No one’s talking about the impending suspensions of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams for use of a banned substance. Brad Childress was asked about it but he gave the usual spiel:
As has always been our standard here, I can’t comment on any of those league mandated things so I really can’t shed any light.
And then he bitched about the story being leaked and took a shot at reporters, saying, “We’re not going to allow it to be a distraction. Any of it. It’s just unfortunate that, as [attorney] David Cornwell said, that somebody is able to put their thumbs on the scale of, you guys have to write about it, and just the fact you write about it, puts it in the court of public opinion. Whether it’s wrong or right, you’re writing about it.”
I don’t know what that remark about the thumb meant. I do know that Childress is probably steamed at the Williams boys the same way he was steamed at Chris Kluwe and steamed at Tarvaris Jackson and steamed at everyone else who ever conspired to ruin his plans for proving his genius to everyone in the world. Unfortunately, all that being steamed never seems to get through the thick skulls of the players, who continue doing everything they can to scuttle the season. Pat and Kevin’s irresponsibility (I’ll assume they didn’t use the banned stuff on purpose) is just another example of what we’ve been seeing all throughout Childress’s tenure both on and off the field. Guys not taking care of their stuff. Guys not seeming to get it. And Childress was supposed to be the guy to lay down the law after the laissez-faire Tice years. No more dumb penalties, bad turnovers, horrible game management or other acts of wanton self-destruction.
The fact is that Childress has failed to change the culture – it’s still a loser team the same as it was under Tice. The performance remains inconsistent and the off-field behavior sometimes unaccountable. No, Childress shouldn’t be held directly responsible for the foolishness of these two players who are grown-ups and need to take care of their own stuff. But this isn’t an isolated incident – we see the same crap all the time, stuff that makes you want to rip your hair out. And when something seems such a general part of the team’s character…then yes, you can blame the coach – you should blame the coach. And the owner and the front office. They’re all guilty of gaffes (the Tapeh signing, the Foley hiring, the Troy Williamson Grandmagate fiasco, and on and on and on). I don’t know what you do about it except clean house and bring in someone with a proven track-record who can command respect (Cowher, Billick). I do know that, if the Vikes lose the Williamses for four games each, they can kiss any hope of a playoff run goodbye. And Childress can probably kiss his job goodbye. There won’t be a lot of people crying when he leaves.