Childress Gives Rookie Coaches A Winning Record on Opening Weekend

The Minnesota Vikings' triumph over the Washington Redskins on Monday night at FedEx Field in Brad Childress's NFL head-coaching debut left rookie coaches league-wide with a 4-3 record on the opening weekend of games.

Childress joined the Rams' Scott Linehan, the Jets' Eric Mangini and the Saints' Sean Payton in winning. The Packers' Mike McCarthy, the Texans' Gary Kubiak and the Lions' Rod Marinelli lost.

Childress's victory was perhaps the most impressive, as he won a Monday night game on the road against a Super Bowl aspirant with a Hall of Fame coach.

"You get a little bit emotional at the end," Childress said. "I'm just happy for those guys in that locker room who've put in an awful lot of hard work."

Childress, formerly the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, has had to install a West Coast offensive system in Minnesota. The Vikings kept the Redskins defense guessing Monday. Childress stuck with the running game, having the ball handed to tailback Chester Taylor 31 times even though Taylor managed only 88 rushing yards. But the Vikings also threw the ball down the field early and often.

"We took our shots," quarterback Brad Johnson. "We felt like we had to be aggressive. I thought it really opened up the field for us."

Childress's offense remains a work in progress, but the Vikings seemed delighted and relieved to win Monday after a training camp in which the scrutiny over some players' off-the-field issues remained intense.

"It's going to take time, but it's coming along," veteran center Matt Birk said. "We made the extra-effort plays when we needed it."

Said Childress: "I've said it all along: There's talent on this football team. And there's a little bit of will to overcome some things."...

Childress said he expects safety Dwight Smith to play next weekend against the Carolina Panthers. Smith was placed on the Vikings' inactive list Monday night after he and a 24-year-old woman were cited by the Minneapolis police last month for indecent conduct in a stairwell near a downtown nightclub. Childress declined to comment on Smith's de-activation.

"That's between Dwight Smith and myself," said Childress, who previously had indicated he would discipline Smith but had not specified how. "I'll leave it that way."...

Johnson, a right-handed quarterback, threw a pass left-handed Monday night to avoid a sack. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins dropped the ball on the play.

Johnson said that left him 3 for 5 during his 15-year NFL career on left-handed passes.

"You can't make a living on that," he said. "But I do work on that."

By Mark Maske |  September 12, 2006; 10:46 AM ET  | Category:  Vikings
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What about Romeo Crennel? I think that would be 4-4.

Posted by: left wing | September 12, 2006 2:30 PM

Crennel is in year 2.

Posted by: brownsfan | September 12, 2006 4:52 PM

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