cnerlien

Brad Childress and the dissolutionment of the Minnesota Vikings

In Issues and Debate on November 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Yesterday, Owner and Chairman of the Minnesota Vikings Zigi Wilf formally fired Head Coach Brad Childress. Though some were surprised, many fans and bloggers alike saw this coming as a once Super Bowl caliber team has failed to win more than 3 games this season. As a perennial Vikings fan, I must say that Childress’s tenure in Minnesota was not as fraught with missteps as many fans, bloggers, and ESPN talking heads seem to think.

When we look at Childress’s time as Head Coach, each year until this year has been a striking improvement. Through the 2009 season, the team had gone from a mediocre performance to a top tier team. One could attribute this to improved coaching and scouting. After all, the Vikings of this year are still a highly talented team, at least on paper. With respect to the coaching staff though, one could hardly be remiss to note the obvious dissension among the players both last year and into this year. As Coach Childress says goodbye, Leslie Frazier steps in and now we can have more discussion as to Fraziers qualifications and abilities. Alas this discussion will prove pointless as qualifications in sports are more often results oriented than otherwise. Frazier will get his chance to prove it.

Coach Childress had one lingering misstep throughout his time in Minnesota. Since before his time, the Vikings have a glaring problem at quaterback. Though the coming of Brett Favre in 2009 solved this issue temporarily, the honest truth is that Favre is not a long term solution. Brett Favre stands in NFL history as the franchise player of the Green Bay Packers and though he will end his career in Minnesota, memory of his exploits as a Hall of Fame quarterback have already been written in Green Bay. Unlike the Packers, the Vikings haven’t had a long-term quarterback in 2 decades. When compared with the Vikings up and down record over that time, this quarterback problem correlates well. Childress, as with Tice before him, failed to solve this nagging problem.

The coming of Brett Favre created enormous excitement and confidence. A confidence not just in the fan base, but seemingly within the team itself. It can hardly be questioned that Favre and a number of players have and continue to play at 100% effort, though the current season has shown that some players are failing to put forth maximum effort and team moral is ultimately low. Though Favre led the team to an incredible season in 2009, a player of even his caliber cannot do what is truly a coach’s job. With numerous sideline confrontations with Favre and Percy Harvin, among others, Childress was not holding up his end of the bargain. A change was needed areguably several weeks ago and now it has come.

Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier takes the reigns of a struggling yet talented team. With any hope, perhaps the Vikings can salvage a .500 record out of this season and find the confidence to move forward. Though Frazier has no true head coaching experience, attacking a man as soon as he enters the room appears short-sighted. Frazier like all head coaches must start somewhere and unfortunately his will be a baptism by fire.

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