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Vikings coach Childress won't call plays? Maybe

  • Article by: Judd Zulgad
  • Star Tribune
  • March 22, 2007 - 10:55 PM

Brad Childress seemed to leave the door open Thursday to the possibility that he might reconsider handling the Vikings' playcalling duties, but he continued to make it clear he has faith in his current quarterback tandem of Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger.

The Vikings coach also talked about David Carr, Randy Moss and his team's unsuccessful pursuit of free-agent receiver Kevin Curtis during an in-studio appearance on KFAN Radio (1130-AM). Childress, for the first time in memory, also took questions from callers -- and his responses to those queries were some of his best of the day.

This included one about potentially "handing over" playcalling to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The Vikings finished 6-10 in Childress' inaugural season and there was plenty of criticism for an offense that registered the team's lowest point total (282) since 1993.

"We're always in a dialogue, the offensive staff and I, and that's not something I've completely excluded from my thinking right now," Childress said of the potential for a change. "But I think as we get a little bit closer [to the season] it will define itself."

Whoever is deciding on what plays to run won't be sending them into David Carr. The Houston Texans are looking to unload the quarterback now that they have acquired Matt Schaub from the Atlanta Falcons, and some have thought Carr might be on the Vikings radar. But Childress was candid in his assessment of Carr, the top overall pick in the 2002 draft.

"I always struggled with where his release came from," Childress said. "It's kind of a drop-down, three-quarter, not overhand, over the top release. Just in the tape I've watched [since] he's been in the league, he can make some of the throws, he can't make all the throws. He gets some balls batted [down] at the line of scrimmage just because of where that ball comes from. ...

"He's a smart guy, he's a decent athlete but when you're buying a quarterback at this level and you kick the tires, there shouldn't be a lot of things that you're trying to straighten out."

Asked about Jackson and Bollinger -- Jackson has to be considered atop the depth chart at this point -- Childress said, "I like both my quarterbacks."

Two receivers the Vikings starting quarterback won't be throwing to next season are Moss and Curtis. Moss, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Vikings before being dealt to Oakland, has been the frequent subject of offseason trade rumors. "He's not on my radar," Childress said. "It would probably cost you an arm and a leg to get him out of Oakland, and I'm not sure that's the prudent thing for our team right now."

Childress did want to land St. Louis Rams free agent Curtis, and Curtis' first visit was to Winter Park. Curtis, however, eventually switched agents and elected to sign a six-year contract with Philadelphia that is worth up to $32 million and reportedly included $9.5 million in guarantees.

"I believe we were right in it, I know what offer we made, I know what offer he accepted," Childress said. "He probably accepted less to go there. He wanted to be in Philadelphia and you put your best foot forward. ... He's where he wants to be. He's a good football player. You can't take anything away from him."

Etc.

• Childress continued to say little about Troy Williamson's recent trip to Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., where the receiver had his eyes and body movements tested by coordination specialists. Childress indicated the topic will be discussed publicly more in a couple of months but called it a "great visit," and said, "we're turning over every rock, every stone to make him a better football player."

• A May 3 trial date has been set for Vikings free-agent receiver Travis Taylor. Taylor was charged with three misdemeanors after a Jan. 1 incident outside a nightclub in downtown Minneapolis.

Judd Zulgad • jzulgad@startribune.com

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