Friday, October 05, 2007

Criticizing Childress

After a week in which Adrian Peterson collected an award for being the Purple Jesus, everyone and their mother questioned Childress' decision to only give Peterson two touches in the second half and Zygi Wilf felt it necessary to reiterate his support Childress, it seems now is the time to criticize Childress' handling of the Vikings. And he deserves it.

Unlike others, however, I'm not going to get angry because he isn't a great quote, or because he doesn't give out a lot of information. I don't really care how he handles things like cutting Marcus Robinson, or any of the locker room politics, provided it doesn't hurt the Vikings performance on Sundays. I only care about whether it looks like the Vikings are well coached on the field. And they don't. As the saying goes, talent wins, coaching wins at the margins. And considering the Vikings have yet to lose a game by more than one score, it seems that they aren't winning at the margins.

There are way to many obvious coaching mistakes to even need to get into the little stuff. The lack of carries for the Purple Jesus on Sunday. The predictable offensive play calling against Kansas City. Throwing on third and short. 39 passing attempts for Kelly Holcomb. The average of 7.25 penalties per game for a team that can't afford to give up yards on offense or on defense. And something is very wrong with an offense that is averaging one touchdown a game. As Childress himself said, the coaching needs to get better.

There are some glimmers of hope, however. Even though they aren't completing them yet, the offense is taking shots down the field. The defense will continue to keep the team in games, which means that if the offense can improve, it will lead to victories. If it doesn't, however, it means the Vikings are going to continue to lose and lose in new and ever more frustrating ways. It also means they should be in the market for a coach at the end of the season. I hope Childress is spending the bye week figuring out how to move the ball against da Bears, because his job likely depends on it.

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