Childress next coach to get the axe?

Vikings head coach Brad Childress looks on as his team took on the Saints in New Orleans, Louisiana...

Vikings head coach Brad Childress looks on as his team took on the Saints in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 9, 2010. (SEAN GARDNER/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:34 PM ET

TORONTO - One thing you can take to the bank is that in the NFL there seems to be a dearth of original thinking. It’s always been a follow-the-leader type of league.

So now that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has gone ahead and fired head coach Wade Phillips, you have to wonder how long it will be before another owner or general manager puts his hand on the trap door.

Trying to figure out how many coaches are already walking the plank isn’t the hard part. It’s identifying just who is at the front of the line.

If you go ahead and assume that there will be NFL games next fall, there could easily be another six or seven coaches ready to follow Phillips out the door.

At the top of that list by most accounts sits the name of Minnesota’s Brad Childress.

Like the Cowboys, Childress runs a team that had exceedingly high hopes but is now falling way short of expectations.

And just like what happened in Dallas, the Vikings players appear to be tuning him out and have lost their respect.

You can’t help but get the feeling that in Minnesota, Childress’ job hangs by a thread and with every future loss comes the distinct possibility that he will be given the boot.

This week, Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, a former beat writer of the Vikings peeled back the onion of open player revolt against Childress when he talked to Minnesota players in the run up to Sunday’s Vikings-Bears tilt in Chicago.

“We know that Childress doesn’t have our backs, so why should we have his?” one player said. “We’re playing for us, and we’re winning despite him.”

“He has absolutely no people skills,” said another team source regarding Childress.

“As much as I hate Childress, I will keep playing,” said another unnamed player.

It’s the old we are united because we hate his guts routine.

That’s like a grenade waiting for the pin to be pulled.

For his part, Childress seems content to keep tossing gasoline on the fire as his post-game comments lead to the conclusion that he is throwing his players under the bus. That was the case following the Vikings loss to Green Bay back on Oct. 24 when Childress ripped Brett Favre.

“For a lot of guys, that was a turning point,” a Vikings player said.

Worse than losing the players, the Sun-Times story said that Childress has lost some of his assistant coaches as they backed receiver Percy Harvin for his run-in with Childress at a practice last Friday.

That is unbelievable.

As for Sunday’s game, it could be grim news for the Vikings as they have lost eight in a row on the road, including last year’s NFC Championship game, and eight of their last nine games in Chicago.

Another loss Sunday and it could be curtains for Childress

Put up or shut up

One of the teams with a lot on the line Sunday are the Houston Texans.

The Texans opened their season in spectacular fashion with a convincing win over the Colts and the next week pulled off a miraculous come-from-behind victory over the Washington Redskins. At 2-0 they were felling pretty good about themselves.

Since then the Texans have gone 2-4 including a loss to the Cowboys — the lone victory for Dallas this season — and have frittered away their positive start.

They sit at 4-4 and are tied with Jacksonville, both teams just a game back of the 5-3 Titans and Colts in the hotly contested AFC South.

Their road game against the Jaguars this Sunday is critical, as are all of their remaining eight games as they attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

“There’s a lot of football left to play,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “If we keep playing as hard as we played (in a loss to Dan Diego last week), keep doing a lot of the good things we did, I think things will go our way. I think we’ll win our games.

“We’ve got to find a way to get that done, but right now, we’ve got to lick our wounds and go back to work.”

And find a way into the playoffs.


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