Anyone can analyze quarterbacks or have opinions about them. But what I found in a recent conversation with former Vikings head coach Brad Childress is that he is uniquely positioned to comment on many of the quarterbacks most relevant to football fans — and particularly Vikings fans — in this moment.
Childress was a guest on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast, which also included a fun interview with Drew Magary of Defector Media, a lament about "hero ball" squashing the Gophers' chances to win at Rutgers and a nod to two big Gophers vs. Badgers hockey series this weekend.
Here were some of Childress' assessments of those quarterbacks in question:
*On Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City star quarterback who was drafted in 2017 when Childress was an assistant coach under Andy Reid in Kansas City: "The first thing you liked at quarterback is his arm talent. Not everybody has the rare arm talent that he has. ... He's against all conventional coaching of the quarterback, you know. Unfortunately we know the 'roll right, throw back left' interception from (Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC title game). He obviously has taken it to another level whether it's roll right and throw left or roll left and throw right. ... He's got some escapability and I think he has great eyes and great vision. There's no place on the field on the field he can't reach with his arm, and I think that's the thing that's scary for defenses."
*OK, Childress opened the door. What about Favre and his arrival in Minnesota in 2009: "We had kind of had a dialogue going, if you will, throughout the summer. He had some physical issues that he needed to have taken care of before he could really physically throw a football again. ... There's a reason (former Packers GM) Ted Thompson traded him to the Jets (in 2008). He didn't want him back in our division. Who would have known the Jets were going to draft Mark Sanchez and Brett Favre all of the sudden was going to be on the street again. ... Then the dance kind of began."
*On Aaron Rodgers and whether he's surprised that the Packers QB hasn't been back to a Super Bowl after getting there early in his career a decade ago: "I think it speaks to ... how hard it is and the journey. ... Just because you win a division, you get in the playoffs anything can give. I would have thought probably like you and many that (he would be in this Super Bowl) after having the NFC Championship Game come through Green Bay. ... But he is a tremendously skilled guy and just watching him play throughout the year I don't think there's any question he's the MVP on Saturday before the Super Bowl. He brings a lot to the table. All the arm slots we talk about Patrick Mahomes having, he has it the same way."
*On Kirk Cousins and whether the Vikings can win a Super Bowl him as their QB: "I think he can. He had to be one of the top 10, top 5 quarterbacks (this year). ... I don't think there's any reason he can't. He's got a good runner behind him. Probably need to add a little more skill at wide receiver. The tight end position is in flux. But at the end of the day, you have to protect that guy, too, so he can do the things he wants to do. ... (The offensive line) has to be able to change the front — change the line of scrimmage. If you can't do that, I don't care what kind of runner you have back there, he's not going to do much."
*Bonus — On his biggest regret from how it ended in Minnesota: "You'd have to probably zero in on the Randy Moss thing and how I dealt with him. And not keeping the owners completely in the loop with what was transpiring. Probably emotion got the better of me at that point in time. I didn't think he was good for our football team. As a football coach you just want to make sure that's a thriving environment. But I would say probably say his dismissal, him going down the road, I wish I would have handled that better."