Brad Childress, head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, has been in hot water recently. This week Childress is languishing in last place in ESPN’s Head Coach approval rating poll. He has a mere 5 percent approval rating among fans. His troubles stem from the combination of a dismal 2-5 record, the alleged failure to adequately utilize Randy Moss before waiving him, the scandal surrounding Brett Favre allegedly sending inappropriate messages to an employee of the Jets and the questionable choices that have been made about the usage of Favre and Tarvaris Jackson.
Brad Childress is not the first coach to have significant controversy surrounding his career. Bill Callahan was the head coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2002-2003. 2002 was a banner year for the coach and for the Raiders, until they lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. The next season, there was extreme tension between the players and the coach stemming from a poor start to the season. There were accusations of Callahan sabotaging the season and that the players were in mutiny. Callahan sought to reduce salaries of the older players, which led to more conflict. Eventually, Callahan was fired and he took a job in college football.
Another coach with some team problems is Josh McDaniels. McDaniels is the head coach for the Denver Broncos. He has made waves in this organization by not being able to work with quarterback Jay Cutler and abruptly let go the long snapper. He was allegedly seeking to replace both with players he is more familiar with. He is currently still the head coach.
Fellow NFL head coach Bobby Petrino had his share of controversy. In January of 2007, Petrino broke his 10-year contract with Louisville after completing 4 years with an impressive 41-9 record. He had accepted an offer to be head coach with the Atlanta Falcons. By December of 2007, Petrino had established a 3-10 record and his star quarter back, Michael Vick, was indicted for his involvement in illegal dog fighting. At this point, he left a note in the locker room for the players explaining that he was quitting. He moved on to be head coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Childress has been a head coach, and with the Minnesota Vikings, since 2006. His record is 38-33, which gives him a winning percentage of just over 50 percent. Childress doesn’t have the track record or longevity to support himself after a few bad decisions, as was the case with Bob Knight. He also does not have the long-standing career in college sports to fall back on like Bobby Petrino. All it takes is one bad season with a couple of bad decisions to essentially negate a life-long career in the eyes of fans. If he can start taking actions to correct the mistakes and finish out the season on a positive note, Childress may be able to partially redeem himself to the Vikings’ fans.
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“Minnesota Vikings Fans want Coach Brad Childress Fired!”, eMailWire.
Kevin Blackistone “Reeling Brett Favre in Trouble, Both on and off the Field”, Fan House.
Dominic Perilli “Minnesota Vikings’ Brad Childress Risking the Axe with Brett Favre Fascination?”, Bleacher Report.
“Raider’s Callahan Dismissed after two Seasons”, Sports Illustrated.
Janie McCauley “Brown Not Sure Where he Stands with Raiders”, USA Today.
Reggie Rivers “Analysis: The Cutler-McDaniels Feud”, cbs4denver.com
“Falcons Nab Louisville’s Petrino to Succeed Mora”, ESPN.
“Bobby Petrino Biography” SEC Sports Fan.
“Brad Childress Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks”, Pro-Football-Reference.