At his opening press conference, new Vikings coach Brad Childress discussed "going ashore and burning the boats" – a reference to the Vikings of the past (not the ones on Lake Minnetonka).
While Childress and the organization are moving forward, the bigger question is what, if any, of the current coaching staff will remain. There are some who believed that Ted Cottrell may have been the man for the job, but now his status as defensive coordinator is in doubt.
One of the primary objectives of any new coach is to surround himself with the talent that can best get the job done and implement his vision of how the team should move forward. Childress didn't call plays for the Eagles for most of his tenure, but has been credited with the emergence of Donovan McNabb as a big-time NFL quarterback. McNabb came to the NFL after playing in the gimmick freeze-option system at Syracuse and Childress helped mold him into a prototype NFL passer.
"He played an instrumental role in developing the Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said. "Brad Childress is detailed, organized, tough and smart. He embodies class, character, discipline and a great family man. Bottom line, Brad Childress is a winner."
It is expected that Childress will have the same type of responsibility with the Vikings, but he is coming to the team blind – having little familiarity with the team's personnel and what each player's strengths and weaknesses are. Keeping at least one or two coaches that are in the know on those subjects would seem to make sense, but in this business that are no guarantees of anything.
"This business is a tough business. Sometimes you can keep people and sometimes you can't keep people," Childress said of the current Vikings assistants. "Everybody knows the drill, but I think there is a certain amount of compassion involved in that. I've been on the other end of that and I'm sensitive to it, but by the same token I want to get a first-rate staff in here."
Childress said he is returning to Philadelphia over the weekend and will return to Minnesota the middle of next week. At that time, he will decide who stays and who goes. But if the events of the last week are any indication, it looks as though the Vikings are going to overhaul the management of the franchise – naming a new personnel director – and, in the process, many if not all of Tice's assistants could wind up as casualties of that.
Decisions Now on Childress
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