The majority of Vikings fans I’ve heard from recently are stunned at the lack of movement by the Vikings this offseason. Thus far, they have traded for Sage Rosenfels, re-signed a few players, and allowed Matt Birk and Darren Sharper to leave. Sure, they tried to obtain T.J. Houshmanzadeh but those efforts were not fruitful.
In short, the Vikings have done as little as possible so far this offseason, and the fans are wondering what the heck is going on. Afterall, the Vikings seem to be a team on the verge of greatness, with only a few holes to fill. With Childress on the hot seat, you’d think he’d want to bring in some more quality players to fill those holes, right? Well… maybe not.
Maybe Brad Childress has reached the final stage of his plan to win a championship. And maybe that final stage to his Championship Team Building Process is simply continuity. And maybe it will actually work.
Look at this year’s Super Bowl champs the Steelers. Last offseason saw very little activity for the Steelers. They lost a few players like Alan Faneca and Clark Haggans. They also gained a few players like Justin Hartwig, Mewelde Moore, Keyaron Fox and signed Byron Leftwhich after Charlie Batch was hurt before the regular season. For the most part the 2008 Steelers were the same team as in 2007. This team ended up with two pro bowl starters, and one reserve.
Also, look at the 2007 Giants. They also were Super Bowl Champs after a very inactive offseason. They lost Tiki Barber to retirement, and Visanthe Shiancoe and Frank Walker left in free agency. They made no notable signings during that offseason. This team ended up with only one pro bowler.
Both teams were thought to be pretty solid teams. Both teams had very inactive offseasons. Both teams allowed very popular players to leave their team in the offseason (like did Birk). Both teams used the draft as their primary source of additional players and competition.
So is this really the way of it? Are Championship teams put assembled and then require two years to “gel” and gain “chemistry” before reaching the big show? My guess is that Childress thinks so… otherwise we’d have seen more activity at Winter Park this offseason.
I do not think that this means the Vikings will not be looking at players or looking at ways to improve. However, I do think that Childress has his belief that the 2008 Vikings were a championship team, but that they needed a year to ferment before the greatness can truly show.
And there really is no reason not to believe this assessment of the team if that is what he thinks. After all, nobody has more to lose if the Vikings are unsuccessful this year than Brad Childress does.