Or Maybe Not.
Don’t read too much into the live scrimmage the Vikings held against the Giants last week. That was more of a chance to pad stats and maybe work on some new wrinkles in their schemes than it was a test or even a game because the Giants quit on their season weeks ago. So, even though they ended the season on a relative high note, the Vikings concern me because I still get the impression head coach Brad Childress has serious brain damage. You’re pissed because Brett Favre has the nerve to make as many as five audibles in a game? Even when they are spot on correct? Seriously? Are you insane? Are you 12-years-old?
Apparently this isn’t the first time Childress has howled like a stubborn old woman when a quarterback has gone off script. Everyone from Gus Freotte to Brad Johnson has told various reporters that Childress leaves quarterbacks out of the game planning process and simply locks them into particular play calls while forbidding them to audible at the line of scrimmage. Now, to be fair, I would not want Tavaris Jackson audibling ever, but if Brett Favre and his 19 years of running this very brand of offense is at the helm, I probably bend my rules more than a little.
Face it, Brad, you received your five-year extension this season because Favre executed the offense to perfection. Without him, the Vikings are no more than a 9-7 team and threatening to pull him because you need to assert your authority is both childish and unprofessional. Remember, you flew down to Mississippi to convince this guy to come play for you. You went through the entire Favre saga and drama and histrionics so you could have a legitimate chance at a Super Bowl knowing full well you were getting a guy with not just a big ego, but a Super Bowl ring and actual, functioning knowledge of your offensive system. You in essence hired on another coach and made him a borderline equal, and instead of utilizing him that way and, well, being flexible, you want to treat this guy the same as Gus Freotte and yank him when you’re up 7-6?
Good luck with that.
What’s more, according to some of the stories being reported in the press, Childress has been throwing temper tantrums through the team’s season-ending skid including an epic blowup in Carolina that some players likened to a parent berating a teenager. Great job, Brad; if players are mockingly calling you “dad” they’ve tuned you out.
I had a very long conversation with a former All Pro and Super Bowl-winning center a few months back. One of the things he spoke at length about was how ridiculous professional coaches behave. “They all think that if they just outwork the other guy and put in 15 or 18 hours of work every day they will win, but how can they outwork each other when they all do the same thing?” he said. “The best part is when they start screaming and yelling and tipping over tables. They forget that they’re dealing with men who are already professionals and know how to do their jobs. When we won our Super Bowls it felt like it was in spite of our coaches sometimes.”
You hear that Brad? You are not a visionary, a genius, or a leader of men. You are a facilitator and a manager, so develop some people skills and act like you know what you’re doing. Otherwise, the playoffs will end very quickly and very badly.
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Written by Sean Neumann