By Larry Fitzgerald
The boiling point that is the Minnesota Vikings 2010 season finally boiled over as owner Zygi Wilf replaced Brad Childress as head coach after the Vikings were dominated 31-3 by the Green Bay Packers Sunday.
Childress had a record of 39-35 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs.
He guided the Vikings to consecutive NFC North titles and a trip to the NFC Championship game.
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier takes over as interim head coach.
Childress never connected with the fans and media. He also was perceived as a poor game manager and never was the great offensive mind that he was believed to be.
In last year’s NFC Championship game, getting a penalty for 12 men on the field when the Vikings were in position to win the game in the final minutes was inexcusable and falls on him, even though Brett Favre threw an interception on the very next play.
Childress was fired because he was not a good communicator and was not trusted. He and Brett Favre clashed last year; it worked out in 2009, but not in 2010.
He’s gone because his team failed to produce this season with nine straight road losses, including 0-5 this season, and the Vikings were 0-7 against teams with winning records.
This team with 10 Pro Bowl players simply did not get the job done. And when that happens, the head coach pays the price.
Childress walks away owed nearly $8 million — not bad. His decision to trade for Randy Moss when the Vikings gave up a third-round 2011 Draft choice, and then cutting Moss after losing to New England, started the fireball rolling to fire Childress.
I had a feeling this was not going to be a good season for Childress. He was not very popular with fans or many of his players, and most media members either did not like him or did not trust him.
When I asked him in a news conference in August before the regular season how many quarterbacks he planned to keep for the 2010 season, Childress responded, “None of your business.” That was the last straw for me with him. It indicated to me that he’s a liar.
The next week he traded one of those quarterbacks, Sage Rosenfels, to Houston.
With six games left, Frazier will have the opportunity to see how he gets this team to respond to his leadership. He’s won a Super Bowl as a player with Chicago and as a coach with Tony Dungy in Indianapolis.
The Vikings play at Washington Sunday.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, and on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm; he also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.