Sunday, January 08, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new!

Or in this case, goodbye Mike Tice, hello Brad Childress!

Now I'll be the first to admit, from purely a looks standpoint, Mike Tice looks like the better head coach. He looks tougher, and he looks like a football guy. From a looks standpoint, Brad Childress looks like a real estate guy. (no offense to real estate guys!)

However, I'm very much excited by this. For one, as much as I believe that Mike Tice is a very nice guy, he was an awful coach in my opionion (more on that later). And from everything I have heard, Brad Childress is a smart guy, players like him (T.O. notwithstanding), and did I mention he's smart and pays attention to detail?

But first, let's look at Mike Tice's underachieving tenure.

1) Annoucing the "Randy Ratio", which basically said the Vikings would trow 40% of their passes to Randy Moss. While I think Moss is the best talent in the NFL, announcing your plans and putting extra pressure on the QB in not so good, I think.

2) Countless boneheaded 4th down calls as well as bad clock management.

3) More boneheaded moves, such as when to challenge plays and when not to. And then incorrectly interpretting the referee's decisions.

4) The RB Roulette. I think Tice used a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game to decide the week's starting RB. Mewelde Moore's been the most consistent RB over the past two years. But he can make one mental mistake and Tice will put him (this applies to other RB as well) in the doghouse for weeks, where he will barely if at all play them. I've seen it happen. I've also seen Mewelde Moore be healthy enough to return punts, but not healthy enough to get at least 1 carry. I wish I was lying.

5) His seeming insistence on not improving the Special Teams before this year. Gary Anderson to Aaron Elling to Morten Anderson. With Darren Bennett as the Punter, and awful coverage. Special Teams was painful to watch. This year, there's actually a decent punter and kicker, two great return men, and some solid coverage, and it has helped win ballgames, especially the NY Giant game.

6) Other stuff, especially dealing with the O-Line, and some off-the-field incidents. But they're pretty obvious.

Don't get me wrong, from everything I have seen and heard, Tice is a great guy. In time, I think he might be a decent head coach. But he was hired by Red McCombs specifically because he was cheap, and he was just not ready to be a head coach. In my opinion.

Now on to Childress, who I am very excited about. He sounds like he is very meticulous, reportedly taking lots and lots of notes about everything and keeping all of them for reference. I haven't heard a bad word from any Eagle about him (although granted it's rare for someone to actually say a bunch of bad things about a departing coach). From reading interviews, he seems to have a good idea of where to go for the staff, how to fit the personnel into his offensive scheme and adapt when necessary, and this gets me very excited. Heck, the Vikings season has only been over for a week, and I'm pumped for next year!

I predict Division Title!!

In the end, I also want to thank this man, who has been great for the Vikings.

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