Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Verbatim: Brad Childress on Moss decision
By Kevin Seifert
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress faced questions for 13 minutes Wednesday about his decision to waive receiver Randy Moss, offering few details but acknowledging the original plan to acquire him was "a poor decision." Childress wouldn't say if he consulted owner Zygi Wilf prior to setting Monday's events in motion, but said that a "meeting" prevented him from speaking to vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman.
In the locker room, receiver Percy Harvin made clear he was angry and disappointed by the decision, and I'll get to a big-picture post in a bit -- including the news that injured receiver Sidney Rice will practice Wednesday for the first time this year. For now, however, here is the transcript from Childress' remarks for those who were eager to hear his explanation:
Brad Childress on Wednesday said the plan to acquire Randy Moss was "a poor decision."
Brad Childress: Randy Moss. It didn't work out. Not going to get into any particulars. We have an internal process that we go through. I can understand that all of you have questions, and I appreciate everybody's passion in knowing why. You hope all your personnel decisions work out for the best, and whether you talk about the [Jared] Allens or the [Steve] Hutchinsons or the [Visanthe] Shiancoes or the Chester Taylors or the Percy Harvins, some work out and some don't work out. And some end up being short term and some end up being long term.
This didn't work out. Nobody's more disappointed than I am that it didn't work out. But it didn't work out, and so we're casting our gaze forward here and I do wish Randy the best of luck in whatever the future holds down the line for him in football.
What didn't work out?
BC: I'm not going to get into a lot of the particulars. I'm not going to do that. It's done. It's over with. It was a decision that you don't take lightly, but it was a decision that I had to make and it's over.
You asked fans to embrace this guy. Why don't you think the fans deserve more?
BC: Because I wished and hoped that it would have worked out as well. But it was a programmatic non-fit, and it didn't work out. When things don't work out, you need to move quickly to take steps.
Did you have support of ownership?
BC: Without getting into all the internal dialogue, we have a process that we kind of hold to here and I'm not going give you chapter and verse on the process. But I told my team right after I finished with you folks here. I thought it was important to paint a landscape of what Tuesday was going to be like for them, what the rest of the day was going to be like so that they didn't have to come back here Wednesday and deal with that. I owe that to those guys.
We're at 52 [players] right now, pending any roster move that may occur, but I have faith and confidence in the games remaining and we're the only guys that are going to fix this thing right now.
Why did you portray Moss as a member of the team during Monday's news conference? Why not back it up so you could comment on it after telling players?
BC: Because that's when I usually have my 12:30 press conference. That's from your standpoint, I get that. I'm going to get questions regardless whether they are on point or not on point. I can't control that. I have a 1 o'clock meeting standing with my group so that's what I end up going to.
Don't you think you're obligated to tell the truth to fans who will be asked to pay for a new stadium?
BC: I think as long as the right people are contacted in the right order I think that that's important. Obviously, it wouldn't have served a purpose to come out here and tell you guys and have you go running with it before the dominoes start to go down.
But why then make players answer for your decision?
BC: That's not why I put them in that situation, to have to answer for my decisions. I have to answer for my decisions. In the long run with ownership, obviously, my name is affixed to wins and losses in this program here. So, it's not an attempt to deceive, it's just a matter of letting the people know that need to know. And when we came out with the statement, that's when all that had been done. That's why he didn't show up on the waiver wire that day, just because there is a process that's involved.
Did you use the same process in this decision as you always do? Did you notify ownership in the same way?
BC: I go through about the same process about all the time. I talk with Rick, I talk with [vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski]. I let the owners know. But the thing happened here. I talked to the team, then you let everybody else know what's going on. Actually, Rick was in a meeting.
So you told players before you told ownership?
BC: No, that's not the case. I'm not going to get into all the process stuff.
Did you see this an isolated episode or do you need to do more investigation into players before making trades?
BC: I feel like I do a decent job of looking into guys' backgrounds. People coming off the waiver wire, you attempt to be able to create pieces of the puzzle that you need to know. I think I talked to you guys about all the back channels, the conversations that end up happening in this league. And I'm grateful that we have an organization that has those type of back-channel conversations in place, because there are some that don't have those in place.
Yeah, it was a poor decision. I've got to stand up and I have to make it right. When it's not right, you need to make it right.
Do you think this has threatened your job?
BC: I wouldn't know that. I'd say that's up to everybody else to look at. I know that basically it's usually tied to how many wins you have and how many losses you have.
Was this a move made out of desperation?
BC: You know, I'm not that. This is probably the most unemotional decision I've made in this job here. Just the matter of fact of what had to happen occurred.
Do you think this will impact the team on the field?
BC: You know, it'd be a good question for them. I know we have to play better football out there. Throw it and run it and tackle better. I'd like to think not.
How did you get duped knowing his background?
BC: It's not worth getting into the particulars. I'm not going there.
When did you talk with Randy?
BC: I didn't end up talking to Randy. I made a number of phone calls that went unanswered. I texted him a few times to get back in touch. In the end, Rick ended up finally getting a conversation with him.
Why did you say he'd be back Wednesday when you knew otherwise?
BC: Because 10 days ago we talked about him going back to New England, to stay there to see his family, to see his 8-year-old, it wasn't a problem for me. It's the same thing that happened with Brett Favre when we played New Orleans, he went home after the game and went back with them.
But why did you say he'd be back here?
BC: Because that was my intent. That was the plan for him to come back Tuesday night or Wednesday. Actually it was going to be Tuesday night. We talked about that, how he was traveling, how he was getting back.
So you decided in between the press conference and the team meeting?
BC: No, I can't say that's when I decided. The wheels were in motion in my brain for what had to happen.
Are you in danger of losing the team?
BC: I don't even know what that means. I really don't. Losing that football team. They're all in there. They're all to a man standing there this morning ready to shake the cobwebs off and get this thing right. That would be a better question to answer by them, not by me. But I'm not even sure what that means: Lose your football team. The Minnesota Vikings are in that locker room and we need to play better and I need to coach better.
How are you emotionally?
BC: I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm really [at] peace. The decisions I make are for the best welfare of the Minnesota Vikings. I can look myself in mirror every night when I go to bed and know that in my heart of hearts.
Did you consult Bud Grant on what it's like to cut a Hall of Famer?
BC: I did not. No. I saw Bud, but I didn't share any of that with him.
What was the reaction from the team?
BC: For every decision you make, you could get 53 divergent opinions, so that's a good one for you to ask those folk in there.
What was your message to the team today?
BC: What I said is we'll be best served by everybody focusing on the Arizona Cardinals and their job within the context of this game plan and what we need to do to be able to beat that football team, that beat us last year that happens to be coming up here this year; that are more than capable of scoring a bunch of points and can be extremely disruptive defensively. That's exactly where we went.
We don't need any philosophers is what I told them. We need realists. It's Nov. 3, 2010. We are a 2-5 football team. What do we need to do to pull out of this thing.
Did Moss' outburst to a local catering company affect the decision?
BC: I wasn't down there. I wasn't down there for that. That's something that came to me.
You must have heard about it.
BC: I did. I'm not getting into particulars. Not doing it.
When will you get Sidney Rice back?
BC: Sidney will come off the PUP list today. He was out at the walkthrough. As with other people who come off that, everybody heals differently. He's got three weeks for us to activate him. We'll just see how he progresses here. He's done everything that he can do from a rehabilitation standpoint. Not unlike us with Cedric [Griffin] getting out there.
He needs to do football-specific things. He'll come out and take some turns today. He'll be on the scout team running today and we'll see how he comes back tomorrow. There's a conditioning aspect that's got to be met. Obviously football's a physical game, the pounding, the running on the turf, the full-speed routes. We'll just see how he comes through that. You've got two pretty good examples of guys coming off significant injuries down in Green Bay. It's been a couple weeks and those guys haven't been activated. I don't have a crystal ball. We'll just see what he can do by the end of the week.
How do you compensate for Moss' loss on the field?
BC: We've got Hank Baskett, who has been inactive. We'll elevate his turns and get him in the mix. He'll help us there and he'll help us on special teams.