Childress' Future: Moving The Vikings Forward

Ben SchmitContributor IAugust 13, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 14: Head coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings watches the action from the sidelines during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at the Metrodome on September 14, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Colts defeated the Vikings 18-15. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Coaches, like quarterbacks, have been the bane of Vikings fans for many years.  It could be argued that since the days of Grant and Tarkenton neither of these positions have been filled adequately.  Limited flashes of competence during the Green Era notwithstanding, it would seem - beginning with Les Steckel's disastrous 3-13 1984 season - mediocrity of leadership, both on the field and from the Vikings' sideline has been the rule rather than the exception in the Metrodome.

No coach in Vikings' history has been the target of more derision than Brad Childress;  no coach who didn't deserve it, anyway.  Though Chilly's teams have shown a steady improvement throughout his tenure, he seems to be bearing the weight of previous years' shortcomings.  Yet his accomplishments, most notably last year's NFC North championship and the addition of several NFL superstars to his roster, continually get swept under the rug.

The fact that Childress' teams have gotten noticeably better in each of the last three seasons speaks to his abilities as a coach, and despite drafting Tavaris Jackson, the Vikings' roster now looks like a "Who's Who" of the best skill position players in the NFL, on both sides of the ball.  Poised to make their first run at a Super Bowl appearance in over a decade, this year Childress could very well field the most talented, successful Vikings team ever to wear the Purple and Gold.

If the Childress era is to continue, further improvement should be expected, and anything less than an NFC Championship Game appearance will be cause for disappointment and increased calls for his replacement.  Not since the George Seifert days in San Francisco has there been a more dramatic improvement in a team's character and talent.  Zygi Wilf may want to extend Chilly's contract now lest a Lombardi Trophy end up in Eden Prairie, causing this coach's ticket price to rise.