I have been light on sports lately, but I had to comment on the Brad Childress vs. Moss/Harvin/Vikings Locker room story. Childress’ propensity for poor leadership was evident 3 years ago when he decided to fine WR Troy Williamson for missing a game to attend his grandmother’s funeral (which he paid for and organized).
Based on his 2007 salary of $435,000, the action by the Vikings will cost the three-year veteran $25,588. Williamson has 45 days to appeal Minnesota’s decision to withhold his pay, and NFL Players Association sources said he will do so.
Coach Brad Childress told Twin Cities-area media following Thursday’s practice that the decision was on a “business principle” of the Vikings organization.
“He had a family obligation that he had to see to,” Childress said. “We sat down and talked on it before he left. … He had to do what he had to do. Everybody handles that differently. [Williamson] had to do what his family situation called for.”
Williamson’s maternal grandmother, who helped to raise him and with whom he was very close, died last week and he returned to South Carolina, where he played a large role in arranging her funeral. He also had to make travel arrangements for several of his siblings, some of whom are in the armed services. He returned to the team on Wednesday as the Vikings began practicing for this Sunday’s game against Green Bay.
Later, players let Childress know that this was unacceptable.
Grieving Troy Williamson will get his last game check back.
Vikings coach Brad Childress called reporters Saturday to share the news, citing a need to change course that “came ringing back” to him following a weekly meeting with the veteran players on his leadership committee.
Childress put a “business principle” over a player’s family values and didn’t see anything wrong with that until players who earned respect of the locker room and staff of the Vikings had to explain to him how nutty he was. It comes as no surprise that the players and now the owner are turning on him.
One veteran said: “I think there was a great window of opportunity this past week to make a change.”
That player says the issues are the same as in recent years but have become more intolerable because of the team’s 2-5 record. He says Childress has never been popular in the locker room.
One player described Childress as untrustworthy. Another said: “The players have had enough of his BS. He needs to go.”
An empirical review of the performance of the Vikings team under Childress would lead to the conclusion that Childress deserves another year to right the course of the team. All reviews of Childress’ leadership lead to the conclusion that he needs to go.
Childress wasted a third round pick with the impulsive, unauthorized (yet deserved) firing of Randy Moss and this week, got into an argument with Percy Harvin while accusing him of not exerting enough effort in a walk through while he was legitimately injured. He regularly castigates these players for a lack of effort and excused absences and yet he has established a star system where he has sent special delegations to convince 41 year old Brett Favre to jump into the starters role while not attending a full training camp in each of the last two seasons.
Part of an NFL head coaches job is establishing a system where results, effort and professionalism are rewarded. Childress just isn’t able to do that. He’s better off being an offensive coordinator. Video of the ESPN report on the turmoil in the Vikings locker room is below.