Tag:Zygi Wilf
Posted on: November 20, 2010 10:01 am
 

Analyzing a Parcells-Vikings marriage

Posted by Andy Benoit

There has been some speculation in Minnesota that Bill Parcells could be coming to town. What propagated this? The increasingly hot seat under Brad Childress, for one. And for two, Parcells’ statement on tonight’s NFL Films documentary: “"Get me back out there. I can do this one more time. That's how I feel."

Before he bought the Vikings, Zygi Wilf was a huge Giants fan. We’ll assume he was a huge Parcells fan, too.
But this is where the connections end. There have been no inside sources suggesting Parcells and the Vikings could be a match – it’s all just outside speculation.

Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune poured a little cold water over that speculation. Here’s an excerpt:

Despite repeated requests in recent weeks to interview Wilf, he has declined. That's certainly his right but it means that any opinions about which direction he might take this organization is pure speculation.

There also has been no indication that Wilf and the rest of ownership are planning to clean house. Hiring a larger than life figure such as Parcells would lead one to assume that he would be given the authority to pick and choose who he kept.

Keep in mind, too, that Zygi and Mark Wilf, who serves as the Vikings president, have had nothing but praise for the job done by vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski.

It's logical to think that if the Vikings decided to hire a general manager that Spielman would be a serious candidate, with the expectation he would work closely with Brzezinski. Spielman has an impressive title but he does not currently have the type of authority that a general manager does. Childress, for instance, has final say on the 53-man roster and is probably as close to a general manager as the Vikings have under the way things are set up.

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Posted on: November 14, 2010 5:27 pm
 

Zygi Wilf says he won't fire Brad Childress

Posted by Will Brinson

Despite the fact that the Vikings got embarrassed against Chicago (they lost a critical division game 27-13) on Sunday, Brad Childress isn't going to get fired.

The Bears shut down Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre threw three picks, and Devin Hester crushed the Vikes in all aspects of the game and, yet, Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf told ESPN's Ed Werder following the game that he is not considering firing Vikings coach Brad Childress.

Although perhaps taking a peak at the "new-look" Dallas Cowboys will change his mind -- if Jason Garrett can engineer a turnaround of a talented, underperforming team in Big D, Wilf would be foolish not to at least give Leslie Frazier the same sort of opportunity in Minnesota.

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 7:18 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2010 10:15 pm
 

Childress' seat becomes a little cooler (maybe)

Brad Childress perhaps won himself a reprieve today (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Did the Vikings somehow save Brad Childress’ job today? Probably not. Even if Minnesota would have fallen to Arizona – and make no mistake, they SHOULD have lost that game – owner Zygi Wilf probably wouldn’t have terminated Childress until after the season.

Or maybe not.

But make no mistake: the come-from-behind victory, thanks to RB Adrian Peterson, QB Brett Favre and TE Visanthe Shiancoe, makes life easier for the Vikings – at least for this week.

"A win will calm things,” Favre told reporters.

Last week couldn’t have gone much worse for the Vikings and Childress. He went above his boss’ head and released Randy Moss. He and WR Percy Harvin (eight catches, 120 yards) reportedly had to be separated in a verbal confrontation Friday (Childress said after the game it was due to his desire for Harvin to get an MRI, which he did Saturday). Everybody seems to have crapped on Childress – his personality, his coaching style, the essence of his soul. And it sounds like it’s been deservedly so.

When the Vikings fell behind the Cardinals 24-10 late in the fourth quarter, chants of “Fire Brad Childress” could be heard around the dome. But Favre, who went 36 for 47 for a career-high 446 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, and Peterson (144 total yards and two scores) led the Vikings to a pair of touchdowns in the final 4 minutes of the game.

In overtime, Minnesota’s defense – surprisingly led by DE Jared Allen, who’s been so irrelevant this year but had a tremendous 5-minute stretch near the end of regulation and in overtime – stopped Arizona. That led to a 35-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell that sealed the win.

And, for now, might make Childress – who said the crowd at the Metrodome attended the game today to see an execution – feel better. Not that, ahem, he needs it.

"I'm not going be here and be like Favre and tell you that I need a hug,” Childress said. “I'll be all right.”

(Childress, I think, was not trying to be an ass with that comment. I think he was actually referring to what Favre said earlier in the week when he was asked whether Childress is a compassionate coach: Said Favre: "Is he compassionate as in give us a hug or something? Boy, I sure could use one. But he hasn't given me one.")

UPDATE (10:12 p.m.):
Favre had an interesting comment when he was asked if he felt like he was playing for Childress' job today.

"I felt like I was playing for mine," Favre said. "I am just being honest. I have played for 20 years. I have always wanted to be the best. I had to ask myself, 'Are you willing to do what it takes?'

“Do I always get along with my head coach, quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator? No. Do I always agree with the plays that were called? No. Why should that factor in to me wanting to be the best player I can be?"

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 5:43 pm
 

Report: Wilf nearly fired Childress, kept Moss

Posted by Will Brinson

After a two-day vacation to recover from the nightmare that was Randy Moss moving through waivers, what's more exciting than a Friday afternoon report that Zygi Wilf, who's been in Minnesota just hanging out for a few days, was so upset at Brad Childress for circumventing his authority and dumping Moss that the Vikings owner nearly fired his coach and kept his star wideout?

The answer to that rhetorical question is "nothing," so let's break down the noise ESPN's Ed Werder is making -- according to a team source, Wilf was so "irate" that he nearly canned Chilly and retained Moss. This, presumably, is why Moss wasn't actually released on Monday.

Additionally, Werder reports that a Vikings player informed him of individual meetings Wilf held with the players in order to determine "how much support remained for Childress among veteran players."

This is obviously a bombshell, but it's not entirely mind-blowing considering just how things went down with Moss' release.

Childress recently got an extension that doesn't have a buyout clause, so Wilf would probably prefer to avoid throwing a ton of money down the drain by firing him.

That being said, anyone who thinks Chilly's pants aren't a little warm right now is just flat-out delusional.

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 8:56 pm
 

Owner Wilf makes a little visit to Minnesota

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When your job is perceived to be in trouble, it’s not necessarily a great thing when the big bossman comes around to check how things are coming.

That’s the position in which Vikings coach Brad Childress has found himself the past few days as owner Zygi Wilf – who famously was NOT consulted by Childress when the coach decided to cut a player that Wilf loves, Randy Moss – has visited Minnesota headquarters.

Writes the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Wilf did not address the entire team on Wednesday, but he did speak to a select few team leaders, including Brett Favre and Pat Williams. …

Wilf's Vikings activities today include eating lunch in the team cafeteria and watching practice, including a sideline chat with Childress for more than five minutes.

FOXSports.com reported today that Wilf apologized Wednesday to the team for the distraction created by the release of Moss and expressed optimism that they could turn around the season.


Just because Wilf flew in from New Jersey to monitor team activities, that doesn’t necessarily mean Childress is on his way out any time soon – and by that I mean before the end of the season. Since he’s the owner, Wilf – who, according to Aaron Wilson, personally apologized to the restaurateur who was disparaged by Moss last week, flies in from time to time to make sure everything is running smoothly.

At 2-5, the Vikings certainly are not. And neither is Childress’ job security. As Wilf’s presence surely has reminded him.

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Posted on: November 3, 2010 9:25 am
 

Vikes ownership cheesed at Chilly over Moss?

Posted by Will Brinson

Anyone who's ever had a job knows that 99 percent of the time, there someone to answer to -- a "boss" if you will. And if you do things like, say, fire other employees, without making sure your boss is cool with it, you can get in trouble.

Enter Brad Childress into our little hypothetical metaphor; Chilly as we all are fully aware of by now, canned Randy Moss from the Minnesota's roster on Monday. And he did so without consulting the people (owner Zygi Wilf and president Mark Wilf) who sign his paychecks.

Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer-Press reports that this has the Wilfs, who were doing other business elsewhere when the Moss fiasco went down, a touch upset. "Rankled," even, according to a source.

"They were not happy with the decision but more so the process," said the source, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity. "These guys are lawyers. They're process people. Part of the confusion is that there is no clear conformity within the organizational structure. And that's flawed."

Part of that flawed process is that Childress has full control over the Vikings' roster.

"And when you have a flawed structure you get the kind of Keystone Kops atmosphere that's out there now," the Pioneer Press' source said.

The possibility that Childress "went rogue" on dumping Moss because of his attitude seems like the likely scenario that actually played out in Minnesota now; it also explains why there were conflicting reports about whether Moss had actually been waived on Monday, and why the team knew about Moss being released before Moss did.

Interestingly, this removes the "it's either him or me" (Childress and Moss, natch) from play. But it doesn't necessarily close the door to the "Chilly takes a stand and is fired because he refused to back down and totally not because he's a bad coach" scenario, which could play out quickly if the Vikings don't start winning.

None of that's to say that Childress WILL get fired, but if he had any inkling before now that his job was on the line (and that, say, ownership wanted to take a gander at defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier), this is his only shot at going out for reasons outside incompetence.

Not that insubordination is necessarily better, though.

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 1:18 am
 

Can Childress survive this?

Brad Childress released R. Moss, but apparently didn't clear it with ownership (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Brad Childress hasn’t been popular in the Vikings locker room for quite some time now.

Some in the organization believe Minnesota went to the NFC championship game last year in spite of Childress, not because of him. He came off looking awfully weak during the preseason when he traveled to Mississippi multiple times in an attempt to sweet-talk Brett Favre into returning for one more season. He’s made other people in the organization deal with his dirty work when talking to the media, and he’s made two of his top players (Favre and Randy Moss) look bad in recent press conferences.

There’s a faction of the locker room that wants to see Tarvaris Jackson as the starting quarterback. They can’t like the fact Childress starts Favre. There’s another faction of the locker room that is in Favre’s corner. They can’t like the fact that Childress basically called out his quarterback in his postgame news conference following the Packers loss last week (and oh yeah, Brad, Favre was playing on a fractured ankle. No matter what you think of Favre, the dude plays hurt. And you look small for bashing him.).

As a result, many of the Vikings don’t like playing for him, and worse yet, they don’t respect him as a coach. You can be a hardass if you’re Bill Belichick, and yeah, maybe some players despise playing for guys like that. But there’s no question Belichick has the respect of the locker room. Childress simply doesn’t.

That leads us to Childress’ performance today when he released Moss. A performance that could lead to Childress’ eventual firing.

After talking to people close to the Vikings organization, here’s what we know.

Stunningly, Childress, who can shape the 53-man roster as he sees fit, apparently didn’t consult ownership about his plans to release Moss. It’s stunning because of owner Zygi Wilf’s love for Moss. The first time the Vikings got rid of Moss, it was because ownership grew tired of his act. Wilf, who took over the team a few months later, said he never would have seen Moss go if he was in charge.

Suffice to say, Wilf must have been extremely happy when Moss returned to Minnesota from New England. For Childress not to know that – or for him to willfully ignore that – is the height of arrogance or stupidity.

For now, it looks like Childress has won this power struggle (if there was a struggle in the first place), because for a few hours Monday evening, we weren’t sure if the ownership would veto the Moss waiver and, instead, fire Childress.

“If they really are all-in (for the Super Bowl), who gives the team a better chance to make the playoffs right now – Moss or Brad Childress?” Vikings Rapid Reporter Dana Wessel told me earlier tonight before the Vikings released a statement unofficially confirming that Moss had been waived. “It’s Randy Moss, no question.”

Knowing that, you have to know that if the Vikings don’t quickly turn around their season, Childress is a prime candidate to be let go.

The reasons: 1) Everything I wrote above.

2) When the trio of Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson flew to Mississippi basically to beg for Favre to return, Childress let offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special teams coach Brian Murphy answer to the media for him. Basically, not knowing what to do, the coaches lied. Childress apologized later for putting his assistants in that awkward position. Today, after not telling the media about his plans during the presser, a stunned LB Ben Leber had to answer a media horde’s question after the Moss news broke. Childress did not talk to the media again, though he did release a one-paragraph statement.

In effect, others have to clean up his dirty work.

3) There’s a hot assistant coach waiting in the wings. His name is defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. He very obviously wants a head coaching job, and one of these days, somebody is going to give him one. From what I understand, Wilf might not want to risk losing him like the team lost Mike Tomlin to the Steelers after the 2006 season. If you’re choosing between Childress and Frazier, who do you go with? You already know what you've got with Childress.

4) The Vikings are trying to get a new stadium built. Childress isn’t well-liked in the city, doesn’t really excite anybody. If he’s lost his locker room, he’s lost his city, and if he’s lost his city and his locker room, does Wilf have any other choice but to fire him?

A better question: can the future of the organization count on a coach like Childress? I say no.

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Posted on: September 14, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: September 14, 2010 9:47 am
 

Hot Routes 9.14.10: Paging Ken Whisenhunt

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- Browns QB Jake Delhomme will undergo an MRI as early as today to determine the extent of an ankle injury suffered against the Buccaneers. Apparently, he hurt himself in the first half but powered through the pain to complete the game.

- Ines Sainz, the object of the recent affection/alleged misogyny by the Jets, says she doesn’t plan to sue the club. This article is behind a paywall on the Newsday website, but hey, the headline is enough to cause a little bit of relief for the Jets. Even if she would have had no chance in hell of winning any kind of judgment.

- Another twist in the Logan Mankins-Patriots contract debacle has appeared. Although an ESPN report came out Sunday saying the two sides were close to an agreement, only to be thwarted when Mankins refused to publicly apologize to New England owner Bob Kraft, Kraft said that simply isn’t true. “That is a bold-faced fib,” Kraft told WEEI. “We never had a deal with Logan.”

- Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt talked to RB Tim Hightower about securing the ball and, you know, not fumbling so much. That’s probably a good idea, because Hightower – who already has a reputation for putting the ball on the ground – lost two more fumbles Sunday.

- Despite a poor performance against the Saints, Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf still believes the pieces are in place for the Vikings to win a Super Bowl. Perhaps, Whisenhunt needs a come-to-Jesus chat with Wilf after he’s done talking to Hightower.

- Where is Jeff Feagles when you need him? The Giants fans would like to know after watching punter Matt Dodge endure another performance in which the rookie struggled to, um, punt the football very well.

- Neither the Jets nor the Giants sold out their season openers in the New Meadowlands Stadium. In part, you can blame the expensive personal seat licenses.
 
- There was as kerfuffle before the Patriots-Bengals game when a fan needed immediate medical attention. The Patriots said today that the fan, whose name has not been made public, has died.

- Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco took Patriots fan Will Ditullo to dinner where the two talked about sports and about life in general.

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