Note: 8 a.m. Tuesday update from Sean Jensen below.
Wow — former Pioneer Press Vikings beat reporter Sean Jensen drops an a-bomb on head coach Brad Childress. And the “a” stands for anonymous!
Jensen — who covers Minnesota’s next opponent, the Bears, for the Chicago Sun-Times — includes no fewer than seven quotes from unnamed sources in “Vikings say they won’t lie down despite dislike of Childress.” Jensen contends:
Childress’ penchant for bullying, contradicting himself and throwing players under the bus has fueled an embarrassing stretch that hasn’t eased the Vikings’ 3-5 start. … Childress doesn’t have a poker face like [Bears head coach Lovie] Smith’s, and he acts impulsively and aggressively. …
Childress challenged another receiver, questioning the effort of Percy Harvin, who was hobbled with an ankle injury, and threatening to make him inactive for the game against the Cardinals.
Harvin was animated in defending himself, but Childress responded by saying, ”I can say whatever I want,” according to a source.
There’s lots more of this; it’s a good read. There’s zero reason to believe Jensen is making any of this up, but you should be skeptical of such sourcing and possible selectivity.
[Update: Jensen tweets, “Talked to a lot of people & didn’t find one who backed him. Sure he’s got supporters there, but I didn’t hear back from any.”]
If we’re going to play “what anonymous sources say,” it’s worth noting that when I covered Jensen’s departure last year, there was a lot of chatter that the writer’s relations with Childress were terrible. Jensen told me he tried to treat everyone with respect and specifically mentioned good relations with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The aggressive Jensen could certainly come by a dislike of Childress honestly, but there might a little extra relish in his prose.