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Did He Really Just Say That?

We directed you towards an article on Thursday that talked about Brad Childress clinging to a newspaper article in which veteran defensive tackle Pat Williams defended the unpopular head coach.

On Thursday, Childress might have succeeded in painting Big Pat as a villain in the modern-age NFL.

While talking about Sidney Rice’s pending decision to return to football (or sit out the season), Childress had this to say:

“We’re never going to chide a guy. The peer pressure in the locker room to play, to get up if you can get up, is hard enough as it stands. It doesn’t make any difference what it is. Those guys are, as you know, can be a tough crowd, whether it’s somebody that’s got a concussion – there’s a concussion protocol. That doesn’t mean that they’re above being ripped by their teammates. I think Pat Williams went off on somebody today in there that, as he can in his own diatribe. Which prompted: ‘Hey, what time do you want to come over for Thanksgiving dinner?’ from the person he was …”

The NFL has made it very clear over the last year or so that they consider concussions to be a very serious problem in the game of football, and the protocols put in place were done so to prevent players entering the field of play when they should be resting. 

One hot topic that continuously came up during these discussions was that of peer pressure, both from coaches and players.

What we can take away from the above statement made by Childress is that the team is aware of players harassing each other over their injury status and that the team accepts it (and even witnesses it, apparently) and allows it without consequence. 

The fact is that the NFL has said, in no uncertain terms, that players are above being “ripped by their teammates” and players like Pat Williams applying pressure to prematurely return to the game are putting others at risk.

The Vikings have been in the cutting edge when it comes to injury prevention.  They recently elected to not accept the lowest bid for turf replacement in the Metrodome, and instead paid a higher price for a product they felt would result in less knee injuries (unless your name is Chris Cook, apparently).  The Vikings have also developed specific neck exercises aimed at concussion prevention, which have been emulated by many other teams.

However, the NFL has realized that it needs more than gadgets and money to prevent serious injuries like concussions, and instead there needs to be a change in culture.  Judging from the actions of Pat Williams, the Vikings locker room has not seen much of a culture change in this regard, and apparently that is okay with Brad Childress and his coaches.

Whether or not it is okay with the NFL, on the other hand, might be a whole other story.

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3 Responses to “Did He Really Just Say That?”

  1. Lost Viking says:

    Not as surprised by Chilly comments as I am that he is even talking when StarTrib staff are within earshot. Again, we’re reading JuggZy&Skip’s firsthand account. StarTrib initiated injury dialogue with their inflammatory comments about Sidney Rice’ contract. Next they’ll try to make Childress’ comments into another exclusive. Enough already.

    Childress’ position is in play again this weekend. What little security he has is a result of his contract status and that of the other coaches.

    Per John Clayton, “the cost of firing Childress is high but not as high as most people think. Childress signed an extension through 2013, but the final year is the team’s option. A source said Wilf would have to pay $6.6 million for 2011 and 2012. Childress is an unpopular figure around Vikings headquarters, but Wilf must decide whether he wants to try defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier….”

  2. bigjohnny84 says:

    There’s peer pressure at every level of sports, not just the NFL. Hell even in flag football injured kids are getting prodded about when they are gonna play. It’s the nature of the beast.

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