Sid Hartman: Wilfs are confident they have right coach

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 30, 2008 - 7:25 AM

Vikings coach Brad Childress has taken his share of criticism lately, but don't expect him to be fired. The owners are standing behind him and his staff.

For those who have speculated that the job of Vikings coach Brad Childress is in jeopardy, you can rest assured the same thing that happened to former Rams coach Scott Linehan and former Raiders coach Lane Kiffin will not happen to Childress.

One of the Wilf family, owners of the Vikings, asked not to be quoted. But he said the family is very happy with the job Childress is doing, predicted the Vikings will win the NFC North Division and again repeated what other members of the ownership have said: It takes time to build a solid, winning team.

Some fans yelling "Fire Childress" at the Lions game will not have any effect on the owners of the club.

The firing of Mike Tice at the end of the 2005 season was a different situation.

There's no doubt some Vikings executives under Red McCombs painted a poor picture to the new owners, saying the club was in complete disarray. Some of those critics were trying to improve their position in the new ownership and spread a lot of untruths.

The owners listened and, until the Love Boat incident, there wasn't any plan to fire Tice. But the Wilfs wanted to reorganize the entire operation and decided in the last week of the season to let Tice go.

They made a number of other changes in the organization and now feel they have the right people in place and, in a short time, the success on the field will come.

Both Zygi Wilf and his brother, Mark, have a great relationship with Childress. It is a lot more than coach and boss.

They have confidence in Childress and his fine staff. There were complaints about Childress' relationship with the press in his first two seasons, but that is no longer true.

This team had possession of the football at the end of the game, with a chance to win, in three of their four losses. Nobody has really blown them out except for unbeaten Tennessee, a 30-17 loss in which the Vikings beat themselves because of turnovers, penalties and mistakes.

I've been around this football team since it began. No coach in the NFL is perfect, and neither is Childress.

But I am confident the Wilfs picked the right man to coach, and Childress will prove he can do the job.

Roof can teach

Gophers football coach Tim Brewster said the minute he had an opening at defensive coordinator when Everett Withers left after last season, there was only one man on his mind -- Ted Roof, with whom Brewster had developed a friendship on the recruiting trail.

"It goes back to many years ago: He was at Duke, I was at North Carolina," Brewster said. "I always admired Ted, his knowledge for the game, and I like him as a guy. He's a great person; he's a great teacher. So I knew when I initially put the staff together that he wasn't available, but when I had the opening, I knew exactly who I wanted to hire."

Brewster said Roof is not only a great coach of the players, but he has done a great job teaching the young coaches on his staff.

"He's got very broad experience as a defensive coordinator, and he's helped us across the board," Brewster said. "We give multiple looks: three-down looks, four-down looks, zone blitzes, playing zone coverage, mixing a little man coverage. I don't think offenses right now are really comfortable playing us, which is a good thing."

Yes, the Gophers defense has sure improved under Roof.

Frerotte measures up

For those who question how well Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte has performed after taking over for Tarvaris Jackson as the starter, he currently ranks seventh in the NFL with an average of 257.2 yards per game.

In his five starts since Week 3, Frerotte ranks third in the NFL with 1,286 yards passing. Frerotte's 10 completions of 25 or more yards tied for second in the league during that time, after the Vikings had none in their first two regular-season games. His 86-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bernard Berrian still ranks as the fourth-longest completion in the NFL this season.

Since Frerotte took over in Week 3, the Vikings have averaged 110 more passing yards and seven more points per game.

Other statistics of note: The Vikings rank tied for fourth in the NFL with seven opponent fumble recoveries. Berrian has seven receptions of 25 or more yards, which ranks tied for fourth in the league. The Vikings have two players in the top 15 in sacks -- defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who is tied for seventh with six, and Jared Allen, who is tied for 14th with five.

Jottings

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has more sponsored commercials than any recent Viking. He works for Vitamin Water, Muscle Milk, Nike and now Campbell's Chunky Soup, for which he and his mother will work together in a commercial similar to one done in the past by Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and his mother.

Marion Barber III rushed 25 times for 71 yards and caught six passes for 29 yards in the Cowboys' 13-9 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday. The former Gopher now has rushed 153 times for 611 yards and five touchdowns and 32 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns. ... Ex-Viking Brad Johnson was the winning Cowboys quarterback on Sunday. ... Tyler Thigpen, the Vikings' seventh-round draft choice from Coastal Carolina in 2007 who was claimed on waivers by Kansas City, had his best day as a pro Sunday, throwing for 280 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 28-24 loss to the New York Jets.

The Gophers basketball program is 600 season tickets short of a sellout. ... Gophers senior guard/forward Jamal Abu-Shamala is having back problems and will be sidelined for a while.

Former DeLaSalle running back Alexander Robinson, now a redshirt sophomore at Iowa State, rushed 16 times for 85 yards and one touchdown Saturday in a 49-35 loss to Texas A&M in Ames, Iowa. ... Zac Robinson, son of Russ Robinson, a 1970 Hopkins graduate, is the starting quarterback for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Last Saturday, the Minnesota Twins and Periscope advertising agency were honored with two awards for the team's 2008 "This is Twins Territory" campaign. The overall campaign was honored as best of the year. In addition, the television ad "Sandlot" featuring Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer won the award as the region's best commercial spot.

The players on the highest-scoring line in Division I men's hockey all have local ties. The "FLO" line of Air Force Academy (ranked 18th in the nation in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll) is made up of Josh Frider of Moorhead, Minn.; Jacques Lamoureax of Grand Forks, N.D., and Brent Olson of Baudette, Minn. They have combined for 38 points and have scored 16 of Air Force's 28 goals.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast once a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close
NFL commissioner, Wilf talk stadium