Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bernard Berrian Whines About Brad Childress

It may have been mentioned, but the Minnesota Vikings canned head coach Brad Childress on Monday. As defensive coordinator-turned head coach Leslie Frazier prepares his team for Sunday's game at Washington, some players have taken some time to look back on the Childress era.

One of those is veteran wide receiver Bernard Berrian, who was on Sirius NFL Radio with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon Tuesday.

Berrian didn't mince words about his former coach, a man he clearly did not get along with.

“He was just confrontational,” Berrian said.  “I think that was the biggest thing.  Instead of, you know, going to players like men and just talking and conversating about it, it was kind of brought to their attention in a confrontational way and just people just didn’t really conform to that way of, I guess, him talking and speaking to his team, or players individually.”

Sadly, Berrian probably isn't alone in his feelings.

While this is a sad commentary on today's professional athlete -- you make seven-figure salaries to play a game, and yet you can't stand it when a figure of authority gets in your face because you're playing like crap? -- this is also something Childress has to learn from if he wants to get a second chance as a head coach in the NFL.

You can't just get in guy's faces anymore. The days of successful taskmaster coaches have ended. Even perennial hard-asses like Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick have shown the ability to be appreciated by their players because they're not always flying off the handle or talking down to the players.

If Childress is to be a successful NFL head coach, he has to be willing to adapt. Yes, it sucks that millionaire athletes have to be pampered. Yes, it's as if they have the mentality of Pop Warner players when it comes to how they take coaching.

But this is reality. It's not going to change. The best coaches walk the line between being tough and being fair and compassionate toward their players. Childress has struggled with this line.

Well, that and counting the number of players on the field.

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