Childress firing draws mixed reaction

Lovie Smith empathized with Brad Childress, but was happy for Les Frazier. AP Photo/Andy King

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Minnesota Vikings' decision to fire head coach Brad Childress hardly came as a shock to Chester Taylor, who spent four years in Minneapolis with Childress before signing a four-year contract with the Bears in the offseason.

"[Vikings owner/chairman] Zygi Wilf, he wants to win, he's going to do whatever it takes to win," Taylor said Monday. "The four years I was there, he always was talking about winning and going to a championship. So I'm pretty sure he's making the right moves to do that.

"It just seems like there wasn't the togetherness that it was [when I was] there in the past. I'm pretty sure that they had their ups and downs over there."

Coming off a 12-4 record that culminated with a trip to the NFC championship game, the Vikings were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders in 2010. Instead, they turned out to be one the biggest disappointments in the league, and currently hold a 3-7 record after being humiliated 31-3 at home against Green Bay.

Although most people anticipated Childress would eventually lose his job, Bears coach Lovie Smith said the news caught him off-guard.

"Yes, I'm very surprised," Smith said. "I just found out about it a few minutes ago. It's a shame, a little bit, when you have your team a play away from being in the Super Bowl one year, and you're without a job the next year. But that's our business, when we get in it, we realize that.

"Looking at it from a different point of view, it's always good to see a guy like Leslie Frazier [who's filling in as interim coach] to get an opportunity."