be an awesome way to get me through this awful monday afternoon 🙂

  29. Childress won back-to-back division titles with the Vikings for the first time since Bud did it 34 years ago. He should still be coaching the team. But as it is, he would be a great candidate to find a high-ranking coaching job with another NFL team. I’m pretty sure he needs to honor the contract agreement with Zygi Wilf though to sit out the 2012 season to secure the $3 million he has coming to him. If he lands another job with an NFL team, I’m pretty sure that money is forfeited … so why would he hurry back?

  30. phillyfan4ever says: Oct 31, 2011 2:48 PM

    Wasn’t it the owner who lobbied for Brett Favre and Chilly had to deal with the reprocussions of bringing in a pre madonna?

    Seriously? Bringing in BF was the only intelligent move they made outside of drafting AP. Klink woulda been fired a lot sooner if it wasn’t for Favre’s success.

  31. As an Eagles fan I must say we were glad he left (winning hides the truth as to how good someone is), and we laughed that the Vikings hired him as their head coach. I agree with the take on the article on Childress.

  32. If the Vikings dont turn the ball over a jazillion times v. the Saints in that NFC Championship, go to the Super Bowl.

    he’d still be the head coach. Favre got them there, then committed the crucial turnover, then a phantom PI call on Ed Thomas again put them their.

    The Moss thing was the final nail.

    Look where it got them, though. At least they did get Ponder, though. Things could be looking up in the future.

  33. If he was so bad for the vikings, Why was he given a nice long contract extention?

    Brad Childress will still be getting paid by the vikings for years to come.

  34. Chilly thought he was Bill Belichick but in reality the guy couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag. There’s a reason Andy Reid called the plays in Philly while Childress was the OC. But surprisingly, when Chilly got the job here and Morningweh got the OC job, HE started calling plays. And as far as Childress being a QB guru that helped “develop” McNabb, after seeing him throw bounce passes at the feet of our WR’s the first 6 games of the season, I can believe that Childress had a hand in his learning the NFL game. There’s a reason we called that big plastic “play sheet” that Chilly always held up in front of his face his IHOP menu.
    IHOP in this case stood for Idiot Has One Play

    But on a side note, Jerry Angelo should not read this post. We’re just bitter Vikings fans that were sad to see such a Gem of a coach get fired. he’d be a wonderful fit in Chicago.

  35. Childress has many connections in the league. After he’s fulfilled the contract arrangement with Zygi Wilf and gets paid handsomely through 2012 for sitting on his fanny, he’ll be back in the league in a top-echelon coaching position.

  36. dragonfly99 says: Oct 31, 2011 3:43 PM
    I agree that Chilly is not a great football coach, but he should not take the entire blame for all of their personnel moves. The GM and owner (who are both still there) also share some, or most of the credit for Favre, Moss, and others.

    Favre? You mean the guy he brought in that brought them within 12 men in the huddle to a SB? The guy who made one of the worst WR corps in the league look like a bunch of Pro Bowlers? Yeah, he should be fired for that.

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