FIRST OFF SOME NEWS: Brad Childress said wide receiver Sidney Rice (hip surgery) would begin practicing today. The Vikings now have three weeks to make a decision on whether to place Rice on the 53-man roster or hold him out for the season.
NOW THE REST OF THE STORY:
Brad Childress admitted Wednesday that the Vikings made a "poor decision" in acquiring Randy Moss and called putting him on waivers "probably the most unemotional decision I've made in this job here." Other than that, the Vikings coach was unwilling to explain why the organization decided to give up on the recalcitrant wide receiver after only four games.
In a press conference that lasted 13 minutes, 20 seconds, Childress, in his first comments since the news broke on Monday, fielded almost all Moss-related questions but would not say whether he bypassed ownership in making the move or get into any of the thinking that has left much of his team's fan base irate. Moss officially was waived on Tuesday.
"It didn't workout," Childress said in his opening statement. "I'm not going to get into any particulars. We have an internal process that we go through. I can understand that all of you have questions and I appreciate everybody's passion in knowing why. You hope all your personnel decisions workout for the best. Whether you talk about the Allen's or the Hutchinson's or the Shiancoe's or the Chester Taylor's or the Percy Harvin's.
"Some work out and some don't work out. And some end up being short term and some end up being long term. This didn't work out. Nobody is more disappointed than I am that it didn't work out. But it didn't work out. So we're casting our gaze forward here and I do wish Randy the best of luck in whatever the future holds for him down the line in football."
Asked why he took the podium on Monday afternoon and acted as if Moss was still very much part of the team when all he had to do was delay his press conference, Childress said: “Because that’s when I usually have my 12:30 press conference. That’s from your standpoint, I get that. I’m going to get questions regardless whether they are on point or not on point. I can’t control that. I have a 1 o’clock meeting with my group so that’s what I end up going to.”
Shortly after talking to the media, Childress told his players that Moss would be waived. When pressed on why he wouldn't be more up front with the fan base, Childress said: “I think as long as the right people are contacted in the right order I think that that’s important. Obviously, it wouldn’t have served a purpose to come out here and tell you guys and have you go running with it before the dominoes start to go down.”
Here are some more of Childress' answers:
Q. What exactly didn't work out?
A. "I'm not going to get into a lot of the particulars. I'm not going to do that. It's done. It's over with. It was a decision that you don't take lightly, but it was a decision that I had to make and it's over."
Q. You asked the fans to embrace this guy. Why don't you think the fans deserve more?
A. "Because I wished and hoped that it would have worked out as well. But it was a programmatic non-fit, and it didn't work out. When things don't work out, you need to move quickly to take steps."
Q. Did you have the support of ownership?
A. "Without getting into all the internal dialogue we have a process that we kind of hold to here and I'm not going give you chapter and verse on the process. But I told my team right after I finished with you folks here. I thought it was important to paint a landscape of what Tuesday was going to be like for them, what the rest of the day was going to be like so that they didn't have to come back here Wednesday and deal with that. I owe that to those guys. We're at 52 right now pending any roster move that may occur, but I have faith and confidence in the games remaining and we're the only guys that are going to fix this thing right now."
Q. Why make players answer for your decision as Ben Leber had to do Monday afternoon?
A. "That's not why I put them in that situation, to have to answer for my decisions. I have to answer for my decisions. In the long run with ownership, obviously, my name is affixed to wins and losses in this program here. So, it's not an attempt to deceive, it's just a matter of letting the people know that need to know. And when we came out with the statement, that's when all that had been done. That's why he didn't show up on the waiver wire that day, just because there is a process that's involved."
Q. Did you see the same process in this decision? Did you notify ownership in the same way?
A. "I go through about the same process about all the time. I talk with Rick [Spielman, vice president of player personnel]. I talk with Rob [Brzezinski, vice president of football operations]. I let the owners know. But the thing happened here. I talked to the team, then you let everybody else know what's going on. Actually, Rick was in a meeting."
Q. So you told the players before ownership?
A. "No, that's not the case. I'm not going to get into all the process stuff."
Q. Did you investigate Moss' background before trading for him?
A. "I feel like I do a decent job of looking into guys' backgrounds. People coming off the waiver wire, you attempt to be able to create pieces of the puzzle that you need to know. I think I talked to you guys about all the back channels, the conversations that end up happening in this league. And I'm grateful that we have an organization that has those type of back-channel conversations in place, because there are some that don't have those in place. Yeah, it was a poor decision. I've got to stand up and I have to make it right. When it's not right, you need to make it right."
Q. Does the Moss decision affect your job security?
A. "I wouldn't know that. I'd say that's up to everybody else to look at. I know that basically it's usually tied to how many wins you have and how many losses you have."
Q. Was the move made out of desperation?
A. "This is probably the most unemotional decision I've made in this job here. Just the matter of fact of what had to happen occurred."
Q. So how did you get duped?
A. "You know what, It's not worth getting into the particulars. I'm not going there"
Q. When did you talk with Moss?
A. "I didn't end up talking to Randy. I made a number of phone calls that went unanswered, I texted him a few times to get back in touch. In the end, Rick ended up finally getting a conversation with him."
Q. Why did you say he would be back here when you talked to us on Monday?
A. "Because that was my intent. That was the plan for him to come back Tuesday night or Wednesday. Actually it was going to be Tuesday night. We talked about that, how he was traveling, how he was getting back."
Q. So you decided in between the press conference and the team meeting to cut him?
A. "No, I can't say that's when I decided. The wheels were in motion in my brain for what had to happen."
Q. Are you in danger of losing the team?
A. "I don't even know what that means. I really don't. Losing that football team. They're all in there. They're all to a man standing there this morning ready to shake the cobwebs off and get this thing right. That would be a better question to answer by them, not by me. But I'm not even sure what that means: Lose your football team. The Minnesota Vikings are in that locker room and we need to play better and I need to coach better."
Q. How are you doing through all of this?
A. "I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm really at peace. The decisions I make are for the best welfare of the Minnesota Vikings. I can look myself in mirror every night when I go to bed and know that in my heart of hearts."