Brad Childress

Vikings Notes: Coaching Staff, Scheme, O’Connell

With new head coach Kevin O’Connell in place, the Vikings made a number of announcements at his inaugural press conference. Among those was the confirmation of several assistants on his staff, as reported by ESPN’s Courtney Cronin (Twitter link). 

One of the most notable names on the list is that of Mike Pettine. The 55-year-old was reported to be joining the team’s staff earlier in the week, albeit not as the defensive coordinator as was originally thought by some. The team unveiled that his title will be assistant head coach, the highest-ranking position he’ll have had since his time in Cleveland in 2014-2015.

In addition, Ed Donatell was confirmed as the team’s new defensive coordinator, giving first-time HC O’Connell a vastly experienced staffer on the defensive side of the ball. Several assistants were also announced, each in the roles they were initially reported to be filling: Chris Rumph as defensive line coach, Chris O’Hara and Jerrod Johnson to work with the team’s quarterbacks, Chris Kuper and Justin Rascati to coach the offensive line, as well as Brian Angelichio and Curtis Modkins to serve as offensive pass and run game coordinators, respectively.

Here are some other Vikings notes, including further announcements from the presser:

  • As Ben Goessling of The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes, the Vikings will switch to a 3-4 base defense, something that hasn’t been seen in Minnesota since the 1980s. With that said, the team, like almost all in the NFL now, will still principally deploy its nickel package, and they plan to switch between three- and four-man fronts within drives and games.
  • In a widely expected announcement, O’Connell confirmed that he will call plays on offense. That will make him the first Vikings HC to do so since Brad Childress, and keep him in line with the structure he is leaving under the Rams and Sean McVay. O’Connell added that he plans to include the “up-tempo offensive concepts” he developed in L.A. within Minnesota’s offense.
  • One assistant coach who will not be following O’Connell to the Vikings is Jonathan Cooley. The Rams’ assistant defensive backs coach has been blocked from interviewing with Minnesota (Twitter link via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic). Especially given the loss of Ejiro Evero earlier this offseason, keeping Cooley would be particularly important for the Rams.


NFC North Notes: Lions, Harrison, Vikings

In February, the Lions released Damon Harrison with two years to go before his contract. Long before that, Harrison says he was looking for a way out of Detroit.

I came into [2019 training] camp in shape, but during the first three weeks of camp I think I kind of worked myself out of shape because I wasn’t doing anything,” Harrison told Chris Long on a recent podcast (transcript via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “That was a time where, to be honest with you, we were trying to facilitate a trade. I was hell-bent on getting out of there.”

In fact, Snacks says he knew the Lions were a bad fit as soon as he came over via trade with the Giants. Harrison excelled as a run-stuffer for both New York teams, but he didn’t think that he could thrive in Matt Patricia‘s defense.

To be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to go to Detroit because of some things that I heard from some guys in the past and some guys who were there,” Harrison said. “So when I got the call..I didn’t answer the phone for a couple hours. [Lions GM] Bob Quinn was calling me and I didn’t pick up the phone because I was trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”

Now, Harrison is free to find the team that fits him best. Still on the market, Snacks will likely land a deal sometime after the draft.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • The Vikings have no reason not to draft a quarterback with one of their five picks in the top 105, Courtney Cronin of opines. And, if Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa somehow falls to them at No. 22 overall, she says it would be “unconscionable to pass on him.” The Vikings extended Kirk Cousins through the 2022 season and the rest of their moves indicate that they’re taking a longer view on things. With that in mind, she feels the Vikings should at least invest a Day 2 pick in the position.
  • Details are in on Darryl Roberts‘ new deal with the Lions. The ex-Jet CB will earn $2MM on his one-year pact, including a $1MM guarantee (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of Before his release, he was set to earn $6MM from Gang Green.
  • Over the last couple of years, former Vikings head coach Brad Childress has popped in and out of retirement. But, this time around, the 63-year-old tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that he’s retired for good. “People say, ‘Is he really retired? Is he really, really retired?’” Childress said. “Yeah. Last year was my last year. I just felt like it was time to move on. It’s about time. I put my toe in the water in retirement and pretty soon you’ve got to jump in. It’s more about spending time with my family and grandkids and that type of thing.”

Bears Hire Brad Childress

The Bears have hired longtime NFL coach Brad Childress as a senior offensive assistant, the club announced today.

Childress, 62, was hired by Chicago as an offensive analyst last February, but never actually worked for the team after being tabbed as the Atlanta Legends’ head coach in the Alliance of American Football. One month prior to the Legends’ first game, Childress abruptly stepped down as the franchise’s coach, leading to speculation he was nearing an NFL return.

The Browns were mentioned as a possible landing spot for Childress had they hired Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanksi as head coach, but the Bears always seemed like the most likely destination. Indeed, reports in early March indicated Childress was likely to re-join Chicago’s staff under Matt Nagy, with whom Childress enjoys a close relationship as a result of the pair’s time in Kansas City.

Childress, who’s served as OC for the Eagles, Browns, and Chiefs, spent five years (2006-10) as the head coach of the Vikings, compiling a record of 39-35.

NFC Rumors: Redskins, Childress, 49ers

One of Eric Weddle‘s many suitors came from the NFC East. The Redskins inquired about the safety, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Ben Standig, but Weddle preferred the Rams’ proposal. Washington may be a spot for one of the many starter-caliber safeties on this year’s market, with the team having waived D.J. Swearinger and with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix‘s contract having expired.

Here is the latest from Washington, along with other NFC teams, with the legal tampering period less than 48 hours away.

  • The Redskins’ Case Keenum trade frees them up to make more competitive offers to non-quarterbacks in free agency, instead of seeing Teddy Bridgewater or Tyrod Taylor proposals complicate the team’s plan. However, Washington is still expected to add at this spot this offseason, and Standig notes it won’t be a Josh Johnson reunion — barring a Colt McCoy departure. Another Johnson pact was previously mentioned as a possibility, but that may no longer be in the cards. Washington profiles as a possible quarterback destination in this year’s draft, but in picking at No. 15 and unlikely to trade up, this may be one of the teams that waits for 2020’s higher-profile group of quarterbacks.
  • The rumors of Markus Golden hitting the market look accurate, with’s Mike Jurecki tweeting the veteran edge rusher is set for free agency. The Cardinals and Golden engaged in talks earlier this offseason, but nothing of consequence emerged from those discussions. While Golden stands to benefit from the franchise tags handed out to the top-tier pass rushers who could have hit the market, and Jurecki posits a possible Golden reunion with former Cards DC James Bettcher via Giants signing, the former second-round pick has not been productive since the 2016 season. Golden’s ACL tear in 2017 sidetracked his career, halting the momentum he’d created with a 12.5-sack 2016.
  • Brad Childress may be ready to circle back to the Bears. Affiliated with Matt Nagy‘s first Bears staff briefly, Childress then bolted for the Alliance of American Football. But he did not last until the AAF’s opener. However, Childress looks set to rejoin Nagy in Chicago, with’s Tom Pelissero tweeting the former Vikings HC is expected to serve in an offensive consulting role under Nagy. Childress and Nagy worked together with the Chiefs. Childress also retired after the 2017 season, but that turned out to be quite short-lived.
  • The 49ers still want to bring back Jimmie Ward, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, but it doesn’t appear their interest goes beyond the one-year offer they were dangling for the 2014 first-round pick. Ward was thought to be on the outs in San Francisco, but the team did not receive much consistency from its secondary last season. San Francisco’s staff graded the versatile defensive back as the team’s best secondary cog, Maiocco adds, prior to his season-ending injury in November, Maiocco adds.
  • The contract the 49ers gave kicker Jonathan Brown is a two-year deal, the team announced. San Francisco used its franchise tag on Robbie Gould. Brown was with the Bengals during the past three training camps but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Browns Could Hire Brad Childress

Brad Childress could be one step away from returning to the NFL. The Browns are reportedly down to Kevin Stefanski and Freddie Kitchens in their head coaching search, and if they pick Stefanski, Childress could wind up on Cleveland’s staff, Mary Kay Cabot of hears.

Childress and Stefanski have history, dating back to when the two first met in 2005. Childress was also the Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2012 and worked under GM John Dorsey from 2013-16 when he was running the Chiefs. There are significant ties all around, so Stefanski could be a natural fit as the next OC or a different type of assistant if Stefanski is the pick.

The original plan for Childress was to serve as the head coach of the AAF’s Atlanta Legends in 2019. However, he abruptly stepped down from the post on Tuesday, which could be a sign that he has something bigger in the works.

Latest On Alliance Of American Football

The teams that will comprise the Alliance of American Football are steadily being revealed. This week, Phoenix was announced as the latest city to land a franchise in the latest offseason football experiment league.

Rick Neuheisel will coach the Phoenix AAF franchise. He’ll join familiar names as head coaches in this upstart league, which is set to debut a week after Super Bowl LIII.

Former 49ers HCs Dennis Erickson and Mike Singletary with head up the Salt Lake City and Memphis operations, respectively, and ex-Redskins HC Steve Spurrier will return to coach in Florida — in Orlando. Brad Childress has enjoyed an interesting 2018, leaving the Chiefs’ staff in what was then viewed as a retirement move before joining the Bears as a consultant. He will also be a head coach in the AAF, running the Atlanta team.

Base salaries for AAF head coaches will be $500K, Mike Jurecki of tweets. Jurecki adds these coaches’ staff budgets will be $1.25MM total. Interestingly, AAF co-founder Charlie Ebersol said the players’ pay will be based on performance, with incentives appearing to play a big part of wages. Ebersol said, per Kevin Zimmerman of, that “wins and statistics” will help determine salaries. Interestingly, so will fan engagement, per Ebersol. It’s unclear what the precise plan is for player compensation at this point.

Brad Childress To Join Bears’ Staff

Last month, Brad Childress left the Chiefs and was said to be headed toward retirement from the coaching ranks. That retirement did not last long.

The Bears are set to hire the former Vikings head coach as an offensive consultant, Adam Caplan of reports (on Twitter).

The obvious connection here is Matt Nagy, whom Childress worked with the Chiefs for five years, and Caplan notes the two are close. They shared offensive coordinator responsibilities in 2016 once Doug Pederson left for Philadelphia. Now, Nagy and Childress look to be pairing up again to work with Mitch Trubisky and Co. in the Windy City.

Childress, 61, is an Aurora, Ill., native and an Eastern Illinois alum. This will be his first time coaching in his home state since he served on the University of Illinois’ staff from 1978-84.

Chiefs’ Brad Childress Plans To Retire

The Chiefs’ initial plan to replace Doug Pederson was to name Brad Childress and Matt Nagy as co-offensive coordinators for the 2016 season. Less than two years later, both could be gone.

Nagy will leave to coach the Bears, and Childress plans to retire from the profession,’s Tom Pelissero and James Palmer report (Twitter link).

Childress coached for 19 years in the NFL, most notably a five-season run as the Vikings’ HC from 2006-10, and had been with the Chiefs since 2013. The 61-year-old assistant has worked with Andy Reid in both Philadelphia and Kansas City, spending seven seasons (1999-2005) with the Eagles — including his last four as Philly’s OC.

The Chiefs could now be without both their top offensive assistants, with Childress’ 2017-season title being “assistant head coach,” and potentially Alex Smith a trade candidate. This would mark a significant change in Kansas City, which has seen Childress, Nagy and Smith play key roles for the franchise since Reid’s 2013 arrival.

Childress’ work with the Vikings resulted in two playoff seasons, including the franchise’s 2009 run to the NFC title game. He went 39-35 as a head coach. He also was the Browns’ OC in 2012 prior to coming to Kansas City.

Chiefs Making Staff Changes

After going with a two-offensive coordinator approach in 2016, the Chiefs will return to a more traditional style next season. The club has announced that Matt Nagy, who co-coordinated with Brad Childress in 2016, will stay on as the sole OC. Childress, meanwhile, will become Kansas City’s assistant head coach.

Brad Childress

Under Nagy and Childress last season, the AFC West-winning Chiefs finished 13th in the NFL in both offensive DVOA and scoring. That was their only year at the helm together, as the Chiefs had promoted the pair last winter to take over for Doug Pederson after he became the Eagles’ head coach.

The 60-year-old Childress is the more established coach than Nagy, 38, and will enter his fifth season with the Chiefs in 2017. Childress potentially could have departed last month to become the Bills’ offensive coordinator, but he took himself out of the running. He’s now in perhaps his most prominent position since he was the head coach of the Vikings, with whom he went 39-35 from 2006-10.

Bills Unlikely To Hire Brad Childress As OC

The Bills’ search for an offensive coordinator is seemingly down to one known candidate. While Greg Olson and Chiefs co-offensive coordinator Brad Childress were the reported front-runners for the job as of Sunday, it now appears the latter is no longer in contention, according to the Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci (Twitter link).

Brad Childress

It’s unclear whether the Bills are honing in on Olson, thereby leading to a lack of interest in Childress, or if Childress declined any overtures from the club. Either way, Olson will interview with Buffalo on Thursday as it seeks a replacement for ex-offensive coordinator and now-Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn.

The Bills’ new sideline leader, Sean McDermott, has already tabbed Leslie Frazier as his defensive coordinator. Now, with Childress and newly minted Broncos assistant Mike McCoy out of the running, Olson looks to be in the lead to serve as McDermott’s offensive chief. Olson last worked as the O-coordinator in Jacksonville, which fired him in October.

Kansas City, meanwhile, now appears poised to keep the tandem of Childress and Matt Nagy intact. Nagy would have been in line to become the Chiefs’ sole offensive coordinator had Childress gone to the Bills. Along with head coach Andy Reid, Childress and Nagy guided KC’s offense to a 13th-place DVOA ranking in 2016.