Childress: 2009 Vikings one of his favorites

BY foxsports • November 11, 2009

By: Steve Hutcinson St. Paul Pioneer Press

Vikings coach Brad Childress -- who is in his 32nd season as a football coach, his 12th in the NFL -- indicated on SIRIUS NFL Radio on Tuesday that the 2009 Vikings are one of his favorites.

"This is a great group of guys, not without its challenges," Childress said on the SIRIUS show "Movin' the Chains." "They enjoy each other, and they compete like crazy with each other.

"This is a (heck) of a group of guys."

He again applauded the play and professionalism of Brett Favre and added, "You kind of marvel at a guy who is 40 throwing to a guy who is 21," a reference to rookie receiver Percy Harvin.

Childress said Favre is "not too bad right now," noting that his quarterback was healthy enough to go deer hunting during the bye.

"I'm not sure if he bagged anything. But he's good enough to move around there," Childress said.

At the halfway point of the season, Childress said -- per his usual protocol -- he would adjust the schedule, mindful of keeping his players fresh.

"This is a long, arduous grind," he said. "Usually, with the schedule we keep, we change the approach, teamwise, as we go. It calls for a schedule change right here, then we tweak it again with four games to go."

Sunday, Childress said he switched between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers games like a "crazed fan." At 7-1, the Vikings built a three-game cushion on the Packers and Bears, who both lost and dropped their records to 4-4. The Vikings prepare to host the 1-7 Detroit Lions on Sunday at the Metrodome, and then host two more home games. But Childress refused to look past the Lions.

"They jumped out on us 10-zip last time," Childress said, referring to an early lead the Lions built before losing 27-13 at Ford Field.

Midseason awards: The Vikings' most decorated player, guard Steve Hutchinson, has been shut out of two midseason all-pro teams.

Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Weekly left Hutchinson, a six-time Pro Bowl and a five-time all-pro selection, off their lists.

Sports Illustrated selected Jahri Evans of New Orleans and Chris Kemoeatu of Pittsburgh, while Pro Football Weekly selected Evans and Ben Grubbs of Baltimore.

Harvin (kick returner) and teammate Jared Allen (defensive end) were chosen by both publications, although the latter was not a unanimous pick by the editors of Pro Football Weekly. That is surprising because Allen leads the league with 10 1/2 sacks.

Adrian Peterson (running back) was selected by Pro Football Weekly but was passed over for Tennessee's Chris Johnson by Sports Illustrated.

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams was picked by Sports Illustrated but not by Pro Football Weekly.

Former Vikings safety Darren Sharper, now of New Orleans, was picked by both publications.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated tabbed Allen as the defensive player of the year and Harvin as the offensive rookie of the year. Favre is his comeback player of the year.

Denver's Josh McDaniels was picked as the midseason coach of the year by both publications.

Tickets going fast: The Vikings have sold enough tickets to ensure that the next three games will be televised locally.

Fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for each of the home games against Detroit and Seattle, according to chief marketing officer Steve LaCroix. But with enough time remaining before the games, there is no concern that the games won't be sellouts. Tickets for the Chicago game on Nov. 29 are "very limited," LaCroix said, so that game is a certainly to be televised as well.

The Vikings needed several extensions in recent years to avoid blackouts, but that won't be the case in the coming weeks. There hasn't been a game blacked out since 1997.

Briefly: When asked whether Antoine Winfield would play against the Lions, Childress told SIRIUS NFL Radio that he wanted to see how the veteran cornerback moved around in practice today.

Staff writer Rick Alonzo contributed to this report.