|Vikings owner Wilf throws support behind coach Childress despite slow start|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 13:41|
``We just feel very comfortable with Coach Childress and with his philosophy, and we're behind him 100 percent,'' Wilf said Tuesday.
After starting his first season 4-2, Childress has lost 11 of 14 games in charge of the Vikings. The biggest problem is an unproductive offense, which now features dangerous rookie running back Adrian Peterson but hasn't done enough to win with a reliable defense.
``We're built to be consistent on the long term,'' Wilf said. ``We have a commitment to getting a team that is not built for a one-shot affair, so to speak. We want to build a team that's consistent for many, many years to come. For decades to come. I think that - I know that - the people that we have in place are the right people.''
He added: ``We're getting there. I can see it, and the blueprint is definitely there. We'll get there, and hopefully we'll get there sooner rather than later.''
Some of the coaching criticism, fueled by fan emotion, oversaturated media and time between games, is simply part of life in the NFL. But the increasing disillusionment among fans is a clear challenge for the franchise, which is faced with the possibility of the first local television blackout in 10 years.
The local Fox affiliate bought remaining tickets to the home opener, and Packers fans helped sales last week, but there is no guarantee of a continued extension of the current 98-game sellout streak. Wilf said he's not worried.
``I'm more concerned about winning the next game and moving on,'' he said.
The Vikings don't play this week. They're on the road against the Bears on Oct. 14.
``The fans are great here. I don't think there's much frustration here,'' Wilf said. ``I think there's a lot of patience here, and I just hope I can reward them with more and more victories - sooner rather than later. And I think we'll get that done.''
Wilf used the word patience several times on Tuesday. He spoke about ``the business of football'' at a University of Minnesota luncheon sponsored by the Carlson School of Management.
Most of his speech centered on the importance of building an organization that can sustain success, being connected to and involved in the community, and - of course - the eminence of building a new stadium.
Public and legislative backing of a proposed retractable-roof, multi-use facility to replace the Metrodome on its current downtown site has been cool.
Wilf carefully worded his desire to solve the financing problem soon.
``We're very, very patient. We're here for the long term. We're not moving the team. We're here. We just want to make sure that everyone understands it's an important issue,'' he said.
He also stressed that rising construction costs could push the price tag well past the current estimate of $954 million. The Vikings have pledged about $250 million toward that.
``Patience can be very costly and make things prohibitive,'' Wilf said.
The Vikings plan to push hard for the stadium when the 2008 legislative session begins, but they realize fallout from the bridge collapse will limit their opportunity. Wilf said infrastructure and other issues like education and health care should be priorities for the state, but he stumped for the consideration of stadium funding as important for the ``quality of life'' in Minnesota.
``I know everyone has the passion for the Vikings to try to get it done,'' he said.