Darren "Doogie" Wolfson

Darren "Doogie" Wolfson has a passion for sports, but not a consistent forum in which he's allowed to spew his thoughts. Well, now he has one. Darren spent 12-plus years with KFAN Radio, wearing multiple hats - from producing and technically directing, to reporting and hosting. He spent a majority of his time working with Sid Hartman's son, Chad on the 'Chad Hartman Show.' Read more about Darren Wolfson.

Posts about Brad Childress

Firing Childress was a mistake

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: November 23, 2010 - 1:01 PM

While they were busy firing Brad Childress on Monday morning, I wonder if the Wilfs were aware that local broadcasting legend -- just ask him -- Don Shelby was signing off on Monday night. How DARE they upstage Shelby's big day?

Firing Childress was a mistake, but not for the reason(s) you might think. Even though the players are far from blameless for this season's debacle, a more positive vibe now clearly exists. If the Vikings had kept Childress, they would have finished the year 4-12 or 5-11. With interim head coach Leslie Frazier, unfortunately they won't be nearly that bad. Now, they'll probably win at least three more games, which upsets their draft position.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the best pro prospect since John Elway. The Vikings now have zero shot at landing the No. 1 pick, and very little chance in moving up for it. Remember, one nice bargaining chip -- next year's third round pick -- now belongs to New England thanks to the Randy Moss deal. Even at 4-12, it is doubtful that Carolina will win more than three games, but the higher you are, the more power you possess. It is even possible the Vikings will be so good in the final six games that they won't even secure a spot to grab their second choice at quarterback -- Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, Auburn's Cam Newton, or Washington's Jake Locker. The right quarterback can galvanize a town. In the Wilf's case, the right quarterback may be enough to get a new stadium. So, who will be the quarterback next year? Michael Vick will stay in Philadelphia, the free-agent class stinks, and the trade options are minimal.
 
The worse you are for the rest of the year, the much better chance you have to fill the most important position for the next 5-10 years.
 
Now, the players will be motivated to make Frazier look good. Good luck finding anyone who doesn't like him. He is a commanding presence, who is able to strike the right balance between disciplinarian and friendly figure. Manging alpha-personalities is just as important as X's & O's (do X's & O's even exist on offense with Brett Favre?). In recent weeks, word has it that wide receiver Percy Harvin went to Frazier, not Childress, with his problems. The players love Frazier. The Wilfs knew this all along. If you're wondering why Frazier didn't land any of the seven head-coaching jobs he's interviewed for, it was not over doubts about his ability to lead. Fair or not, it was about the likelihood that he could assemble a winning staff. I'll take the good leader and let him decide who to surround himself with.  

In a non-playoff season, draft position trumps everything else. The Wilfs should have kept Childress and hired Frazier in January.

The not-so-curious case of the Vikings

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: November 17, 2010 - 12:04 PM

Breaking news: this entry will not fawn over Don Shelby. Although, since he's an expert on everything -- just ask him -- I bet he has some ideas on why the Vikings are underperforming beyond anyone's expectations this year. 

The answer is pretty simple: many players are performing way below expectations.

If you believe that this team would be 6-3, instead of 3-6, with a different head coach, then I would like to sell you some left-handed microphones.

That doesn't mean that coach Brad Childress is blameless. But I get the sense that many fans would rather go through the body scanner at the airport and have those images posted on YouTube than watch another game with Childress in charge.

The Vikings had 10 legitimate Pro-Bowl players last year. Of those, only two, running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin, are anywhere near a repeat performance. And even Peterson has failed in some key situations, most notably against Miami and New England at the goal-line.

A few different play calls or personnel groups do not make up for the Vikings trailing for long periods in eight of their nine games. Only against Detroit in Week 3 have the Vikings led for an extended stretch . Because of that, the pass rush has been non-existent. They are last in the NFL in turnover margin at minus-11. Their 23 turnovers to date are five more than all of 2009. Quarterback Brett Favre's interception rate of 5.5% is on pace to be the highest of his career.

 

The Vikings have the 25th-ranked red zone offense. Their special teams have shown warts. The defense can't come up with third-down stops. Linebacker E.J. Henderson should win Comeback Player of the Year, but clearly isn't the same player he was before his injury. Linebacker Chad Greenway is the only starter among the front-seven playing better than his 2009 form.

At what point can we say that the execution is just as bad as the coaching? On Sunday, Chicago won easily despite committing 11 penalties for 116 yards, throwing a red-zone interception, and missing an easy field goal. How is any of that Childress' fault? Childress is the same coach who won 12 games last year, and was one Favre interception from the Super Bowl. 


No reason to pick Shelby's brain on this one. The reality is that the Vikings just aren't that good, and the players are to blame too.

 

Vikings fans: America's team should be your most despised

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: January 13, 2010 - 12:51 PM

After listening to many of ESPN's talking heads the past two days, this question needs to be asked: Should the Vikings even show up on Sunday?

They are making it sound like the Cowboys are a combination of the '85 Bears and '96 Favre-led Packers.

The only thing that could make me more nauseous this week is if NBC announces that former Cowboy Emmitt Smith is taking over for Conan O'Brien, although since you can't change the stripes of a leopard, we don't have anything to worry about.

Raised by a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, I was taught early to despise the Mets, Celtics, Knicks, and Cowboys. This latest slurpfest fuels my Dallas dislike even more.

For obvious reasons, the teams Vikings fans loathe the most are the Packers and Bears. With all due respect to those feelings, the franchise you should reject the most is Sunday's opponent, the Dallas Cowboys.

Sure, some of it is jealousy and envy. Five Super Bowl championships to zero. 57 playoff games to 43. The Vikings have been eliminated in the postseason by Dallas four times, which is tied for the most against any team.

The Cowboys have more Hall of Famers, get regular Thanksgiving exposure, and have a longer sell-out streak. Also, according to Forbes, the Cowboys are the most lucrative sports franchise in the United States. A big reason why: A $1.2 BILLION stadium that features go-go dancers as we are entering a second decade of fighting for new digs.

More of it is the perceived inferiority complex that exists with the Cowboys fanbase. They love being called "America's team." So if you root for the Vikings on Sunday, are you anti-American?

Most of it is because Dallas won three Vince Lombardi trophies after being on the receiving end of the most lopsided trade in professional sports history. Simply called "The Trade," in 1989, running back Herschel Walker came to the Vikings for five players, three of them defensive starters, and eight draft picks, including three in the first round, three in the second and one in the third. Dallas soon went from 1-15 in 1989 to titles after the 1992, 1993, and 1995 seasons.

The Vikings had a losing record with Walker (21-23) before releasing him. Their only playoff appearance was a 41-13 loss to the 49ers in 1989.

The 1975 "Hail Mary" Dallas win at Met Stadium, where Vikings cornerback Nate Wright was pushed by Dallas' Drew Pearson, was made easier when the Cowboys eventually lost in the Super Bowl.

Running back Adrian Peterson's favorite childhood team: The Cowboys.

Quarterback Brett Favre is 2-9 lifetime against Dallas. That includes a 0-3 mark in the postseason.

Head coach Brad Childress is 0-1 versus Jerry Jones' team.

Dallas has a winning record against the Vikings in overtime games (2-1), has won the lone NFC championship matchup (23-6 on 1/1/78), and even came away victorious in the Vikings' first ever game, a preseason contest in 1961.

We even have to tolerate a former Cowboy, Troy Aikman, calling this Sunday's game.

For once, instead of hearing "How 'bout them Cowboys?" after these two teams play, wouldn't it be nice to be able to say, "Why not mess with Texas?" 

**Add-on: The Vikings beat the Cowboys on 12/30/73 in the NFC championship game 27-20. They then fell to Miami in Super Bowl VIII 24-7.

 

Vikings fans, repeat after Tice: Go Eagles; E-A-G-L-E-S

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: January 9, 2010 - 9:30 AM

Whether he is at Chili's enjoying chips and salsa or at his western suburbs home enjoying a vodka the size of Judd Zulgad's head, Vikings coach Brad Childress will presumably be locked in on Saturday night on the Eagles-Cowboys first-round matchup.

While doing so, he needs to adopt former coach Mike Tice's one-time mantra: Go Eagles; E-A-G-L-E-S!

Why? Dallas is the worst possible opponent for the Vikings.

Quarterback Tony Romo's first two playoff games -- both losses -- would be an afterthought and he is the type of signal-caller that can give the Vikings fits. 

Romo established team records this season for passing yards (4,483), attempts (550), completions (347) and 300-yard games (eight) to go with 26 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He has at least one touchdown pass in 12 straight games. The Eagles don't allow 300-yard passers very often; Romo did it in both regular season meetings. In the year of the quarterback, he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Manning, Favre, Rivers, Brees, and Rodgers.

After breaking down film of Dallas' 24-0 win over Philadelphia in Week 17, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger said of Romo: "He's in a zone right now." Even with Rodgers' brilliance and Brees' skill-set, Romo is the quarterback the Vikings least want to see the rest of the way. He has 11 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in the last six games.

The recipe to scoring on the Vikings: Three-step drops with quick-strikes, which Romo pulls off as well as anyone in the NFL. Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will have to take his mind off the Buffalo Bills head coaching job long enough to game plan for such occurrences. That won't be a problem, but his safeties will.

Tight end Jason Witten, on his way to his sixth straight Pro Bowl, is very capable of causing headaches. He could easily do what Green Bay's Jermichael Finley (6-120-2 TDs) or San Francisco's Vernon Davis (7-96-2 TDs) did versus the Vikings. According to footballoutsiders.com, the Vikings are the 9th-worst team defending tight ends in the NFL.

They have a top-five offensive line, running backs that can block, and a wide receiver, Miles Austin, that plays all over the field, which could isolate Antoine Winfield or Benny Sapp. According to Winfield, his right foot won't be 100 percent until the off-season. Dallas' offense would be a good bet to put at least 24 points on the board against the Vikings.

Its defense has the best duo at getting to the quarterback of any remaing team. Outside linebacker Anthony Spencer recorded 17 tackles, four sacks, five pressures, one pass breakup and one forced fumble in the last three games. The other outside linebacker, DeMarcus Ware, strikes fear into opposing left tackles like no other. Bryant McKinnie would need constant help from a tight end or running back, which oftentimes would mean one less receiving option.

Dallas' 3-4 defense could replicate what Pittsburgh did on October 25. Be grateful the potential tussle won't take place on grass.

They even have a kickoff specialist -- David Buehler -- who can render Percy Harvin useless. Buehler led the NFL with 29 touchbacks.

FInally, should the Cowboys beat the Eagles, their coach Wade Phillips would no longer be worrying about his job security or his inability to win a postseason game (0-4). Same goes for Romo on the latter. They would instantly become loosey-goosey.

In contrast, under coach Andy Reid, the Eagles have advanced past their first playoff game every time (7-0).

For the Vikings' best chances to win their first playoff game since the 2004 season, they should hope for that trend to continue.

Vikings fans, repeat after Tice: Go Eagles; E-A-G-L-E-S

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: January 9, 2010 - 9:30 AM

Whether he is at Chili's enjoying chips and salsa or at his western suburbs home enjoying a vodka the size of Judd Zulgad's head, Vikings coach Brad Childress will presumably be locked in on Saturday night on the Eagles-Cowboys first-round matchup.

While doing so, he needs to adopt former coach Mike Tice's one-time mantra: Go Eagles; E-A-G-L-E-S!

Why? Dallas is the worst possible opponent for the Vikings.

Quarterback Tony Romo's first two playoff games -- both losses -- would be an afterthought and he is the type of signal-caller that can give the Vikings fits. 

Romo established team records this season for passing yards (4,483), attempts (550), completions (347) and 300-yard games (eight) to go with 26 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He has at least one touchdown pass in 12 straight games. The Eagles don't allow 300-yard passers very often; Romo did it in both regular season meetings. In the year of the quarterback, he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Manning, Favre, Rivers, Brees, and Rodgers.

After breaking down film of Dallas' 24-0 win over Philadelphia in Week 17, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger said of Romo: "He's in a zone right now." Even with Rodgers' brilliance and Brees' skill-set, Romo is the quarterback the Vikings least want to see the rest of the way. He has 11 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in the last six games.

The recipe to scoring on the Vikings: Three-step drops with quick-strikes, which Romo pulls off as well as anyone in the NFL. Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will have to take his mind off the Buffalo Bills head coaching job long enough to game plan for such occurrences. That won't be a problem, but his safeties will.

Tight end Jason Witten, on his way to his sixth straight Pro Bowl, is very capable of causing headaches. He could easily do what Green Bay's Jermichael Finley (6-120-2 TDs) or San Francisco's Vernon Davis (7-96-2 TDs) did versus the Vikings. According to footballoutsiders.com, the Vikings are the 9th-worst team defending tight ends in the NFL.

They have a top-five offensive line, running backs that can block, and a wide receiver, Miles Austin, that plays all over the field, which could isolate Antoine Winfield or Benny Sapp. According to Winfield, his right foot won't be 100 percent until the off-season. Dallas' offense would be a good bet to put at least 24 points on the board against the Vikings.

Its defense has the best duo at getting to the quarterback of any remaing team. Outside linebacker Anthony Spencer recorded 17 tackles, four sacks, five pressures, one pass breakup and one forced fumble in the last three games. The other outside linebacker, DeMarcus Ware, strikes fear into opposing left tackles like no other. Bryant McKinnie would need constant help from a tight end or running back, which oftentimes would mean one less receiving option.

Dallas' 3-4 defense could replicate what Pittsburgh did on October 25. Be grateful the potential tussle won't take place on grass.

They even have a kickoff specialist -- David Buehler -- who can render Percy Harvin useless. Buehler led the NFL with 29 touchbacks.

FInally, should the Cowboys beat the Eagles, their coach Wade Phillips would no longer be worrying about his job security or his inability to win a postseason game (0-4). Same goes for Romo on the latter. They would instantly become loosey-goosey.

In contrast, under coach Andy Reid, the Eagles have advanced past their first playoff game every time (7-0).

For the Vikings' best chances to win their first playoff game since the 2004 season, they should hope for that trend to continue.

      

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