Childress hops on the ‘Gus Bus’

September 22, 2008

by Stephen Wiblemo

I am typing this column Sept. 17, just a few hours after the Vikings and Brad Childress announced that Tarvaris Jackson would be benched for the rest of the season to make room for Gus Frerotte, who will be taking over under center.

I know it might seem tacky for me to claim that I said this would happen, but I’m going to anyway.

I have proof online.

After watching the Vikings squander a 15-0 lead to the Colts, I had to say something. And when an offense gets 160 yards from its star running back, but still has to settle for five field goals, the problem areas become quite clear.

So, the next day, Sept. 15, I posted a quick blog and in it I said this: “I no longer think it is a question of when Tarvaris Jackson will lose his job, it’s a question of when.”

I guess the Vikings were reading my blog because they answered my question two days later.

While taking Jackson out of his starting role was a predictable move, there was something unexpected about it, too.

Remember in the preseason when Childress trumpeted the improvements Jackson was making as a quarterback? Even during the Favregate scandal, when the possibility of Brett Favre becoming a Viking was being discussed, Childress stood by his pet project.

Well, two weeks into the regular season, here is what Childress had to say about Jackson in a Star Tribune article: “I’m just not seeing right now the aggressiveness from Tarvaris that I saw throughout the offseason, training camp, the two preseason games that he played in.”

Really, Childress? Has that much changed in Jackson’s attitude in just a few weeks?

I don’t think so.

However, I do think it is pretty obvious that this move did not come from Childress, but from a much higher power – Zygi Wilf.

Wilf spent a lot of money over the offseason bringing in some excellent talent, giving Childress all the tools he needed for a playoff bid, except at quarterback, because Jackson was supposed to be the guy.

Well, that didn’t pan out. And since my last question was answered so promptly, I have one more.

Will Childress last the entire season, and if not, what is the magic number of losses that will get him canned?

I’m thinking if the Vikings haven’t won half their games by week nine, we may have a new coaching staff.

So, I guess my magic number is five losses.

Wilf, if you are reading this, I expect your answer by week four in the form of a public announcement where you subtly, but clearly, threaten Childress’ job.

Nothing to do now but sit back and wait.