Ever since the waiving of Randy Moss(notes) revealed a deep schism in the Minnesota Vikings locker room, it became a matter of when, not if, Brad Childress would follow Moss out the door. "When" came on Monday morning.
The Vikings fired Childress one day after the team's uninspired 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The loss dropped Minnesota to 3-7 and effectively ended any chance the team had at a miracle run to the playoffs.
Childress paid the price.
It was a long time coming for the 54-year-old coach, who was in his fifth season with the team. Despite making it to the NFC Championship game last season and coming within a Brett Favre(notes) interception of advancing to the Super Bowl, Childress fell out of favor in Minnesota with his handling of the Moss situation. In reality, though, he had lost the team long before.
His desperate attempts to lure Favre out of retirement this summer had rubbed many on the team the wrong way. When Favre played like the beat-up, 41-year-old he is, it only increased the level of scrutiny on Childress. Then the Moss incident happened, in which Childress reportedly cut the receiver after trading for him and didn't tell anyone in the front office about it. Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was reportedly displeased and considered firing Childress on the spot, but ended up giving his coach a chance to right the sinking ship.
[Related: Brett Favre clashes with coach over play]
A comeback win in the week following the Moss waiving gave Childress a stay of execution, but two division losses to the Chicago Bears and Packers sealed his fate. The Vikings looked bad against the Bears. In Sunday's game against Green Bay, the team looked like it quit on its coach.
Childress was known to be unpopular in the locker room, but that's not always the bad thing some make it out to be. Lots of good coaches aren't loved by players. The problem in this circumstance was that the dislike of Childress bordered on disrespect. In the days after cutting Moss, a report surfaced that six players told a reporter they wanted Childress fired.
Now the Vikings will turn to defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and hope that getting some new blood at head coach will help turn around the season, just like it did in Dallas.
[Rewind: Childress claims Farve jab was a joke]
The next obvious question is whether Favre will continue to start at quarterback or whether the team will begin preparing Tarvaris Jackson(notes) for 2011. As we wrote Sunday on Shutdown Corner, the obvious question should have an obvious answer: Favre needs to step, or be set, aside.
[Related: NFL QB storms out on own team]