Brad Childress, already under fire for his bizarre trade-for-then-release actions with Randy Moss, may be edging closer to unemployment, says ESPN’s Kevin Seifert:
It appears Wilf won’t fire Childress for this incident, but Childress’ future doesn’t look promising. Independent of the Moss debacle, he has presided over one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments this season. Wilf is paying out one of the league’s highest payrolls and has two victories in seven games to show for it. So in an extended Free Head Exam format, let’s look at three issues surrounding Childress that merit further examination:
1. Childress has demonstrated what we’ll kindly call a unique relationship with the truth, at least when speaking publicly. All NFL coaches protect information for competitive purposes, but increasingly over time, Childress has clumsily expressed falsehoods that call into question the credibility of most everything he says.
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2. I have never been a fan of committee leadership structures in the NFL, but Wilf believes strongly in his and demands that his front office work together to make football decisions. Childress is expected to work hand-in-hand with Rick Spielman, the vice president of player personnel, and Rob Brzezinski, the vice president of football operations. Wilf positions himself to settle any disagreements.
Childress has now run astray of that structure at least twice, and he has on multiple occasions noted that his contract calls for him to have final say over the 53-man roster. His personal relationship with Spielman and Brzezinski is probably irrelevant, but I would suggest that Childress has positioned himself on an island within the front office and would have few allies defending him internally if Wilf considered a coaching change.
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3. Childress has done a fine job hiring defensive coordinators during his tenure, starting with Mike Tomlin and continuing with Leslie Frazier. So we note with some irony that Frazier’s presence provides Wilf a legitimate option for an in-season change, one that wouldn’t be realistic with a less established or experienced coordinator.
If there were ever a coordinator capable of taking over a team in November, it’s Frazier. He’s among the NFL’s most prepared men for the job, and Vikings players on both sides of the ball respect him. The potential for disruption would be minimal.
Seifert always seemed a calm and level-headed writer, both when he was with the Star Tribune and now with ESPN. The tone of this article is scathing . . . I can’t recall reading anything Seifert has written that expresses so much barely concealed dislike for the subject.