CHICAGO (WSCR) — Paul Allen, the radio voice of the Minnesota Vikings, brushed off a Chicago Sun-Times report that several Vikings players said they don’t trust head coach Brad Childress and that they beat the Arizona Cardinals last week despite Childress.
“In the mainframe of the distractions we’ve had this year, that Sun-Times story … was child’s play and it’s not going to be any kind of a distraction like some of the things that we’ve seen here over the last month and change,” Allen said in an interview on 670 The Score’s “Mully and Hanley Show.”
LISTEN: Paul Allen on ‘Mully & Hanley’
The Vikings rallied from a 14-point deficit in the last five minutes of last week’s game to force overtime and Ryan Longwell kicked the game-winner to bring the Vikings to 3-5 on the season.
“I do believe that if they had lost to Arizona that there was a strong possibility we would have been coming to Soldier Field with former Bear Leslie Frazier as the coach,” Allen said.
According to the Sun-Times, after that game, several players ripped head coach Brad Childress, saying he doesn’t back his players and that they’re playing to win for themselves, not Childress. But Allen said without knowing which players made those comments, it’s hard to know what to make of them.
“The problem is you don’t know if it’s the 53rd guy on the roster or if it’s Brett Favre,” Allen said.
“All I know is everybody supposedly wanted (Childress) executed last week and supposedly the quarterback and the head coach have all these chasms and schisms and everything, but Brett put together about as good a four and a half minutes that you’re ever gonna see,” Allen said.
“If he really wanted the coach executed and fired, then he would have had a blindfold, a Marlboro Red, a steak and lobster meal in the locker room for a last meal and he would have screwed the game up. But he didn’t and it’s because they know they need to win,” he added.
Allen said it’s unfair to blame Childress for all the problems that have led the Vikings to a disappointing 3-5 record after going 12-4 last year and reaching the NFC Championship game.
“Lack of execution and stupid interceptions have been the biggest problems with the 3-5 start, not the head coach,” Allen said. “You look at the fact that Jared Allen had 14.5 sacks last year, the Vikings had 48 as a team. They came into the Arizona game with 6. How in the hell is that on Brad Childress? I mean, all of a sudden has he and/or the defensive line coach or Leslie Frazier forgotten how to teach veterans like Jared Allen and Kevin Williams and Ray Edwards and Pat Williams? It was just ludicrous.”
Regardless, Allen acknowledged that the Vikings need to keep winning for Childress to keep his job.
“It just has to start happening and if it doesn’t, you know the head coach gets compensated extremely well to have a winning record and to not have distractions in the locker room. Up to the Arizona game we weren’t doing either,” Allen said. “We had distractions and we weren’t winning games. We won a game last week; hopefully the distractions eventually go away, because we’re good enough to go on a run here.”
Allen also defended Childress’ decision to cut wide receiver Randy Moss after the Vikings’ Week 8 loss to New England. He said players and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf might have been upset with the decision, but Childress had a right to make it.
“You know, that’s one thing a lot of people nationally overlooked is that Brad’s contract indicates that he can do exactly what he did, he doesn’t have to go to the vice president of player personnel, he really doesn’t even have to go to the owners, which he may not have done,” Allen said. “So, if there really were an abundance of players on the team who were so upset at Brad that he waived Randy Moss … then last week would have been an Arizona victory by 10 or 14 … But they obviously had enough professional pride and were able to put whatever type of animosity they had towards the head coach to the side to try to save the season.”
The Vikings bring their 3-5 record to Soldier Field on Sunday and Allen acknowledged it’s a must-win game for Minnesota. He said he thinks the Vikings would have only a 5 to 10 percent chance of making the playoffs if they leave Chicago at 3-6.
Allen disputed Mulligan’s claim in Tuesday’s Sun-Times that the Bears have a “decided advantage” on special teams.
“I know Devin Hester’s … the cat’s booty and everything, but to say that there’s a decided advantage in the special teams area, that’s just a mistake, I’m sorry,” Allen said. “Longwell hasn’t missed a field goal, eighteen game winners; Vikings punt coverage number one in the NFL; Percy Harvin 95-yard kick return touchdown; (punter) Chris Kluwie going to the Pro Bowl, 42 net (average), 18 (punts) inside the 20.”