Friday, October 06, 2006

Grading the Vikings: Coaches

Here’s the final installment of my grades for the Vikings after a quarter of the season and my prediction for this week’s game against the Lions:

The Coaching Staff Overall: B

Brad Childress: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.

You have to stop sucking, you hear me offense?!?!

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 Detroit as his predecessor. The Vikings will go into the bye with a win, starting their march to the playoffs after defeating the Lions 24-10.

3 comments:

Pacifist Viking said...

We almost have to give Childress some credit for knowing Tomlin would be a great coordinator. He's a guy in his mid-30s, with half a decade of NFL experience, and all as a secondary coach--and they way he's got the Viking D going, I'm worried he's going to be somebody else's head coach very soon.

cheswick said...

Tbird - great analysis as always. I pretty much agree with all your grading on all parts of the team. You forgot two vital items though:
Vikings cheerleaders (B+)
New uniforms (F-)

TBird41 said...

We almost have to give Childress some credit for knowing Tomlin would be a great coordinator. He's a guy in his mid-30s, with half a decade of NFL experience, and all as a secondary coach--and they way he's got the Viking D going, I'm worried he's going to be somebody else's head coach very soon.
Tomlin has been an amazing hire, and one reason I'm glad the Vikings' locked up Childress fast. If they'd dawdled in picking a head coach, they would have had problems getting the staff they wanted. My guess is he's only around for another year or so, but you never know--the NFL's track record with minority hiring isn't exactly stellar.

You forgot two vital items though:
Vikings cheerleaders (B+)
New uniforms (F-)

I was at the game on Sunday, and one of the cheerleaders sang the National Anthem. Man did she have a voice. I was legitimately impressed at how good she was. And I have to disagree with you on the uniforms--I like the white jerseys. The purple ones aren't that bad either. The purple pants, however, need to be thrown in a hole and burned.