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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Zygi should have zagged

Posted by: Hammer / 6:35 PM

Thank you, Zygi Wilf, for making this hire:

Eagles assistant Brad Childress was hired as coach of the Minnesota Vikings Friday, five days after Mike Tice was fired following a 9-7 season marked by a scandalous boat party.

"Coach Childress was the elite NFL head coaching candidate," owner Zygi Wilf said at a press conference. "He embodies class, character and discipline and is a great family man. Bottom line, Brad Childress is a winner."

I've got nothing against Childress, except that his offenses at Wisconsin were brutal. Brutally effective and equally brutal to watch. Of course, it's not as if Wisconsin suffered a huge drop off offensively when Childress left.

What amuses me, though, is this: Wilf has hired a coach without picking the coach's boss. This leaves the Vikings in a bad spot. Do they hire a general manager with authority to fire the coach, but with the understanding that he won't fire the coach? There's not much authority -- or accountability there. Childress would always be tempted to make an end run to the owner if push came to shove with the GM. Do they put Childress in charge of the whole show? That's a lot of responsibility for a man with no experience as a head coach -- or as a personnel man. The most likely option is equally appealing from a Packer fan's point of view. Wilf will hire or promote someone to be in charge of personnel who has no authority over the coach. This will leave Wilf to referee all the disputes over whether the Vikings should take the best player on the board in the first round or draft a guy who fills an immediate need. Although Wilf is a successful businessman, he is not a football guy and has no business evaluating those decisions.

Seems to me that this is a situation that can only lead to in-fighting and back-stabbing. It'll be hard to get along if things go bad. It'll be even harder to get along if things go well.


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