Finger-pointing and quitting in Minnesota

November, 21, 2010
11/21/10
7:34
PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- I spent most of my time Sunday afternoon in the Green Bay Packers' locker room, gathering information for my game column. Sounds like it was a good decision. By all accounts, the Minnesota Vikings' locker room was a frosty place filled with finger-pointing, talk of quitting and the continuing specter of coach Brad Childress' job security.

[+] EnlargeVikings coach Brad Childress
AP Photo/Jim MoneCoach Brad Childress is under fire after another poor showing by his Minnesota Vikings.
We'll start with the final point. Owner Zygi Wilf emerged from the locker room red-faced but silent, once again refusing to discuss the state of the team or Childress' future. But I would imagine Wilf would be interested to know that several players suggested some of their teammates quit at one point or another during a 31-3 loss.

"The score would indicate that," Favre said. "Without watching the film, I don't know."

Asked if all players gave the necessary effort, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said: "Nope. Nope. Nope."

Of the team's overall performance, Shiancoe said: "That's atrocious. That's bad. That's bad football, and that's something that's embarrassing to me. It's embarrassing to the organization. I'm pretty sure it's embarrassing to everybody."

And I wonder what Wilf thought after watching what I counted as three heated sideline exchanges. One involved Favre and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell after a second-quarter interception. Another was between defensive end Ray Edwards and cornerback Chris Cook, and a third was evident as Shiancoe yelled and gestured angrily toward tight ends coach Jimmie Johnson when he was removed from a fourth-down play in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Edwards and defensive tackle Kevin Williams sharply criticized Cook and fellow cornerback Asher Allen for their play. The Packers beat Cook for passes of 47 and 39 yards in the first half, and Allen gave up touchdowns passes of 46 and 22 yards to Greg Jennings in the second half.

"At some point," Williams said, "we've got to make plays when we get a chance. They weren't running screens. They were just throwing the ball."

Edwards said he approached Cook and Allen to tell them to do their job.

"That's the bottom line," he said. "If everybody do their job, we're a great team."

Williams and Winfield criticized Edwards for his method, if not his message.

"You can’t do that with your teammates," Williams said. "No matter how the game is going, you have your discussion after the game. We told Ray that.

Winfield was a little less blunt but refused to defend Cook or Allen.

"Quarterbacks and offensive coordinators are very smart," Winfield said. "They're going to go after the young guy. ... Either you're going to crumble under the pressure or you're going to stand up and hold your own. We just didn't do that today."

Is that enough for Wilf to make a coaching change? On top of sideline bickering, finger-pointing and talk of quitting, Wilf also has a quarterback who is refusing to commit to playing for the rest of the season.

As we discussed last week, this story has shifted from Childress to Wilf. What is he thinking and what is his plan for fixing this mess? Sunday night, that was anybody's guess.

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