Brad Childress Fired As Vikings Head Coach

EDEN PRAIRIE (WCCO) — Brad Childress has been fired as the Minnesota Vikings head coach, according to the team.

After being relieved of his coaching duties, Childress issued a statement saying he was proud of the team’s accomplishments over the years.

“The past five years have been a tremendous experience for my family and I as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. I have a great respect for the players and coaches who I have worked with and for their dedication to each other and to the organization.”

“I am proud of our accomplishments and believe the foundation of this football team is stronger today than when I became head coach in 2006,” Childress stated. “I appreciate the opportunity that Zygi, Mark and the whole Wilf family afforded me and wish them success as they move forward.”

The team also released the following statement:

“The Minnesota Vikings have relieved Brad Childress of his head coaching duties. Leslie Frazier has been named Interim Head Coach and will serve in that capacity for the remainder of the season.”

Owner Zygi Wilf and Frazier will address the media at 3 p.m. The press conference will be streaming live on WCCO-TV and at WCCO.COM.

The firing comes a day after Childress’s future with the team was left even more in doubt, and Wilf walked sternly out of a silent locker room without commenting.

The Vikings fell to 3-7 after a 31-3 loss to rival Green Bay on Sunday, the final blow to Childress in his fifth season in charge of the team. It was his most-lopsided home defeat as head coach, dropping his overall record to 40-37.

Childress took over for the fired Mike Tice in 2006 after spending seven years with the Eagles, including four as the offensive coordinator. He was chosen by Wilf to instill discipline and demand better off-the-field behavior from a team that was embarrassed the year before by a bye-week boat party gone bad and a number of other legal problems for players.

However, Childress stumbled in his first year and never fully gained the faith of the fans — or some of his players.

He infamously cut dissatisfied wide receiver Marcus Robinson on Christmas Eve, had trouble connecting and communicating with some of his players and often came across to the public as rigid and aloof.

The offense struggled without a clear solution at quarterback, and it wasn’t until last year, when Childress persuaded Brett Favre to put off retirement a second time, that the Vikings finally put up points and became the dominant team that matched the Pro Bowl talent on the roster.

Still, they went from 6-10 to 8-8 to 10-6 to 12-4 in his first four seasons, losing in the NFC title game in overtime last January to the eventual champion New Orleans Saints. Last November, Wilf — pleased by the stability and the progress — gave Childress a contract extension. According to an report on Nov. 19, the deal runs through 2013 but the final year is the team’s option.

This season almost seemed destined for doom, given how smoothly it all went in 2009 until the very end and how well the 40-year-old Favre played by taking care of the ball and making age-defying throws into the end zone.

Favre didn’t show up for camp until mid-August, and the next week wide receiver Sidney Rice had hip surgery. Wide receiver Percy Harvin missed big chunks of time, mostly because of migraine headaches, and center John Sullivan was out of action for several weeks with a nagging calf injury.

Coincidence or not, the offense was out of sync to start, Favre began turning the ball over at costly times and the Vikings suddenly were missing last year’s magic.

The relationship between Favre and Childress, which was tense at times in 2009, seemed to sour further when Favre threw three ill-fated interceptions in the Oct. 24 game at Green Bay and the Vikings lost to Favre’s old team.

Childress, who was just 3-9 against the rival Packers as Minnesota coach, was sharply critical of Favre’s decision-making afterward, and the coach drew his own criticism for failing to challenge a Packers touchdown catch that could’ve been overturned because the ball was being bobbled.

Then the situation really went south following a loss at New England. Wide receiver Randy Moss, acquired in a trade for a third-round draft pick just four weeks earlier, went out of his way to praise the Patriots and criticize Childress in a post-game rant.

The next day, Childress told his players he had cut Moss and never fully explained the situation to them or the public. Wilf was reportedly angry that Childress didn’t tell him first of his plan, and there were anonymous reports of growing dissatisfaction in the locker room about the boss. Childress and Harvin got into a heated argument during one practice over an MRI test on his sprained ankle.

Fans made no secret about their frustration, with thousands of “Fire Chilly” signs distributed on Nov. 7 outside the stadium before the Vikings played Arizona and several chants breaking out from the seats during the game.

The Vikings rallied for an overtime victory over the Cardinals to table the firing talk temporarily, but a 27-13 loss at Chicago on Nov. 14 and the blowout against Green Bay cranked it back up again.

Inside The Box: Childress Is Out, Now What About Favre?

Mike Max and John Williams Talk About Childress Firing

Zygi Wilf Addresses Brad Childress Firing

Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier On Taking Over

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • http://www.gordonmedley Gordon Medley

    Now it’s time for Brett to retire

  • vcolson

    Can’t argue the move, but I’m not sure how this will help Loadholt block and keep his hands to himself,, Favre hit receivers instead of opponents, and a secondary play above the level of a Jr. High team.

  • Purple Pride

    There are only two coaches, those who are fired and those who will be fired. This team was so bad Sunday I never even yelled at the TV.

  • joe

    Finally should have happened 2 weeks ago, BUT dont blame Favre, have the new coach put in a front line that can block for thier QB and then see what really happens!!!!

    • vickyp

      YES – you are so right!

  • Nate Pillar

    Very glad this happened…but Percy still is getting migranes, and Ryan Cook is still 6’6 and went to New Mexico. Also, my cat meows alot, can anybody help me with that issue? And my son may be homosexual.

  • Jake

    This is unfortunate. While I live and die by the Vikings, this feels like a knee-jerk reaction to forces beyond the coach’s control. If Favre was playing the way he played last year, they would be within a game of first place or better. There is no question off-the-field stuff outside of Childress’s domain have hurt the team. If he bears responsibility, it’s taking one more chance on one of the greatest QBs, to include giving him Moss (oops) and banking no training camp would be fatal.

    Childress was wrong on Favre this time. But let’s face it: 1ten months ago he was good enough to get us to the NFC championship game (and outplay the other team). Only four coaches got their teams to that point, and yet the other 28 teams did not immediately fire their head coaches. To get there, you have to identify talent and be a game-day coach. Childress did that.

    Through human history, people have crowded the public square to watch heads roll. While not a media favorite (unlike that warm and fuzzy Bud Grant), Childress endured more than his share of mob anger. I’d have been happy with one down year and one shot at the Super Bowl under Childress. Mark my words, Wilf and the rest of the off-with-his-head crowd will be wishing for that in a couple years, too.

    • Sonya

      I agree with you 100%. This was not all on his shoulders! I actually feel bad for him.

    • Andrew

      This is right on the mark! Couldn’t have said it better, myself.

  • CO

    It’s time….TJ or Webb….Let’s move on….but……Cook/Allen……need not play

  • stud55well

    let’s start with team chemistry.

  • Barb Spado

    and the big rich guy owner can sit back and take no responsibility for the mess the vikings are in. It’s good to be king

  • Beth

    I hope they dont make Frazier the head coach. So the players like him. Big deal. He is in charge of defense and he let 31 points through yesterday.

  • rsgirl

    favre can go with him

  • mike L

    Just the guy we need to steer our ship. the guy who oversses the defense that hasnt been able to stop anyone, or anything all season long.

  • Toby

    Too late – he stole another superbowl team away from Minnesota.

    Should have been done second game of the season.

  • Dave L

    Great start to rebuilding the team. He lost the team, and thats all that matters. Once the team loses respect for their coach, its time for new blood. I hear Gruden and Cower are looking for good teams to coach.

  • Hugh Jardon

    Vikings just told Childress, “Go Pack!”

  • Nate Pillar

    Brad Childress makes my pet hamster unhappy…thank you vikings administration.

  • Alex R

    He is just the first of people on this team that need to be fired. You can’t blame it all on him. He’s not out there making plays just calling em. So long Chilly good luck in your future….

  • Joni G

    Randy Moss for coach!!

  • Michelle Hoffmann

    Ok, who’s next to go?


    I feel bad for the players…… about LOW MORAL!!!!

  • mrozen

    not all his fault-he’s not on the field making the mistakes-but he is not an offensive genius, the first two years proved that. and if Favre wouldn’t have been out calling him last year the results would’ve been the same-time to get Jackson in at quarterback he deserves alot more credit than he has been getting-Favres been hurt most of the year and keeps going in to play[selfish] he does not give us the best chance to win iJackson is more mobile and is a good quarterback-time to let him show it-crying purple today what a shame-now get the Wilfs a stadium they also deserve one before their gone to

  • wane

    Jake, was it not childress that decided to review plays that shouldnt have been reviewed, was it not chidress that even though the team was moving before halftime, decided to take a knee. and to give up a 3rd round pick and 1.5 million dollars to Moss just to get rid of him in 4 weeks, knowing ful well the baggage Moss brings with him.Lets be real. Childress is not the only blame but lets not make him a saint either,

    • Jake

      Wane, I certainly didn’t use the word “saint,” but I am realistic enough to know that only one team has happy fans at the end of the year. Childress made bad decisions from time-to-time, but he still took an awful situation after Tice was finally dropped and made the team a contender (despite his man-crush on T.Jack- who nobody had ever heard of) once he secured the pre-porn text accused Favre. I already mentioned Moss, but even that was a good try with admittedly bad results. It’s a bit like a baseball team giving up prospects for veterans to make a pennant run. This one failed miserably (although I believe the team that took him off waivers pays the balance of the 1.5 mill.).

      We have an embarrassment of riches in sports opportunities here, which (my friends from other places points out) has led to us being less-than-great sports fans at times. We leave games early (to beat the traffic), and we abandon teams fast because there are so many other options here.

      I was not at all happy when the Gophers dropped Mason. I lived through Gutekunst and Wacker, and the chance to have a winning team with a bowl and a chance five games into the Big Ten season was worth it to me, and he should have had a shot at recruiting to the new stadium. Everyone celebrated his firing after a huge collapse in a meaningless bowl game, but what did we get? We all started yearning for Gutie and “Geezo Beezo” Wacker.

      So, now Childress is gone. I really, really, really hope I’m wrong, but what will all you “geniuses” have to say when our best record the next four seasons is 4 and 12? (With all respect to Sid, of course).

  • Fran Tic

    Then they wouldn’t want to move here. . . . .

  • lolita333

    Please take Brett with you too

  • Big Sexy

    Most people don’t get a 8 million buy out good for you Brad! One man won’t be able to fix tyhis mess…

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