Firing Childress: Will it help the Vikings?
Sunday's game against Minnesota will be a clear indicator of whether the Redskins can show improvement and establish a winning streak. The Vikings fired coach Brad Childress this week after being one pass away from the Super Bowl last year. Many reports have come out that the respect level for Childress had vanished; players apparently just did not respond to him anymore.
There's two ways to look at this: (1) the team will respond in a positive way and play together as a team, or (2) things will get worse and they will continue to fall apart. This team on paper is very talented with veteran leadership. But they have under achieved all season long, and I'm not so sure firing the head man will change things dramatically.
The bad thing about it for the Redskins is that it's always that first game after the firing in which players pull together and play hard because they want to show everyone that they can win and that the coach was the problem.
This reminds me very much of my rookie year, when Norv Turner was fired during the season. For me, it was a quick and rude awakening that in the NFL guys don't keep jobs when a team is not performing up to standard. That team had a ton of veterans on the roster, and one would have thought that the leadership would kick in for the rest of the season, but it didn't.
The season was almost over when Terry Robiskie took over as interim head coach. I can remember being on edge the rest of the year. I was getting into scuffles in practice out of frustration. Interestingly enough, that 2000 Redskins team still had a chance to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it was a divided team. Some guys were committed to trying to get in, and others had already started their offseasons. It's next to impossible to win games in the NFL if all aren't pushing towards the same goal.
To me, football is the ultimate team sport, and a team is only as strong as its weakest link. We lost in Pittsburgh the last game to be played in Three Rivers Stadium. We stunk up the joint. giving the Steelers a homecoming game of sorts to close out the stadium. That loss officially eliminated us from playoff contention.
I don't have very many fond memories of how my rookie year ended, but it taught me a valuable lesson: I worried about controlling only what I had control over. I worked hard and led with my actions, not just words, and made sure I was always accountable for my actions and tried to be accountable for my teammates as well.
| November 23, 2010; 5:08 PM ET
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