Wilfs take that first hard step
Shoving Brad Childress out the door was a sign by Zygi and Mark Wilf that big changes are in the wind for the Minnesota Vikings.
Among the usual tripe regarding the sacking of Brad Childress this week there have been some good observations. I just hope the Wilfs read some of the same ones I did.
Childress was not the entire problem, as everyone with a brain knows, but he did not have the solutions either. Childress basically took over a team with no talent and took it two victories forward each year until this season. He was not an inspirational coach, he did not have the social skills to deal with his players.
It is incredible that last winter the Vikings were a blink away from a Super Bowl trip -- yet right now are 3-7. The fact that the club has scored 134 fewer points than it had last year at this time points to a huge problem. You can say the defense deserves a lot of criticism too but the fact is that they have allowed only 33 more points than last year at this time.
It seems strange now that it took a private jet and some good arm-twisting by three teammates to bring Brett Favre to Minnesota last summer. After 10 games, a lot of people would be willing to spring for a one-way ticket to take Favre back to Mississippi. At the time it sounded like Childress was 100 percent behind the hijacking of Favre to Minnesota. Now you have to wonder. Perhaps it was really someone who wants a new stadium? They must teach you in NFL Head Coach 101 that quarterbacks, even the legendary ones, need to report at the same time as everyone else. By bringing Favre into camp late in a private jet the message the team received was No. 4 can do no wrong. That has to lead to bitterness when No. 4 throws more interceptions than touchdowns.
It is vital to have the right people at the top. The Vikings do not have a general manager. Jim Finks was a great GM when the Vikings were going to all those Super Bowls in the 1970s. Later, Finks helped other teams put together winners. The Wilf boys might know everything about New Jersey real estate but are they really the ones to make the calls for an NFL football operation?
The team itself seems to have been abducted. What happened to all of those Pro Bowl selections we had back in January? What about that Rookie of the Year? What about that huge offensive line? E.J. Henderson was not in the lineup for the second half of the 2009-10 season and now he is back, and yet the Vikes gave up 31 points to Green Bay. They have Antoine Winfield, one of football's best hitters, in the secondary and yet teams are passing consistently against the Vikes.
The Vikings have never liked the idea of spending a No. 1 draft pick on a defensive back. They did it once with Duwayne Washington and again with Joey Browner but most of their secondary people have been free agents or draft choices from second and third round. They are the experts so you have to respect their decisions, but something was very wrong last Sunday.
It is hard to believe the Vikes will spend a No. 1 draft choice on a college quarterback in the 2011 draft. They still want to make the Super Bowl with some of the talent they have signed. A more likely scenario is the signing of a good free agent. Let's just hope he is not the Ancient Mariner.
Whoever the big honcho is when the 2011 season begins, he will have to be supplied with players who focus on football the right way -- that means reporting to camp on time, blocking, tackling and playing four quarters. Those players who trashed Childress a few weeks ago and those quitters who made the team look so bad Sunday against Green Bay, better look out now. The talent and desire of the whole team will be weighed and measured over the last six games of the year. Some players will be tossed -- just like Childress.