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Childress Goes On The Defensive

Question:  How many games did it take for Brad Childress to be criticized nationally?

Answer:  One.

A number of things contributed to the Vikings loss in their season opener to the Saints, but postgame talk revolved around certain coaching decisions.  Here is Brad Childress talking about a number of those issues.

Running The Ball

After carrying the ball 13 times for 57 yards in the first half, it was obvious to anyone watching Thursday’s game that Adrian Peterson was running hard and was one of very few bright spots on the offense.  Inexplicably, Childress and company only gave Peterson the ball six more times in the second half.  He had zero carries in the fourth quarter.

“I can’t tell you exactly how many plays there were in the second half,” said Childress on Friday. “We had a couple of gainers in the very first series of the second half if I’m not mistaken. Adrian had a plus-12 but that was only a four-play drive. That was like on first down. We go 12 and then essentially go three-and-out from that point on.

“Just kind of got behind the 8-ball a little bit in terms of the down and distance when you’re looking at normal down and distance. I know once we ran it for 6 yards and weren’t able to get a first down on the next two downs. It’s just that we weren’t able to go back and continue to lean on the run and be patient enough with the run because when you’re three-and-out you’re typically behind on down and distance.”

Brad’s explanation doesn’t work for me.  The game was never out of reach, and to abandon the run in favor of a stagnant passing game is simply a ludicrous decision.  When Brad defends his passing offense, you’ll be even more convinced that the Vikings should have been running the ball a lot more.

“I’ll do whatever it takes,” Peterson said after the loss.  “Whatever it takes to help this team win.  I don’t know if Coach heard me, but I remember walking by in the second half on the sideline saying, ‘Hey, give it to me.  Feed me.’ I don’t know if he really heard me.  But there’s a lot to learn from this game.”

Passing The Ball

Coach Childress dismissed speculation sputtered because of a lack of chemistry between quarterback and the receivers, and instead admitted that the offense was simply outsmarted.

“There was not a lot of timing throws out there because of how they rushed things. There were not a lot of throws to be made far down the field,” Childress said.  “We need to be a little more patient and we have to be able to run the football. I thought we had a pretty good pulse going into halftime.”

“The blitz was very, very, very infrequent,” Childress said. “Maybe because of some of their injuries they thought about coverage. They also played a bunch of 3-4, they played a bunch of odd front. That was a nice mixer for them and it took a second to get in sync. You’re thinking even and they went odd, so it was a nice move by them.”

Childress discussed how the Saints constantly dropped eight and rushed three, which apparently effectively disoriented the offense… for an entire game.  All the more reason to run the ball, if you ask me.  I can’t remember the last time Peterson had an opportunity to face a defense bent on stopping the pass.

Of course, things would have been better had the passing attack been better.

“I think the timing was a little bit off,”  Brett Favre admitted. “Without looking at the film, off the top of my head, there were three or four throws that I just missed. I have no excuse other than just missing them. I threw one behind Greg Lewis. I had a couple of reads that I should have made differently. If I do that, I think it is a different ballgame. Overall, I just missed on some throws that I should have made.”

Defensive Line

The defensive line seemed much less dominant than we are used to on Thursday.  They only got one sack, and the Saints were running at will in the second half, which are both a rare sight for Vikings fans.

Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans make up a great duo in the middle of the Saints offensive line, but something seemed off with the Vikings line.  Something seemed different.

Well, as it turns out, something was different.

The Vikings had an unusual amount of rotation on the defensive line.  Jared Allen is a guy that never wants to come off the field, but even he spent a good potion of the game on the sidelines while others spelled him.

“We had a pretty good wave going in there,” Childress said. “You saw Jayme Mitchell get in there and get a sack. You saw Brian Robison go inside and rush. You saw Ray (Edwards) rushing from the right side where he normally rushes from the left side. We’re going to keep that mixing (of players in and out). We’ve got good football players in there. (Letroy) Guion did a good job, (Fred) Evans did a good job, so we’re going to keep those guys fresh and wave them in and out.”

It will be interesting to see if the Vikings continue this approach after such a poor showing from the offensive line.

Defending the Pass

Fans received a bit of a surprised when it was announced that Husain Abdullah was the team’s new starting strong safety.  He was never thought to be in the competition for the starting gig, but despite playing with backups for much of training camp and preseason, he apparently beat out Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford fair and square.

“I can’t give an exact date, but I know just by grading those guys and listening to the comments about that position and for the snaps we had and me paraphrasing to the coach, ‘So what we’re saying is…’” Childress said. “He continued to ascend to the point where you believe he gave you the best opportunity to win. I thought he did some good things in terms of tackling and getting people on the ground. Sometimes it’s not pretty in that last line of defense, but all you’re talking about is usually finding angles and getting somebody down.”

Despite the fact that Abdullah and others (here’s looking at you Asher Allen) were out of position on a number of plays, Childress seemed pretty happy with his shallow secondary that were arguably bailed out by two missed field goals and a number of dropped passes.

“I thought they did a very good job,”  Childress said. “I thought they were exceptional. I think we can do some better things fundamentally and technique wise out there, but I thought they did a decent job out there.”

McKinnie Update:  Bryant McKinnie was shown being carted off the field in the second half of the game.  He had a dislocated finger (and had to use the cart?!?) and the medical staff was unable to get it back into place on the sidelines.  They were able to get him back into playing shape, and he was ready to return for the Vikings game winning drive that never happened because the defense couldn’t stop the run.  If you have a strong stomach, McKinnie posted pictures of his dislocated finger on his Twitter account.

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15 Responses to “Childress Goes On The Defensive”

  1. Norseman66 says:

    This is what happens when Favre starts running the team and calling the plays. They get away from their bread and butter (the running game). Asher Allen showed what he’s all about, that would be overrated. Let’s face it, Favre did not come back because he wanted to. He came back because they offered to pay him more and they begged him. This team is no more than a 9-7 or best case 10-6 team this year. If anybody thinks they will be better than that, is just doing some wishful thinking.

    • Brett says:

      Thanks negative norsy…

    • Fran the Man says:

      I’m not sure I get you Norseman.
      Favre is not the one who decided to not play AD in the 4th qtr, our “Coach” did.
      I certainly didn’t see a bunch of changes at the line, indicating Favre stuck with the play sent in from the sideline, more often then not.

      Sure, Favre looked rusty (I say Old)and missed a couple of throws and proves he damn sure should have been in training camp getting in sinc with his receivers.

      But the fact remains Childress cannot make gametime nor halftime adjustments. And when he does, he does things like yank AD out of the game, the only player other than Shanko who was moving the ball.

      All right, I’ll say it;

      FIRE CHILDRESS!!!!!!

      • Purple Charlie says:

        I don’t understand why Childress pulls him out of the game either…

        Brad’s explanations make no sense are numbing to the mind…

        Boy I’m with ya on the Fire Childress thing…

  2. Vikidan11 says:

    Nice writeup Adam ~ There is no way around it the Vikings were out coached ~ Favre is rusty as was EJ though Favre looked the worse of the two ~ A good HC will take what he has and game plan around it ~ The offense I saw vs the Saints looked just like the first PS game Favre played in ~

    The OL is still the biggest problem ~ The Vikings were in max protection all night long and that keep key players off the field in the passing game ~

  3. Lost Viking says:

    PFT has started circulating the rumor Vike are the team in the hunt for wide receiver Vincent Jackson.

    Apparently one team worked out Vincent Jackson last week and came to contract agreement. The hold up is 1) lack of agreement w/ Charger on draft compensation (SD wanted #2 and #3), and 2) League clarification of Jackson’s six game suspension and whether it will be reduced to 3 games

  4. fozz44 says:

    Childress just reverted back to the 2009 version.
    What an absolute garbage analysis of the defensive line. “We had a good wave going on there” Huh? They got abused Chilly…and the only waving they did was to Pierre Thomas as he kept making it past them and into the secondary.

  5. fozz44 says:

    meant the 2007 version, btw.

  6. wtfvikesfan says:

    Chili should be fired!!!!! and speilman!!!!!!!!!!!! go into a big game like that with 4 wr’s and 3 cb’s. Zigi should fire chili and put Leslie Frazier in charge!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Stortorden says:

      Another game that leaves a fan scratching his head, Chilly has a lot of talent on the team. Albert Young is not part of that last sentence. Never has been and never will be. Moving Harvin to a slot he isn’t used to was a bad decision and it showed. Not getting Camarillo into the game for Favre was also not very smart and not giving Peterson the touches in the second half was once again, not smart. Oh yeah, and why is Berrian still here, he can’t catch, can’t catch a kickoff, apparently can’t run a route. I’m not in any players corner, practice squad players or players that have been cut. A few of these alleged “Big Time” players have more myth behind them that Odin and Thor. Or as I see it Young and Berrian. Time for Childress to take off the Pet Goggles and get some talent out there to make this offense move.

  7. wtfvikesfan says:

    Love this headline!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    South Dakota stuns Minnesota; USC next for Gophers

  8. wtfvikesfan says:

    Got to Love it when any team from the Dakota’s beat the Gophers( should i say goof balls)!!!!!!!

  9. wtfvikesfan says:

    If T-Jack was playing thursday night Vikes would have won the game!!!!

  10. krugjr says:

    If the Wilfs had hired Williams instead of Childress, we’d have two SB victories already!

    trouble is, the Wilfs aren’t “real” football people, and either is Professor Childress…..

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