Childress' Bye Philosophy: R&R

Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress gave players their most extensive in-season time off with the bye this week, believing the players and assistant coaches needed to get away from the game.

Believing the grind of the season already is tough enough, Vikings coach Brad Childress has given his players nearly the entire bye week to rest.

The first-year coach had the players at the team's practice facility in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, on Monday for the team photo and day-after-game meetings and then brought them back Tuesday for some strength training.

But that was it.

Players aren't due back until next Monday and many jumped on flights Tuesday to enjoy the time away in different cities. Childress also made it clear he wants to get his coaches some rest, so after watching film of Oct. 22 opponent Seattle on Tuesday it's expected many assistants will get a break.

All in all, it's an interesting plan laid out by Childress. Coaches have differing philosophies on how they treat the bye week. The Packers, for instance, were scheduled to practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week before dispersing.

Asked how similar his bye week schedule is to what Andy Reid did in Philadelphia when Childress was the Eagles' offensive coordinator, Childress said: "You know, we did different things at different times. I'm trying to think along the course of the six or seven years. There were times we brought them back for a practice or two. There were times later on where we gave them some time off, most of the time off."

This being the Vikings, Childress did remind his players to, "not be the guy," as he addressed them Monday. What Childress meant, of course, was don't be the guy who gets in trouble. It was during the bye week a year ago, that the Vikings had their infamous Lake Minnetonka love boat party that caused great embarrassment to owner Zygi Wilf and helped cost coach Mike Tice his job.

Players left Winter Park on Monday assuring everyone there would be no repeat of an incident that came during what had turned into an annual party hosted by first-year players during the bye.

"Don't worry about it," defensive tackle Pat Williams said. "We've come a long way. Guys have gotten a lot smarter around here. Everybody is smarter. Nobody is going to be, ‘The Guy,' this week. Everybody is going to take care of their business."

That includes Childress, who likely will spend his time focusing on an offense that has disappointed so far. That unit has accounted for only four touchdowns — one more than the defense.

As the guy who calls the plays and is essentially the offensive coordinator, Childress is largely responsible for getting more out of this group. One area of concentration will be on what happens in the red zone, where the Vikings are ranked near the bottom of the league with a 25 percent success rate.

Childress also could look for ways to get his West Coast offense more vertical.

The team has taken few down-field shots. Childress, though, defended this after Sunday's 26-17 victory over Detroit.

"(Detroit's) whole mentality was they were not going to let you throw the ball over the top of their head," he said. "It just wasn't going to happen. They were going to make you bleed slowly, and you were going to have to take what's there. But would you like to (go vertical)?

"Yeah, you would like to, when they're there. This has always been an offense where you're checking up top and them bringing it down from level to level. ... I think that's what you kind of charge the quarterback with, that decision-making. To throw it deep for the sake of throwing it deep, you don't do that."


  • RB Chester Taylor rushed for 123 yards Sunday against Detroit, the second-highest total of his career. Taylor's best rushing day came Dec. 5, 2004 at Cincinnati when he went for 139 yards on 23 carries.

  • The highly paid left side of the Vikings' offensive line, which includes tackle Bryant McKinnie and guard Steve Hutchinson, proved key to Taylor's success vs. Detroit. Taylor gained 71 of his 123 yards going to the left, including 54 yards on six carries over left tackle.

  • The two touchdowns by the Vikings' defense Sunday marked the first time that unit had scored twice in a game since Nov. 23, 2003 when defensive backs Corey Chavous and Brian Williams found the end zone. Like Sunday, that game also was against Detroit.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 8.6 — Average number of penalties the Vikings have taken this season in five games. Their total of 43 infractions is the most in the NFL.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "They pay a lot of money to sit in those seats. They can do whatever they like to do. You live with it. It's not an energy sap or anything like that. It is what it is. If I spent time or they spent their time reacting to the crowd, it wouldn't be much to look at." — Vikings coach Brad Childress on his reaction to fans booing his team's offense during Sunday's victory over the Detroit Lions. The offense has accounted for only four touchdowns this season.

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