Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Class is in session

Head coach Brad Childress says Gus Frerotte will start next week against Arizona if his back injury permits. It's unsurprising how much Childress praised Tarvaris Jackson's play Sunday against Detroit. But the last paragraph of the article is very surprising, at least to me:

Interestingly, Jackson's heroics came three days after he and Childress met face-to-face for their first in-depth discussion since the QB was benched.

So it's been 11 weeks since you pulled your starting QB, the man you couldn't say enough good things about in the off-season and whose ego you stroked for the better part of six months, and you couldn't even be bothered to talk directly to him until now? I've been hearing more and more about how few head coaches have an open-door policy and how they don't often communicate directly with their players (instead using position coaches as go-betweens). But shouldn't you at least be man enough to talk to your quarterback at some point over three months, especially after you've spent six months telling the world how great he is? Classy.

Meanwhile, for those who think the team is doomed without Gus Frerotte in the starting lineup, his passer rating for the season (73.7) is now lower than Jackson's (77.1). Grant's Tomb makes the valid point that T-Jack having a good half against an awful Detroit defense is different from his playing well against a good defense that's ready for him, and I think Jackson's accuracy is horrible, especially on deep balls, but, to his credit, he hasn't turned the ball over like Frerotte, with just one pick in 70 pass attempts. Yes, it's a small sample size, and he should have had a ball picked off in the Detroit game, but maybe by putting in a QB with whom he has less confidence, Brad Childress will ease up on the passing game and call more "safe" passes to running backs and tight ends. Five of T-Jack's eight completions were to RBs and TEs, including the touchdown to Visanthe Shiancoe, as Childress definitely seemed to go predominantly with low-risk passes once Jackson entered the game. And a low-risk passing game is just what the Vikings need right now.

* Speaking of Shiancoe...it's old news by now, but here's the best story you'll read about his penis all year (and the inevitable apology from Fox). Best quote: "How'd it look?" from Shiancoe himself. Classy.

I just hope author "MJD" is female, or at least gay, because the grading of "little Visanthe" as "clean and well-groomed...seven out of 10" is very disturbing otherwise.

* I don't really follow the NBA -- being from Minnesota and ostensibly a Timberwolves fan makes that easy, especially now that Kevin Garnett is gone and winning championships elsewhere -- but here's a great article comparing the Timberwolves front office to that of the Detroit Lions. Seems an apt comparison. This anecdote really, really makes you wonder what kind of penny-anty organization Kevin McHale and Glen Taylor are running:

McHale is a deserving, easy target, but this kind of dysfunction always begins and ends with ownership. Over the summer, the Chicago Bulls wanted to hire Timberwolves assistant coach Bob Ociepka for Vinny Del Negro’s staff. Ociepka had been raised in Chicago, had been a successful high school coach and had family there. He wanted to take the Bulls job. For low-level assistants, this is a common transaction. Everyone expected the Wolves to give the blessing and let Ociepka go. It was common courtesy.

Well, the Wolves were willing, but there was one condition, two league sources said: Management wanted five airline tickets as compensation. This way, the Wolves could interview replacements. No one had ever heard of such a low-rent, cheap move, but whatever. This is how Minnesota runs its operation. At all the wrong times the Wolves drive tough bargains.


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