Tim Yotter: If a move is made in-season, then it will be Leslie Frazier promoted and probably given the chance to impress enough to become a consideration for the future. You've got to remember that the lack of a collective bargaining agreement probably plays into the equation. If the entire coaching staff is let go and they have to hire a new one, then they are paying out Childress for the remainder of his contract (or a buyout) plus paying a new coach that may or may not have a team to coach in 2011. That's a very difficult decision owner Zygi Wilf has to make. So with all that as background, I think the preference from the owner (and this is just a guess since his comments have been extremely limited) would be to have things get turned around and keep Childress at least through the end of the season. But right now the players just aren't responding and there haven't been a lot of signs of that turning around. You can't fire the entire roster, so the alternative seems to lead to the writing on the wall that Childress isn't here in 2011.
Huber: The Vikings are last in the NFL in turnover ratio and Brett Favre has thrown the most interceptions in the league. If it were anybody other than Favre, he'd probably be benched. Childress doesn't care about next year since he's coaching for his job, but is Favre really the best option?
Brett Favre took a knockout shot from the Patriots' Myron Pryor.
Huber: Then again, maybe it's not all on Favre. He certainly wasn't to blame for any of the three picks against Chicago. Do you think we'd be writing different stories this week if Favre had a healthy Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian all year or the Moss trade wouldn't have turned out to be such a disaster?
Sidney Rice hasn't played yet this year.
Huber: I figured the Vikings would destroy the Bears last week because Minnesota's front four would manhandle the Bears' offensive line and get after Jay Cutler. One thing Packers coach Mike McCarthy said this week is the Vikings are a vastly different team at home. Is that how you see it, and does that give the Vikings – and their suspect cornerbacks – a good chance against Green Bay's passing game?
Yotter: I do agree that the Vikings are much better pass-rushing team at home, or at least on artificial turf, but they haven't consistently gotten their pass rush going this year. Their last home game, against Arizona, was by far their best – getting six sacks – but that was against Derek Anderson, who tended to hold onto the ball longer than he should have and four of those six came in Arizona's final two drives of the game when the Cardinals felt they had to pass. That has also been part of the problem with the pass rush – the Vikings haven't had many leads big enough to force a team to pass. They have four sacks in five road games, but only one sack in their last three road games. They also set a franchise record by going three games without a sack, so the fear factor of the Vikings' defensive line shouldn't be as great as it was last year.
Huber: Barring a 7-0 finish to the season, the Vikings probably are finished for this year – even if they beat Green Bay on Sunday. Given their recent level of success, this team just doesn't look like a team that's going to be bad for the next few years. I've just hired you as general manager. Give me a few moves to get this team pointed back in the right direction.
Yotter: Hiring a general manager would be a start, although you'd want someone with more real-world experience. But I'd start with a new coach because I don't think the players will respond favorably to Childress anymore. After that, I'd start by changing the scheme of the offensive line. I don't believe their predominantly zone blocking works well for a running back like Adrian Peterson. I'd look to trade Bernard Berrian (if that's even possible because of his salary) and use his money to re-sign Sidney Rice. Re-signing Chad Greenway would have to be a priority, as is working on a long-term contract for Peterson. Then I'd look to find a find a developmental quarterback in the first or second round of the draft and a safety to take over for Madieu Williams, who I believe has never played the same since his neck injury in his first training camp with the Vikings. None of those moves are novel and none of them require huge free-agent investments, but they would likely need a short-term answer at quarterback either through free agency or trade to bridge the gap while a young one develops. I still believe this team has a lot of talent and rebuilding isn't necessary, but a refreshing attitude is needed.
Bill Huber is the publisher of Packer Report and Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this hot topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.