It's likely Childress recommended they enjoy the time off because when they return things are going be very busy. Especially if the Vikings are going to make a serious run at the playoffs.
A team that entered the season with big-time expectations after adding free agents Bernard Berrian and Madieu Williams and acquiring Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen in a trade with Kansas City, has a disappointing 3-4 record but finds itself only a game behind Chicago and Green Bay in the NFC North. Both of those teams have 4-3 records as they enjoy their bye week.
It doesn't help matters that the Vikings have lost to both the Packers and Bears on the road, but they have yet to play either of those teams at the Metrodome.
Minnesota will return from its off week to play host to 2-4 Houston on Nov. 2. That will begin a key two-game home stand that will include a match-up the following week with the Packers.
The Vikings are hoping to benefit not only from some time away but also from the return of Williams, who left Cincinnati to sign a six-year, $33 million contract that included almost $13 million guaranteed. Williams has yet to play in a game this season after suffering a neck injury early in training camp.
Rookie Tyrell Johnson, a second-round pick out of Arkansas State, has done an admirable job taking Williams' place but the Vikings gave Williams all that money for a reason.
One big disappointment for the Vikings to date has been a turnover differential that stands at minus-4 through seven games. The Vikings are near the bottom of the NFL with 15 giveaways and had five in a 48-41 loss to Chicago on Sunday.
Childress knows that figure needs to be cut if the Vikings are going to contend. He also knows the special teams must start to play better.
The Vikings have surrendered five touchdowns against on special teams in seven games, including two in the loss to the Bears. The tone was set in the regular-season opener when the Packers' Will Blackmon returned a Chris Kluwe punt 76 yards for a touchdown.
Kluwe has had three punts returned for scores and Sunday the Bears' Garrett Wolfe walked into the end zone from 17 yards out after Kluwe dropped a snap, had his punt attempt blocked and then tried to kick the ball.
Asked if he planned to get more involved with the special teams, Childress said: "I'm in the special teams meeting every day. We have specialists out there every day ... kicking the football, catching the football, punting the football. ... They get coached every day. There's somebody back there with them. It's not like they're in a vacuum. Schematically, I think we have a good scheme. We just need to operate it better."
--Childress and his coaching staff will get some down time this week, but they also are spending many hours doing what is called a self-scout. Basically that means they are pulling apart several facets of the team on film, such as personnel packages, and examining them to see where they can improve.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 — Interceptions for the Vikings, tied for 19th in the NFL this season. Veteran safety Darren Sharper, the NFL's active leader in career regular-season picks with 53, still does not have one this year.