By: Vic Carucci, Senior Editor
MOBILE, Ala. – Sometimes, the chance to step away from something you’ve done for a long time gives you a chance to get a fresher perspective.
New Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress had such an experience after being fired as coach of the Minnesota Vikings following the 2010 season and spending the 2011 campaign out of football. It marked the first time he had been in that position in 33 years, which was among the first thoughts that crossed my mind as I learned of his hiring Friday while here for the Senior Bowl.
Childress spent part of his first summer away from the game dabbling in media as an analyst for SiriusXM NFL Radio. In that capacity, he visited the Browns’ training camp as part of the satellite station’s training-camp tour and joined me as a guest on Cleveland Browns Daily.
During our conversation, he mentioned that while visiting the Browns he had discussed the chance to be an observer, rather than a participant, at a camp with team president Mike Holmgren. At the time, Childress saw being “able to see how somebody else does it for the first time in 33 years” as highly valuable even at this stage of his career.
Some of Childress’ visit was reviewing videotape with Browns coach Pat Shurmur, with whom he had worked on the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff. Childress was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator and Shurmur was their quarterbacks coach. Although they shared the same vision for the West Coast offense (an obvious factor in the Browns’ decision to hire Childress), Childress approached the session with the expectation that he would learn something new.
“You only know what you know in your little box,” he told me. “… As we go down the road (with the tour) … I’m taking notes.”
Childress had said then he was “open and amenable” to any and all coaching opportunities that might come his way.
“I’m just happy and grateful that I’m having the opportunity to go around and see some different people do it,” he said.
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