Brad Childress Deserves Credit for Vikings' Success
Vikings coach Brad Childress was not mentioned by any of the voters, but he should have been.
It may sound crazy for a coach who has spent most of the past five years one more mistep away from being fired, and one that seems to be the butt of a whole lot of jokes (his headset makes it look like he's taking orders as McDonald's, he was crazy enough to insist the Vikings could win with Tarvaris Jackson, etc.), but you could make a pretty good case that Childress has had as good a year coaching as anyone in the NFL. What most anyone remembers about this season is Childress' run-ins with Favre and the fact that he's apparently incapable of benching his quarterback even if he wants to, but at the same time, he's managed to do something that no one else has pulled off in years -- he's kept Favre under control.
Playing for anyone else, Favre has been a quarterback who provides plenty of big plays, both for his and the other team. Somehow Childress has gotten him to play a more conservative game that involves plenty of short passes, the occasional deep ball to Bernard Berrian or Sidney Rice and very few mistakes.
The result? This season by Favre is arguably the best of his career, and is easily the best a 40-plus year old quarterback has ever had. In a Hall of Fame career, Favre has recorded career bests this season in:
* Completion percentage (68.4 percent)
* Yards per attempt (7.9 yards)
* Passer Rating (107.2)
* Interception Percentage (1.3 percent)
Childress put his coaching future completely in Favre's hands this season with an offseason long pursuit that often made it seem like Favre had more power in Minnesota than "Chilly" did. But while it may have been a risky move, Childress now deserves the credit since it's worked out so well.
Childress also has to be given credit for Favre's newfound composure at a point in his career where almost every other quarterback is either retired or sputtering to the end of their career. The biggest knock on Childress during is Vikings coaching career has been his inability to develop a quarterback. But this year he's managed to get the best of Favre's strengths (great deep ball, pocket presence and leadership) while muting Favre's weaknesses (stupid plays, too many interceptions). For doing that, Childress deserves a lot of credit for the Vikings' success this season.