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Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress
*Q: Can you discuss why your team's record isn't necessarily where you guys would like it to be at this point?
Brad Childress: "I think it always comes down to such as in this last game--turnovers. When you spot somebody 21 points off of turnovers, it makes someone tough to beat. Obviously that's (Tennessee) a 4-0 football team right now. A couple of them are not being able to finish at the end. Indianapolis would be a good example. We have the ones against Carolina that first week. We're in position against Green Bay. There are reasons for different things, but we're a 1-3 football team."
Q: Do you see your team as ready to turn it around and this being a momentum changing game?
Brad Childress: "The great thing about this team and I said it after training camp and said it after this game one is that they're all bright-eyed guys, they all want to do the right thing. Are they frustrated? Would they like to be 4-0? Absolutely. But they're working to improve and get better. It's kind of like the heavyweight fight that goes 16 rounds here. If there's a knockout in the fourth or fifth round and this is the Fifth round for us, it changes everything. They're working to get better and the process is this: If we win, we're just going to be a 2-3 football team. We can't get two wins this week. New Orleans can go 3-2. I like our football team and I like our mindset."
Q: Can you talk about the change in quarterback and what Gus Frerotte has brought to your team?
Brad Childress: "The premium there would be on Gus' experience and I don't have any tentativeness. I think one of the things is just going back to Tavaris (Jackson), he was very aggressive in the offseason, very aggressive until he went through training camp, but really until he got hurt, midway through the Baltimore game in the preseason, he had had a very good preseason. When he came back, I just didn't see that trigger mentality. In talking to him, those first two games, he felt like he was playing not to make a mistake, being real cautious. At best, you have to play this game wide open at all positions. It's not a death knell for him. It's just a step back. There's no right or wrong way to raise a quarterback in this league. Sean (Payton) could tell you that. Like (Bill) Parcells has told me, if he had to play Tony Romo three years ago, it wouldn't have been pretty. He can take a step back and be an aide to Gus. Gus is coming in here and lending that experience and steady hand."
Q: Has been finding out the right way to raise your quarterback the most difficult and time consuming part of your job?
Brad Childress: "I wouldn't say it's the most time consuming. Probably the most timing consuming is dealing with you guys (the media). I'm just kidding. There's no shelf life, there's no right way or wrong way, whether you're looking at (Jake) Delhomme going overseas or Kurt Warner. Peyton Manning jumped in right away or Eli Manning got in and finished the year. (Donovan) McNabb played the second half of the season. Tavaris Jackson played the last two games of his first year. There are different ways to go about it. The thing is making that assessment and being honest to what you see and what your team needs."
Q: Can you talk about how Adrian Peterson has adapted to teams concentrating on him more?
Brad Childress: "They really geared up to stop him after he showed up on the scene last year. It's not like we were a prolific passing offense and they were fearing us throwing the football. I've seen a growth from the standpoint of being more patient with runs. He'd like to hit home runs, but there's something to be said for taking those three, four and five yard runs on the front side that allow you to take a backside break or circle the
Q: When you look at the film, what impresses you most about the way Drew Brees is playing right now?
Brad Childress: "I go a long way back competing against Drew Brees. I was on a Wisconsin staff that he threw 83 passes against and completed in the fifties, maybe 60. I'll also point out that they didn't win the game that way, but he's just a great competitor. He knows where all his tools are at. It's very difficult to sack him. He was sacked four times in four games. He's knows where he's looking at on defense and where he wants to go with the football. He has a very good presence. He can move. He's got nifty feet. He can get himself out of trouble and he's a great anticipatory thrower. He's not a hose cannon guy where he can wait until he sees the white of a guy's eyes, but he puts it in spots where his receivers go get it."
Q: Do you guys win games by trying to be physical up front and trying to win that matchup against the opposing offensive line?
Brad Childress: "We always say offensive line and defensive line, that's where it starts up front. Drew Brees doesn't get to be who he is, or his receivers, or Reggie Bush or (Deuce) McAllister, or any of our guys, Adrian Peterson. It starts up front and it will always start up front. That's where the war is waged."
Q: Is that a particular strength of your team?
Brad Childress: "Yes. I just believe you take care of your offensive and defensive lines. You need to make sure those positions are strong for
Q: If Drew Brees throws 80 passes on Monday night, will that be a good sign for your team?Brad Childress: "I've never heard of a defensive coordinator ever and will probably include your guy down there, never ever has a defensive coordinator said, I'll tell you what we're going to do. We're going to make them one dimensional. We're going to stop the pass and let them run it everywhere and we'll be in great shape. Everybody I've heard of is stop the run and let them beat us with the pass. 83 times, I'd like to think we'd have some opportunities if he throws it 83."
Q: You and Sean Payton are part of that 2006 head coach's class. Obviously there are mixed results in that class with Scott Linehan having been fired. Is it a very difficult thing in today's NFL and turn it into a winner this quickly?
Brad Childress: "I think you know in most cases, there's change for a reason and obviously Mr. Benson had an idea down there that they wanted a change and Sean has gone through some adverse circumstances, but elicited that change to get them to the NFC Championship his first year is a hell of a thing. He's a good football coach. I've known him for a lot of years dating back to Naperville Central High School. I'm an Illinoisan, from Aurora the city right next door to Naperville. I followed his career as an Eastern Illinois graduate. I know none of you guys have ever been to Charleston, Illinois. He's done a great job. You face a little bit different circumstances coming up here and believing that Daunte Culpepper was a franchise quarterback and in my wildest dreams I didn't think he would be gone in three, four, five weeks, whatever it took for him to get out of here. There were two different issues. Different teams have different issues. You have to look at the issues, you have to address them and you have to fix them, whether it's personnel or behavior, it all comes down to getting it right, so you win on the football field."
Q: I assume it's not a coincidence that the two coaches who have had the most success had Drew Brees and Brett Favre as their quarterbacks?Brad Childress: "It doesn't hurt you, although I believe that you were in the Daunte Culpepper sweepstakes as well. Weren't you?"
Q: Maybe by default, but they were obviously after Brees?Brad Childress: "Obviously it's turned out to be a great move, because he's a great, great, great competitor. I know he came in with some kind of shoulder injury, but he likes football, he's passionate about it, he spends time with it and I know that's the kind of guy Sean (Payton) likes to be around."
Q: Is there any rhyme or reason to that Eastern Illinois connection with you, Sean, Mike Shanahan and Mike Heimerdinger?Brad Childress: "I think we were all there at different spots in time. I think probably the rhyme or reason and I would include Tony Romo in this because I asked him before a game in the preseason, that we've all probably sat on a stool at Marty Patton's once or twice. Marty Patton's was named after an old pitcher from the Kansas City Royals who opened an establishment."
Q: Are you a Cubs fan being from the Chicago suburbs?
Brad Childress: "I am a Cubs guy. My wife likes the White Sox."
Q: Can you give your thoughts on last week's game as opposed to the last three weeks prior in terms of Deuce McAllister playing, if that adds another wrinkle and how you thought he did?
Brad Childress: "That's not just Reggie Bush's domain. To put them both in the same backfield, Deuce McAllister's a powerful man. He knows how to run the football in this league. Obviously his numbers and production speak for itself, but I don't see a whole lot of ill effects from that injury and Sean's (Payton) probably been very patient in working with that even though it"s not the easiest thing to do. There's no downside to having more weapons. It's just that, another weapon."