The Coaching Staff Overall: B
Mike Tomlin: B+
Everyone else: B
More than anything, the coaching staff has instilled in me the belief that the Vikings are actually being run by competent people. Childress has brought off the field accountability to the organization, as he demonstrated by suspending Dwight Smith for the opener, and by benching Smoot at the beginning of the game against da Bears. Tomlin has made a good defense even better, which is even more impressive considering that he’s lost two key players, in Erasmus James and Chad Greenway, to season ending injuries. Even Paul Ferraro, the special teams coach, has done a superb job, playing a huge role in the Vikings’ victory over the Panthers, designing a successful fake field goal, and the coverage teams have been much better than last year.
Things haven’t been anywhere near as impressive on the offensive side of the ball. The Vikings’ have had problems moving the ball, can’t seem to score touchdowns in the red zone, and are one of the most penalized teams in the NFL. Whether that is because the team still adjusting to the system, Childress doesn’t have the personnel to run his system or because of deficiencies in the system is unclear at this point. Play calling has been an issue as well, especially at the end of the last two games. Again, not all of the problems are necessarily Childress’ fault, as Brad Johnson could have just made poor decisions while carrying out a good play. Most likely, the offenses problems stem from all three issues. The answer probably won’t be clear for another few weeks.
Then again, it could just have been because the Vikings’ have faced four tough defenses so far this year, meaning that the Lions should be the solution to their problems. They’ve given up more than 30 points the last three games and are in free fall mode. In other words, they are the same old Lions, and as usual, should be a cure for what ails the Vikings. I think they will be, and that Childress will have as much success against