Brad Childress and the Minnesota Vikings: Why His Firing Was the Wrong Move
I would like to open with this: I am not a fan of Brett Favre.
I have a neutral opinion of the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have an immense amount of talent, and they just need to utilize it properly. I envy players like Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson. I actually thought that Brad Childress was a good coach.
I think this bad season is a one-time thing.
The Vikings should stay in Minnesota, no matter what their record is at the end of the season.
Now, on to the issue at hand—the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings are a team that I could see in the Super Bowl in Dallas this season, but following a rocky start, I changed my opinion to more of a "Maybe they will pull a San Diego maneuver and have a great late season push for the postseason." Later in the season, the Vikings continue to struggle and they get blown out by the Packers at home and lose 31-3. Their record slips to 3-7, just one game above the Detroit Lions.
So, in a desperation move the Vikings decided to fire Brad Childress. A very similar move to what the Dallas Cowboys have done this season, and they are now on a two-game winning streak. However, will this move benefit the Vikings the same way it benefited the Cowboys?
To put it simply, no.
The Cowboys have a new young coach, and he had already had quite a bit of success as the offensive coordinator. He also had plenty of years to learn behind Wade Philips, who I still stand by as a good coach. Jason Garrett is pumping new life into this Cowboys team, and he is bringing out all of the true talent the team possesses.
The Vikings are in an entirely different situation.
Childress took the Vikings to the NFC Championship last year and they nearly won the game and went to the Super Bowl. Does anyone remember who lost that game for them? The turnover king, No. 1 overall in interceptions in NFL history, Brett Favre. Favre was the one who threw that pass...straight to the Saints.
I'm not sure how the Vikings can fire a coach who was almost in the Super Bowl just a year before, and the reason they lost the game to get there was not even his fault. When I heard that Childress was fired, I was literally shocked.
Clearly the team was beginning to turn on him. But who started this idea? Favre.
Favre had the post-game press conference in which he talked about, "playing for himself, everyone was fighting for themselves." Suddenly, after that interview, the Vikings fell apart more than ever. All the players lost faith in Childress and it turned into a "me-only" football team.
Favre was able to turn the entire Vikings football team against their head coach. With a team with as much talent as the Vikings, frustration levels would be very high, especially when they are failing to win games. But, there is no reason to lose faith in your head coach, because your starting QB is playing "for himself."
Of course, in typical Favre fashion, he looks for anyone else to blame his failures on and avoids taking responsibility for the bad season. In Favre's desperate attempt to not take the fall for the Vikings losses, he threw his head coach under the bus.
In response, Childress made a joking comment about Favre in his post-game interview, and then tempers exploded and Favre's relationship with the head coach took a turn for the worse. This is when things totally fell out for the Vikings. The team had no faith and it was the end of the end.
The Vikings already have an established team—a veteran squad that should be looking towards a Super Bowl win and focusing on the playoffs this season. Yet, there is one man holding them back, Brett Favre.
Childress had a good thing going in Minnesota and Favre held him back, and it ended in him getting canned. It's abundantly clear on what has to happen this season—bench Favre.
I know this is a radical idea, and Leslie Frazier has already announced that Favre will continue to be the starting QB. Come on. This is killing me as a fan of another team, to watch the Vikings just let the bleeding continue.
Here are Favre's stats this season:
QB Rating: 69.8
Passing Yards: 2,274
A Side Note: The Vikings are currently ranked 30th in the NFL in points per game, averaging 17.2 points.
These are not stats of a starting QB. These are also not the stats of the legendary Brett Favre.
His time has come to retire from the NFL and accept that is career is over. Any team would have to be crazy to keep a guy with stats like this as a starter. There should not be an exception for Favre.
The Vikings should have allowed Childress to at least finish out the season as the head coach, and then decided what direction to go in. The fact that they fired a head coach who had so much success in Minnesota is just shocking, and it shows the instability of the franchise.
It is time to bench Favre. I would be jumping for joy to see Favre on the bench, as a non-fan of him. But in the current situation, the Vikings need to change something and a great place to start is with Favre.
Let Tarvaris Jackson take over. Really, it couldn't get any worse than it already is. So why not?
Vikings fans seem to roll around in pain over the thought of Jackson as the starter of the Vikings. I'm not sure why. Jackson really has not even had a chance to show what he can do. Give him a few games, and if he is worse than Favre than let Brett start again.
Worst case scenario, the Vikings draft one of the awesome QB's coming out of this draft class and look for him to take over next season. I think that if Vikings fans would give Jackson a chance that he might actually end up being a good alternative to the current situation.
The Vikings made a pretty crucial mistake in firing Childress, and not just dealing with Favre. But what's done is done.
Look for Favre to be benched in the next few weeks, even though Frazier has already confirmed him as the starter. Jackson is going to step in and really impress Vikings fans, and Favre will take a backseat for the rest of the season.
Brad Childress, good luck. Brett Favre, I'll catch you around Canton.
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