I hear the same things week after week regarding Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress. There are screams among Vikings fans for Childress to be fired. I hate to tell you Vikings fans, but no matter how loud your plea, it won't happen for at least another season.
In a game against the Detroit Lions last season, Vikings fans chanted "Fire Childress" the entire fourth quarter. The Vikings had played terribly throughout the game against a woeful Lions team desperately seeking their first win.
They needed a questionable pass interference call on Lions cornerback Leigh Bodden to move into field goal position with nine seconds remaining in the game. The defense was dominant as usual, but the offense wasn't clicking.
This was the Vikings' theme throughout the entire 2008 season. The offense never really found anything outside of Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, and a few great plays by Bernard Berrian (thanks Chicago).
The defense, led by Kevin and Pat Williams (no relation), helped the Vikings become the only team in NFL history to lead the league in rushing defense three years in a row. Their 32nd pass defense ranking jumped to 18th this past season largely due to the addition of pass rushing specialist Jared Allen.
The fact is, the offense needs an upgrade. I'm not talking about going after a solid right tackle, wide receiver, or even a quarterback. I'm talking about Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
People may not realize it, but Bevell, not Childress has been calling plays the last two seasons. Childress did call the plays during his rookie season as head coach, and the Vikings wound up finishing 6-10. The following season, play-calling duties were handed over to Bevell, who took the team to 8-8 in 2007, and more recently, 10-6 in 2008.
So we can only expect another two-win increase to our record in 2009, right?
With our lackluster play calling, this team will go nowhere. Running on 3rd-and-12 is not the way we need to approach things, regardless if "Purple Jesus" is running the ball.
Hire someone who knows how to run an offense.
Anyone remember the name Brian Billick? He was the Vikings' offensive coordinator before taking a head coaching job at Baltimore. He led our stellar 1998 record-setting offense, so why not try to bring him back? It may be a long shot, but that guy is a genius. I would do anything to bring him back.
I myself do not care much for Childress, nor am I saying he doesn't deserve to be fired. I am merely saying that Bevell needs to go first. I personally would love to see Leslie Frazier take over, but that likely won't happen.
I think Childress has made some dumb decisions in the past, but overall, he's helped our team. He is responsible for bringing in guys like Allen, Berrian, Hutchinson, Taylor, and Madieu Williams. He was criticized for bringing in Sage Rosenfels this past season, but I've already written an article about that.
Trust me, all we need is a new play caller. We have all the right pieces, we just need to put them together.