Tuesday, November 21, 2006

At Least Consider Changing the Course

I've been pretty easy on Childress so far this year. I've criticized specific decisions, but I've managed to stay away from attacking his broad coaching theories, such as his offense, or how he manages the team. One reason for that is because it's his first year. The other reason is because I want to believe that the Vikings have finally found a good coach. A coach that knows what he's doing and can lead the Purple to sustained success. You know, like Bud Grant did.

After reading the Star Tribune this morning, however, I'm a little more skeptical of Childress then I was before:

Childress said he will maintain course and will not "cast my gaze to next year, or the future, or any of that kind of stuff.

"You change for a reason," Childress said. "And the reason would have to be that I feel like it gives us a better chance to win."

Now, I'm as optimistic as they come (in fact, I'm going to outline why the Vikings are still squarely in the playoff hunt tomorrow), but that quote just reeks of someone who is stubborn, unwilling to admit mistakes, and unwilling to make drastic changes when needed, not to mention someone who isn't thinking long term (I'll leave the political analogies to someone else).

First off, Childress needs to realize that the Vikings are not going to accomplish a whole lot this year. They might make it into the playoffs. They might even win a game (on the backs of their defense, of course). But they aren't going to do much else, which means that Childress absolutely MUST think about next year and the year after. His two best defenders will be 35 (Pat Williams) and 30 (Antoine Winfield) next year. They aren't going to be around forever. There's a lot of young talent on the team as well, but the Vikings best players are their veterans, and they aren't getting any younger. So the Vikings need to figure out who they have for next year and what they need to address soon, so that they don't misjudge their talent in the offseason.

Secondly, Childress is wrong about what the acceptable reasons for change are. Winning is not the only reason. The other reason is to get players experience so they can step in next year, when they will be needed (guess who I'm talking about). Whether or not you believe Johnson under center gives the Vikings the best chance to win, forgetting that Johnson isn't going to be under center next year is a mistake, and one that could be costly (unless the Vikings are bringing Johnson back next year, at which point I'm giving up and finding a college football team to root for). Now, I'm not advocating that the Vikings make the changes now (though I think they should). What I'm advocating is that Brad Childress keep in mind that rebuilding the Vikings is a process, and one that can't be accomplished this year. Winning is nice and all, but I'd rather take a Super Bowl appearance next year or the year after then a win over the Cardinals on Sunday. I hope that Childress feels the same way.

Also, Childress should wear a suit. But that's neither here nor there


Pacifist Viking said...

Decisions the Vikes made last off-season are now looking pretty terrible. Depending on a recovering alcoholic to be your best WR, and not adding any real new WR in case he can't be. Not getting any quarterback beyond Johnson capable of playing in 2006 (obviously they drafted Tarvaris, but if they had traded for a younger QB with some experience (besides Bollinger), they could have somebody else in there now. I thought they were making acceptable decisions, then, but now they're left with a #2 quality quarterback throwing to #2 and #3 Wide Receivers.

TBird41 said...

Considering the turmoil last year in the front office, it isn't all that surprising that stupid mistakes were made. Hopefully, now that everyone who's running the Vikes have the experience their resumes say they do, they'll be able to find a reciever, a good pass rusher and shore up the line.