NFL coaches and players are creatures of habit. There is rarely deviation from the typical schedule and even something as simple as the team snack after a Friday practice doesn’t change from the week before after a win.
There are times, however, when a team is forced to stray from its usual course of action, such as a Monday night game or a bye week during the regular season. The Vikings experienced one of those times the past 2 weeks because they earned a 1st-round bye in the NFC playoffs. As a result, the team had much of last week off before returning to Winter Park on Sunday to begin preparations for the Dallas Cowboys.
As we’ve discussed in this space previously, being a head coach in the NFL includes many more responsibilities than just winning games on Sundays. Another key responsibility is managing the team, from postgame speeches to practice routines to the environment inside the practice facility during the week.
Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has spoken in the past about shaping the environment for his team, and that’s certainly something he was charged with the past 2 weeks. Childress gave his players most of last week off and then this week they were hard at work, practicing every day except Tuesday, the normal day off for NFL players.
With the work week now concluded, Childress seemed pleased with the environment around his team heading into the NFL’s Divisional Playoff games.
“We had a very good week of practice,” Childress said. “Everybody is trying to do whatever they can to contribute to our efforts on Sunday. We’ve had a good week of work and spirits are right where they need to be; preparation is right where it needs to be.”
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