Childress has Vikings looking to bounce back

First-year Minnesota head coach Brad Childress, who interviewed with the 49ers for their vacant head-coaching position in 2003, talks Vikings and 49ers and gives his takes on several issues surrounding the two teams, along with the circumstances of his 2003 interview with previous San Francisco general manager Terry Donahue.

On if he is concerned that opponents now will try and duplicate what New England did on Monday night: "I know that everybody can line up in an empty set every week. We even have some in our package. I believe that you have to have the other components, i.e., a quarterback who is comfortable doing that play in and play out. It's something that is kind of engrained in Tom Brady. If you remember in one night game a few years ago, they threw the ball 25 times in a row. I'm not overly concerned, we have to be able to adjust to any formation, and obviously we probably learned some things about that empty set. I wish I could tell you that we didn't know they were going to do that, but we had a pretty good idea."

On if the 49ers have that capability: "I think they have the system that Mike Nolan and Norv Turner have put in place. Does it mean you don't steal something from someone? No, it never means that. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but a steady diet of it? I don't know if that's how they want to go about their business. Anything to be able to win, you just have to be able to do it and execute it. If it's completely out of body from your system, I don't know if that's great."

Since the 49ers running game is such a big part of their scheme, on if it would be unlikely to see that: "No, I don't believe anything to be unlikely. I do believe that it allows you to exert your will on somebody in the running game. I think football is a physical game by nature, and somewhere with the running backs and the offensive line they have, they may want to do that."

On the Patriots' defense: "They are pretty good. We thought we had a drive going early on to tie the score and then we turned the ball over. They can really bring it. You do not want to get into a one dimensional game with them because they are very capable to rush the passer and they have veteran people in there with LB Junior Seau, LB Tedy Bruschi, and S Rodney Harrison. They've also got good players on the front and in the back end as well. They are pretty salty in those areas and on special teams."

On if there is a dynamic difference in preparation from the Patriots to the 49ers: "It really doesn't. Anybody can beat anybody in this deal. You see that every week. We got to make our second west coast trip in three weeks, this is a short week, and I'm sure the 49ers have a little chip on their shoulders from the Chicago game. All these games are competitive, and that's why you don't barter for them, you play them."

On what you can do as a coach to stop turnovers even though the players are out there protecting the ball: "There are different circumstances for turnovers. If it's not taking care of the ball and being lackadaisical with it, whether it's a running back or a wide receiver, or a quarterback making a throw that is not prudent. You can address those kinds of things. If it's a big hit, sometimes the ball is going to get separated. That's part of football. I think where people are concerned to touch the football you need to be mindful of it because that's what everyone is fighting for. You look over and over again at what the turnover difference is and who wins the football game."

On what he recalls about interviewing with Terry Donahue for the 49ers coaching job: "I recall that I didn't come to San Francisco, I came to Southern California."

On how bizarre that was: "It wasn't bizarre. It was kind of nice around Newport Beach that time of year. I was on my way to the Pro Bowl, and it was not a bad stop off to break it up."

On why he took his name out of the running for the position: "I felt that I always had a good job, and I always got a good job when I already had a good job. I thought things started to extend too far, and somewhere you get a feeling of whether you are viable or are not viable and I thought it was a cast of thousands."

On if he was in a position where he could pick and choose his positions: "No, but there is a point where you don't just hang and wait. Put that situation as opposed to me being hired here. I was hired here in five days, and that was thirty-plus. You can see the difference in the two procedures."

Niners Digest Top Stories