Since taking over as Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings in 2006, Brad Childress has provided the team with a consistent message and stability in his coaching staff.
Brad Childress has spent his entire coaching career of the offensive side of the ball. Prior to joining the Vikings, he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Childress guided Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens, and Brian Westbrook to a very productive season in 2004 where the Eagles seemed to score at will and advanced to Super Bowl XXXIX before falling to the New England Patriots.
Childress worked for the University of Wisconsin, the University of Utah and Northern Arizona University as well as Illinois in various roles all on the offensive staff. The various coaching mentors that he has served under give him his ability to keep a strong, consistent message despite the adversity of the typical NFL schedule.
In 2008, Childress held firm to his message even after a 1-3 start in which the team failed to move the ball consistently and were unable to hold leads late in games. The team managed to finish the season on a 9-3 run to go 10-6 and win the NFC North division title.
Brad Childress has a pair of coordinators that drive the message of consistency and stability home to their charges. Leslie Frazer and Darrell Bevell coordinate the defense and offense respectively.
Leslie Frazer is Assistant to the Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator which would lead one to believe that he is being groomed for a head coaching job in the near future. Frazer has a strong mentor in Childress and should do well when given his opportunity to lead.
Frazer served in a similar capacity to Tony Dungy in Indianapolis for two years prior to joining Childress on the Vikings sideline. In that time, Frazer lead one of the top defenses in the NFL and helped begin the growth that culminated in a championship in Super Bowl XLI.
Before joining the Colts, Frazer served defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals and defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Childress and Frazer worked under Andy Reid at the same time and developed their relationship in Philadelphia.
Frazer brings the Vikings the defensive aggression he learned in Philadelphia and Indianapolis and the confidence and swagger he gained from his time as a feared DB for the Super Bowl Shuffling Chicago Bears in 1985.
The rumors that have been surrounding the return of Brett Favre to the NFL have been the one constant of this summer. The offensive coordinator of the Vikings appears to be a major factor in Favre’s decision to make yet another comeback.
Darrell Bevell coached Favre in Green Bay from 2000-2005 in a variety of positions on the Packers’ offensive staff. Bevell served as Quarterbacks coach to Favre from 2003-2005, as well as an offensive assistant in the years prior.
Coaching Favre gave Bevell the chance to work with an NFL Hall of Fame caliber quarterback. This experience allowed Bevell the opportunity to see how the best go about their business. Bevell now has the opportunity to not only teach his young quarterbacks what he knows about offensive game planning, but he can describe for the men what it takes to succeed in the long term in the NFL.
In his time with the Vikings, Bevell has been blessed with one of the great rushing talents in Adrian Peterson. Therefore, he has tailored his offense to utilize his greatest weapon. Unfortunately, he has yet been unable to develop the quarterback position for the Vikings.
Tarvaris Jackson has so far been a bust under his direction. This season, he will have the opportunity to see how Jacksondoes against another proven quarterback in Sage Rosenfels. Bevell should finally have the opportunity to showcase his understanding of the quarterback position and begin to develop a proper NFL talent.
The tandem of Childress, Frazer, and Bevell are now entering their fourth season on the Viking sideline. They have improved the team every season and expect to continue that trend in 2009.