Brad Childress v. Brett Favre: A Clash of Stubborn Mofos


In his press conference yesterday, Brad Childress attempted to downplay the dust-up between him and Brett Favre, chalking it up to the usual stuff that goes on between players and coaches, and rejecting the notion that their much-publicized sideline confrontation was in fact “heated.”

Unfortunately for Chilly, the truth of things appears slightly different than the version he would have us believe.

The truth of things, according to Sean Jensen (via PFT), is that Chilly was more than a little miffed by what went on with Favre during and especially after Sunday night’s debacle.  He was, in fact, incensed.

So angry was Childress over Favre’s actions that, reportedly, he took the quarterback aside after the game and unleashed an expletive-laden tirade in his face.

The specific action of Favre’s that got Chilly so riled was, we assume, his questionable decision to go public with the contents of his and Childress’s sideline discussion.  Chilly is a notoriously secretive sort, and certainly did not appreciate Favre airing their differences in front of the media.

Now that the world knows what went on between Chilly and Favre, the question everyone’s asking is, who really runs the Vikings offense?

The answer to that would seem obvious.  It’s Chilly’s offense, but Brett Favre runs it the way he wants.  And when Chilly doesn’t like the decisions Brett makes…sucks for Chilly.

As we’ve learned through various reports from ESPN and other outlets, the explosion was building for some time.  On at least two previous occasions this season, Childress was inclined to bench Favre over his refusal to run plays the way they were drawn up, but was talked out of it either by Favre himself or offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

On one previous occasion, Childress wanted to yank Favre for general poor performance.  That game, the November 15th match-up vs. Detroit, ended with Favre throwing for 344 yards while leading the team to a 27-10 victory.

On Sunday, Chilly allegedly wanted to bench Favre to protect him from further punishment on a night when left tackle Bryant McKinnie was being eaten alive by Julius Peppers.  But, in his press conference, Favre seemed to wonder aloud whether saving him for the playoffs was really Childress’s motivation.

In light of those previous attempts at sitting him for poor performance and/or calling audibles, we can understand now why Favre might rankle at any talk of benching.  To a man as proud as Favre, the suggestion that Tarvaris Jackson might succeed where he has failed must seem a horrific insult.

Clearly, Chilly is not as concerned about preserving Favre’s positive state-of-mind as he is about asserting his own authority over the offense he devised and invited Brett Favre to run.

And there you have the makings of a power struggle.  One that has evidently been going on most of the season out of the public eye, but is now very much on display for all to see.

The question now is, who has the advantage?  Childress the stubborn coach or Favre the prickly quarterback?

Childress presumably has the backing of the owner, and the security of having recently signed a contract extension.  Favre, however, has the fans on his side…fans who perceive him as having elevated Childress’s vanilla offense to a level no one else could’ve achieved (certainly not Childress’s hand-picked stooge Tarvaris Jackson).

Favre also has another big factor on his side:  media savvy.  Brett knows how to play reporters, as he demonstrated by the slick way he leaked the details of his and Childress’s dispute.  Childress, as his often disjointed statements prove, is still largely clueless as regards the art of spin.

The consensus already is that Chilly can’t win this one.  If the Vikings go on to triumph in the Super Bowl, people will say it was all Favre.  And if they fail, they will say it was because Childress didn’t let Favre do his job.

There’s little sympathy out there for Chilly and his plight.  Most comments are of the “He made his bed, now he has to lie in it” variety.  Indeed, Childress must’ve known before he invited Favre aboard that Brett would demand a level of deference above that commanded by most players.

He must’ve realized that, if the experiment was going to work, he needed to loosen up and let Favre do his thing.  Otherwise, why sign Favre at all?

Now it seems that, pretty quickly, Chilly began experiencing buyers’ remorse.  Unfortunately, Favre’s great success running the offense guaranteed that Chilly would have to learn to live with him.

It doesn’t seem that Chilly has learned that lesson very well.  In fact, it seems his patience with Favre has worn down to nothing.  And now there’s the added pressure that comes with intense media scrutiny.  Everyone will be watching to see what happens next, will read significance into every gesture, every word.

Everyone, in short, will be waiting for Chilly to explode.  Or for Favre to melt down.

And the fact will remain that, without Brett Favre, the Vikings would not be sitting at 11-3 right now, and Childress would probably not have gotten his fat contract extension.

Whether Chilly wants to admit it or not, he owes Brett Favre big time.  The move for him now would be to just roll with it, knowing Favre will be gone after the year no matter what happens.  Unfortunately, control-freak Chilly isn’t very good at rolling with it.

So, look for more tension, especially if the Vikings keep struggling on offense.  And look for Favre to keep feeding the media beast their little tasty press conference biscuits.

I don’t see either man giving in any time soon.

Tags: Brad Childress Brett Favre Bryant Mckinnie Darrell Bevell Minnesota Vikings Tarvaris Jackson

  • SH28

    …”knowing Favre will be gone after the year no matter what happens” ?????

  • joe

    WRONG – it isn’t just that favre won’t be back. THE ENTIRE TEAM will be headin’ out to LA anyhow.

  • joe

    Is anyone else worried about that little girl bernie that would post she was a huge mean dude here?

    Hope that she gets her Internet privileges back soon and that she isn’t lettin’ those mean lookin’ teddy bears scare her!

  • http://mostexcellent lorenzo4

    assessment I have read anywhere. Damn, I wish Childress had not gotten his renewal evaluation until after the end of the season/.playoffs. I agree with you completely…Childress is being stupid about who exactly he was dealing with when it comes to Favre and the whole stick with the horse you ran in with concept. Let Favre be the freakin field marshal, just like Manning. And jesus, figure out how to TALK when they aren’t in agreement…they have to work together. Man, I am just so afraid that the damage is done. Childress needs to man up with Favre and the public and grow some cojones as a coach.

  • supervike

    This is all gonna get so much worse if we lose at in Chi-town.

  • brent

    No we all know why GB traded him and was not all excited he was coming back.
    Rodgers is highly ranked and quiet about the issues they are having.
    We need locker room stability or the teams that have it will kill us in the playoffs.

  • joe

    rodgers is only quiet in the locker room because he has teddy thompson and mike mccarthy’s diddy-wah-diddy in his mouth.

    He has more balls bouncing off his chin than yogi berra.

  • Mike

    Apparently, Chilly wants to run AP more than Favre does. Favre appears to realize that now also after watching AP, Rice and Shiancoe drop and fumble his passes.

  • joe

    jaws (espn) has it right – Ds have seen how to stop AD without stacking defense against run – just stay in their lanes and take him head on.

    AD hasn’t adjusted – sure, he will break a big play, but how long ago has it been since you have seen one of those?

    Giving him the ball more just means more 3-and-outs if he hangs onto the ball.

    Big if… he has more fumbles than any other back in the league.

  • joe

    Funny how that little girl bernie doesn’t come around any more since she revealed herself as a 10 year old that plays with dolls and teddy bears.

    The vikings are going to break that little child’s heart and she doesn’t even come to share with us any more.

    That is, if her mom still lets her use the computer after discovering her boastful posts about being a tuff-guy in Pittsburgh that is looking for a fight.

  • http://none Chuckie

    The vikes aren’t going to LA or anywhere else. Minnieapolis rallied to keep the sorry ass Twins when baseball was talking about cutting teams. If they had that much passion over the Twins you can be assured that there is no way the Vikings are going to leave. If faced with losing the team or approving a new stadium, they will build the new stadium. Which by the way is already designed and ready to go. They did have to put a statue of Brett Favre out front, but other than that it is ready to go.

    And if the Vikings right the ship and kick butt in the playoffs, no one is going to remember the losses to Arizona and Carolina. Does anyone, other than Vikings fans, remember that the Vikings kicked the crap out of the Cardinals down the stretch last year? In their ballpark no less? ………answer…NO

  • http://none Chuckie

    All that matters is what happens from this point on.

    And Childress was simply putting his foot down about changing the plays so much. Not really that big of a deal.

  • http://none Chuckie

    And Joe….calling Adrian Petersen Mr turnover when your QB can’t even hold on to the soap in the shower is realy comical.

  • joe

    Your a moron, chuckie – but someone named after a beaver isn’t likely to be brights. Sucks to be you…

    Favre HAS MORE TOUCHES AND FEWER TURNOVERS than your lover boy, 3-and-out peterson.

    But you don’t let any other facts bother ya – you can probably get season tickets in LA so you can continue your blind cult worship.

  • Mike

    The Vikings offense was defended by the Panthers in a cover 2 with a great pass rusher in Peppers. This can be particularly effective against high-scoring teams because it forces them to patiently settle for short gains.

    Offenses have been known to beat this defense by running the ball with short gains up the middle past the defensive tackles. The Vikings bang their running backs between the offensive tackles because they have a big but slow offensive line and quick but not strong WRs that don’t allow much perimeter running. Although the Vikings were not effective running the ball in the first quarter, AP was becoming effective in the second quarter. So why did they quit running in the second half? Carolina was running no better than the Vikings but they kept running and became more successful. The Vikings likely quit running because Favre considered them to be the better offense and thought they could pass. Of course, it didn’t help Mr. Automatic missed a 39 yard field goal, leaving them with only an embarressing 1 point lead against an inferior team.

    Teams have also been known to beat the cover 2 with short passes to the running back, especially to take advantage of an over-pursuing defensive end. The problem was AP can’t catch the d*** ball. Flooding a zone with a tight end can also be effective. But Shiancoe can’t catch the d*** ball either. Another strategy is to use a third WR to spread the field. But Harvin can’t seem to make it to d*** practice. Teams can send a receiver up the middle, creating a mismatch against the linebacker, or exploit the deep middle, where the safeties have to cover the most ground. But Rice can’t hang on to the d*** ball, after he catches it. Another possibility is for the QB to run, but Favre won’t do that.

    The Vikings will probably approach the rest of the season and playoffs by ramming AP behind the big offensive line right down defenses throats, much the same way they did against the Bengals. The Vikings will try to rely on their defense to keep them in the game early. But AP must show more patience like he did against the Bengals and just take whatever short gain the defense gives him, no matter how much he thinks he can feast on the inferiority of rushing defense. Early, AP needs to look to just break more tackles, instead of looking to find daylight. Once the defenses wear down and mostly load the box like they did until recently, then AP can go outside and Favre can beat them with the pass, either short or long, depending on what the defense gives them.

  • Mike

    I need to add a caveat to the above. The Cards and Panthers defenses appeared to change from loading the box to a cover 2. I’m not sure if they were loading the box first to stop AP rushing and then went to cover 2 to stop the pass. Maybe the defenses figured the Vikings would abandon the run. Or perhaps they were clever enough to read the Vikings offense. Some even suspect McKinnie has been telling defenses. If the Vikings know the defense is loading the box even early, it would seem like the best idea would be to pass. But I think Chilly plans to run regardless of the defense to try to wear down the opposing defense. Or perhaps he figures he can’t pass even if they load the box because the Vikings receivers can’t be trusted.

  • Mike

    don Gage says “Favre is giving away run plays by sticking the ball out to soon before handoff. Defense knows it is a pass or run immediately!” This would not be true if Favre does the same thing on passes. I don’t know if does or not. But it does seem like the Vikings offense is telling defenses run or pass, whether it is Favre, McKinnie or AP. If true, this must change!

  • joe

    Vikings finish the season by ramming “three-and-out” AD, your nuts.

    And you complain about rice hanging onto the ball but give the leagues most fumble-handed back a free pass?

    And yes – since AD can’t catch, he is a detriment any time Favre drops back to pass.

  • Mike

    Joe, who cares about AP’s fumbles? He hasn’t fumbled once in any of the Vikings three losses.

    I have to agree with Chilly that you have to generally run to wear down defenses and run even more when defenses play cover 2, especially when the receivers can’t be trusted, even though Favre is right that the Vikings should mostly pass when teams load the box.

    But what really bothers me is the Vikings seem to be running when defenses load the box and passing when defenses play cover 2. I don’t know if the Vikings are losing poker games or telling plays. But under such circumstances you might as well just run!

  • joe

    You ADbots are too much. No rice fumble has cost a game either, yet you want to make a big deal out of that.

    AD does not consistently get more than 3 yards (usually less) per carry. Hit totals reflect a few long break away runs. He hasn’t had one of those for weeks either.

    If you give him the ball more, say three times in a series, the result will be a punt.

  • joe

    Give AD the ball twice in a series and it will usually be 3rd and long.

  • Mike

    Joe, the fumble by Rice, along with the drops by AP and Shiancoe, are certainly to blame for the Vikings loss to the Panthers and must be addressed. Most importantly, the miscues killed key second half drives, while the Vikings were hanging on, and pressured the defense to stay on the field too long against a persistent Panther rush that finally wore the Viking defense out.

    You are also dead wrong about AP’s rushing. In the first half, AP opened up with only 7 yards on his first 6 carries but then had 25 yards on his next 4 rushes. He scored a TD on a nice run and should have got a FG on another. It made no sense at all to go totally way from AP in the second half: 3 carries??? AP’s rushing totals were comparable to the Panthers but they stuck with the run and wore down the Vikings D. Even the Vikings coaches admit they made a mistake and so do the Panthers players!

  • joe

    You mislead with stats – proclaiming that 4 for 25 yrds somehow means he was going to do better than 6 for 7 yrds is a homeboy argument.

    And just what did he get on the 3 carries in the second half? 3 YARDS TOTAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “Comparable” is just a scoundrel’s way of saying “not the same” – panthers ran the ball MUCH more effective!

    You outright LIE on that one – STEWART RAN FOR 109 yards.

    You lame homers deserve to see this team pack up and head to LA.

  • Mike

    Joe, you foul man, calling me a liar! The facts are the facts. Comparable means about the same, but certainly not exactly the same, which is statistically impossible.

    AP and Panthers running backs both started slow. AP certainly and statistically improved as the first half wore down. Moreover, he and the offensive line certainly needed more than 3 carries in the second half to wear down the Panthers D.

    The Panthers rushing also improved as the game went on. Stewart had 109 yards because they kept going to him, so he and his offensive could wear down the Vikings D.

    Just look at the play by play and add up the first 10 carries by Williams and Stewart. Do a graph.

    This isn’t just stats but a generally accepted football principle that running the ball wears down the defense and opens up opportunities for more rushing yards later.

    Where have you been not to know that, under a rock? And besides, there is nothing wrong with being a homer. What team do you root for?

  • joe

    It is a LIE to say 35 yards and 109 yards are “comparable” – One is nearly 1/3 of the other and NO, it didn’t all happen in the second half.

    The real FOULS are when people post garbage here – and just cuz your a home doesn’t mean it isn’t still GARBAGE.

  • joe

    Tske out 1 long run, about 10 yards, and AD’s average per carry HALF of what stewart did.

    Giving him the ball more is just going to result in more 3-and-outs (if he holds on to the ball).

    Jaws has it on ESPN – defenses have learned that if they stay in their lane, they have AD contained.

    He is going to have to adjust – hasn’t yet.

  • Mike

    Joe, I guess you need someone to crunch the numbers for you. These are the first half numbers:

    Peterson = 10 carries for 32 yards
    Williams = 6 carries for 13 yards
    Stewart = 9 carries for 20 yards

    Gee, I guess you are right, Peterson’s numbers were not comparable, they were better!

    Stewart did much better in the second half because they ran him 16 times compared to only 3 times for Peterson, while the defenses were beat.

    Now, those are just the facts, and not the bull that spews out of your foul mouth!

  • joe

    Well, no reason to let a few facts get in the way of some holiday cheer, right? I was just trying to say Merry Christmas.

  • Mike

    Merry Christmas everyone including Joe, even if you are a bit of a grinch. I wish for Christmas someone would provide a full coaches tape of the Vikings Panthers game. The following is a video of clips from the game:

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-playbook/09000d5d81535aad/Playbook-Vikings-vs-Panthers-recap

    Although I must admit it is a small sample of plays, it appears the Vikings are being too obvious about whether they will run or pass. Moreover, the Panthers appear to know because they are loading the box with 8 on runs and rushing only 3 or 4 on passes.

    That would not be good. Moreover, it would really call into question the competence of the coaching staff and even the players. I hope I am wrong!

  • joe

    My concerns about AD are that he reminds me of Barry Sanders, long runs and with stylish flair, but not yards you can count on in the clutch.

    You asked what team I root for? Sorry guys, I am a proud FAIR WEATHER fan! Was once true purple but over the years they let me down so many times (and favorite baseball team did too) that now I watch games for fun.

    I have always been a viking fan at heart, but no longer let their trials and tribulations from week to week affect my outlook for games. I am a Brett Favre fan and want to see him show up management up there (as well as media that likes to ride him).

    I am NOT a packer fan.

    I doubt that favre or anyone else is tipping the plays somehow, but could be wrong – would imagine they would work that out before the playoffs.

    Seems to me the greatest failure of coaching staffs is to let their own opinions about how the game should be played over ride the strengths of the players on a team that year. I hope that is not the case here.

    Chilly needs to let Brett be Brett and trying to pull him when they are up 7 – 6 is crap. Favre or any other quarterback SHOULD be raising hell over that.

    Your posts, mike, seem pretty well thought out now that I have reread this thread. Thanks for being good-natured about snark in the thread. I will read what you say with much more care now.

    But, I will also disagree if anyone thinks the key to a Super Bowl win this year is to hand off to AD. Brett brought the vikings this far and he will have to have big games for them to win it all.

    Relying on AD and 15-20 dink-and-run passes per game will not do it. It is also not why they brought Favre into camp.

  • Mike

    Seriously guys I am really getting concerned, and even upset, about the possibility the Vikings offense is telling plays, especially whether they will run or pass.

    I first started thinking about the possibility after I heard Dan Bieraro on KFAN talking about a rumor that Tony Dungy now denies about AP giving away his intended direction with his eyes. I thought he better stop doing that for his rushing totals, but I wasn’t too concerned with opposing defenses loading the box against him every week anyway and the Vikes 10-1 as a team.

    But then I noticed in the Cards game that they were rushing only 3 or 4 when the Vikings were passing, while still loading the box when AP was rushing. That is a prescription for disaster! So I started blogging my concerns like a doomsayer all over the web. Sure enough, two days later it was reported Tony Boseli had spotted McKinnie giving away pass and run plays with his stance.

    http://www.realfootball365.com/articles/vikings/14662

    I figured the Vikings couldn’t be so stupid as to not solve the problem the next week against the Bengals. Football experts said the Bengals always loaded the box against all teams because they had two lockdown corners to cover wide receivers. When I was at the Vikings Bengals game it looked like they consistently did exactly that, so I thought problem solved.

    But against the Panthers I noticed again their defense was also rushing only 3 or 4 when the Vikings were passing, while still loading the box when AP was rushing. I wish I had taped the game, so I looked for video clips on the web. Just look at the video I have provided above. Whenever the Vikings run, the RB is set far back and whenever they pass the RB is set across from Favre.

    I realize this is a small sample of plays (about 8). But should they be so obvious even on 8 of the about 45 plays for the whole game? Potentially worse, what if all of the plays are this obvious? I will be taping the entire Bears game this week!

  • joe

    Can you edit what you see into a short video to demonstrate what you find?

    Of course, vikings should just be on top of that, perhaps espn or someone will highlight it, but if you can demonstrate it with video, please post.

    It will be a shame if AD and Favre get bum raps about their play this year if the problem is really that defenses know what to expect.

    And, there’s no excuse for this at the nfl “elite” level – some needs to catch hell if this is undermining the effective plays of vikings biggest playmakers.

  • Mike

    All I have is the video I posted above before (I couldn’t find anything else):

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-playbook/09000d5d81535aad/Playbook-Vikings-vs-Panthers-recap

    If you watch the video the about 4 run plays all involve the Vikings setting the halfback far back behind the QB and they draw about 8 defenders into the box.

    Then the video shows about 4 pass plays and all involve setting the halfback across from the QB and the defense drops back all but 3 or 4 rushers to cover the receivers.

  • joe

    Can’t believe they are really that stooooopid, if so, not on AD or Favre.

    There have been reports that they are finishing season “vanilla” so that they don’t tip their hands going into the playoffs. As long as they get the first-round bye, then did not need to win out their games.

    Please watch bears and tape like you say – as you say, meaningful analysis will need to look at all plays.

  • Mike

    Why doesn’t the sports media seem to offer critical detailed analyses of the Vikings offense? (I would like to see more than generalities like the offense is vanilla or predictable.)

    Why don’t sports reporters cover overall strategies of their version of the WCO, the most common plays, and how the strengths of their players were utilized and the weaknesses of their opponents defenses and players exploited?

    Why is there little explanation of why opposing defenses stopped the offense? Do the Vikings even try to disguise plays, including whether they will run or pass, so they don’t face the best defenses? When they don’t, why not? How could they not catch McKinnie telling defenses with his stance whether they were going to run or pass? Do they try to take advantage of defenses loading the box against the run with play action?

    Why is their quarterback not involved in formulation of the plays? Why is everyone just trusting Chilly to formulate the plays behind closed doors and then when they lose we all just act sad like they were beaten by a better team?

  • joe

    mike – same reason they don’t provide more in-depth analysis of everything else that goes on around you.

    The networks and their affiliates have vested interests in what they cover. They just want us to tune in each week and be told what to think.

    In this case, they are too busy giving us crap about Brett Favre and a bogus “December fade”. They want to play up the horse-race aspect of the playoff picture.

    Disney (owner of abc, espn, and tons of other media) doesn’t give us good information about important stuff – who actually does or does not have WMD, who did/did not actually win elections in 2000 and 2004, what really happened on 9/11, is there really an “al-quada”, why are we bailing out wall street and where did all the looted money go?

    Get real – you demand better “news” about this meaningless stuff when you can’t actually even get basic information about the issues of the day?

  • Mike

    No Joe, I demand better news about everything. But I thought I could actually get it in sports. I thought the man was offering us sports as a diversion so we didn’t have to get screwed everytime we turn around. Maybe that is what everyday American life with alcohol, drugs, sluts, STDs, pregnancy, child support, pigs, jail etc. are for. No thanks. I might as well go back to writing about the lying politicians.

  • Mike

    WTF, is it possible that I am the only real person and the rest of you are just actors playing games with me?

  • joe

    Mike – if the man is “offering it as a diversion”, it certainly isn’t so we “didn’t have to get screwed everytime we turn around.”

    I doubt anyone in the media sees it as their role to give the type of football analysis you are talking about.

    It’s all about creating superstars and controversies that hype games – is the NFL even a totally honest game? Who knows, though I am sure we would agree it is not fixed like professional wrestling.

    But there are any other way to skew the outcomes of contests, perhaps not outright fixes, but not the self-determined outcomes most assume. In fact, if the viking’s are tipping their plays to defenses, it is an example of this, isn’t it.

    No way that gets prominent play on the networks.

  • joe

    Am I a fake posting here? Well, I blog, therefor I am, right?

  • Mike

    Chilly beware, you are a marked man! You are not going to waste with impugnity this once in a lifetime opportunity to team AP with Favre. I will tape all Vikings games and blog about your failures to attend to detail. I will not just say you are predictable, like those who let you get away with it, but expose exactly why you are predictable.

  • Mike

    The Vikings will win if they simply run their powerful, also fast when gets in the open field, halfback (AP) behind their big offensive line, as long as they also have a QB (Favre) who can make defenses pay when they load the box against the run and blitz the pass.

    The one thing they can’t do is tell opposing defenses to both load the box with 8 or 9 on runs and drop back 7 or 8 in coverage on passes.

    And they are now doing just that!!!!! Shame on Chilly!!!!!