Childress explains replays, play-calling

Vikings coach Brad Childress questioned the officiating, the timing of an extra point and even his own thinking. There was plenty of fallout after the Vikings' loss to the Packers Sunday night.

Replay was brought into the NFL to simplify things – to make sense of plays that are controversial or ones that are called wrong and can be made right. Brad Childress, however, is having a hard time believing that the referees got things right or simplified anything in Sunday's loss to the Packers.

First came the overturning of a touchdown pass to Visanthe Shiancoe that, according to the interpretation of the rules, should not have been overturned. Childress said his belief was that, if the play was ruled a touchdown, there needed to be enough proof to overturn the call and it appeared Shiancoe got both hands under the ball for a touchdown.

"That's my thing," Childress said. "It's supposed to be irrefutable evidence. The guy is looking right down on it and says it is a touchdown. You have got to show them something that says it wasn't a touchdown. Might they have called it incomplete? They could have called it incomplete, and would you reverse that? I saw him control the ball. It's not about forearms. It's not about hands. I was told it was about hands. If he has it in his teeth and it touches the ground and he has it when he comes up, it's a touchdown."

Childress said the Vikings failed to challenge a touchdown to Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, and replay showed he did not have possession of a pass called a touchdown on the field. Childress said it was a fluid situation that initially looked like a good catch, which caused him not to immediately challenge the call on the field.

"I asked, ‘Was it a catch?' upstairs," Childress said. "It came back over, one replay quickly and they said it looks like a catch. I thought the timing was much different on that catch that could have been more questionable than Visanthe Shiancoe's. They tell you that typically the timing will be, if there's a question, we'll hold it on the extra-point so guys can get a look at it upstairs. I just thought it went quicker and then it went to a commercial. Obviously by the time you kick the try, it's too late when you get a chance to slow down and look at it again. We got one look and I looked at it, but you can't look at it multiple times over and over again from different angles. Do I wish I would have? Yeah, I wish I would have. I was told it would have been an incomplete pass, just like I was told (Monday) morning that (the pass to Shiancoe) was a touchdown by (NFL head of officiating) Carl Johnson. He was disappointed to see that reversed."

Childress also had a mea culpa about the team not being more aggressive at the end of the first half, looking to add to their 17-14 lead at the half. He said that, in hindsight, he wished the team would have pressed the issue more.

"Yeah, I would," Childress said about trying to get in scoring position at the end of the half. "I looked back again through it, looked at the play-by-play, I looked again through it this morning. Just to give you a window into my thought process, they had three timeouts, back on the 24-yard line, we run it for four (yards), they call timeout. Now you have a window to their mind. They want the ball back before the half's out. We need to go ahead and run it again because you want them to use their timeouts. You don't want to stop the clock and give them timeouts should the ball go back to them. We run it again and it bounces out to the 34-yard line. Now once we get it out there with a little breathing room, I use a timeout because they don't use a timeout. We get a little breathing room, a spot where we think we might be able to score. We elect to throw the ball down the field to Randy (Moss). We get an offensive pass interference. We go back to the 24, so now it's first-and-20 at the 24. We run it again [to the 38-yard line]. I'm looking at that point in time, I'm thinking, 'We took our shot, we backed up 10 yards, we take it up to the 38, see if he was going to call timeout now because of how the fortunes were.' He didn't call timeout, and I said, 'I'm going to let it go off the clock.' Your question was could I have been more aggressive. Yeah, I could have done a better job with that."

There is the expectation that Childress' questioning of officials – he went on KFAN Radio calling the officiating among the worst he's ever seen – may well result in him being fined. He said if a fine is going to be levied, so be it. He stands by his feeling on the Shiancoe reversal and the replay process in general.

"I (will) find that down the road," Childress said of potential fines. "My thing is, 'Hey let's just get it right. Get it right.'"

John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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