Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress met with reporters at Winter Park on Monday afternoon for his usual day-after-the-game press conference to review Sunday’s victory over the NY Giants and address questions about his team and how they’ll approach their bye week.
By virtue of Sunday’s win and a Philadelphia Eagles loss later in the day, the Vikings secured a 1st-round bye in the NFC playoffs and won’t play again until Sunday, January 17 in the Divisional Round.
When asked if he preferred to have a bye this week compared to playing in the Wild Card round and continuing the momentum generated from 6 consecutive quarters of outstanding offensive production, Childress unequivocally said the bye is the way to go.
“I’m excited about it,” Childress said of the 1st-round bye. “It’s one of the goals that we set in place, aside from wanting to win the NFC North and playing at home in the playoffs. There’s a reason you want to play at home. We have great crowds, great fans, obviously we’re 8-0 at home and you want to play off of all those things.”
Childress said he was about to head into a team meeting after the press conference to address his team and lay out the plan for the bye week.
“We’ll take time to come in here and meet today and talk about what the calendar looks like,” Childress said. “I think we’re best served right now to get some rest mentally and physically.”
Following the team meeting, it sounded as if the players were free to go for the week and spend time with their families. Some players, Childress said, will remain in town to treat and train in an attempt to be fresh for the playoffs. They will be expected back sometime over next weekend to resume their preparations for the Divisional round at some point on Sunday.
We’ve explained in this space in the past that being a head coach has demands that extend beyond just winning football games on Sundays. Balancing that with administrative duties and the task of managing so many different personalities, among other things, is a challenge and requires one to make difficult decisions.
But Childress said giving the players this week off at this point in the season was not a difficult decision.
“It is true that people you locker by every day you see more than you probably see members of your family,” Childress explained. “When you spend that much time with somebody, sometimes familiarity can breed contempt. While we have a great group that’s fun to be around, they can use a little down time from each other and come back with a bounce in their step on Sunday.”
The Vikings coaching staff will spend this week working ahead on preparations for the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. It’s impossible to know at this point who the Vikings will play in the Divisional Round, but since they’ve played games this year already against Arizona and Green Bay, the staff is better-served to focus on Dallas and Philadelphia this week. And although the Vikings can’t play the Eagles unless they meet in the NFC Championship Game, it makes sense to prepare for the Eagles because they’ll encounter a lot of tape on Philadelphia as they prepare for the Cowboys (both teams play in the NFC East).
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