Childress still stays on top of NFL news and is opinionated. When I pressed him on his former quarterback being given starting status in Seattle, as well as other happenings in the NFL, he brought a few thoughts to the table.
Childress: If you look and see the relationship that Brett Favre had with Sidney, it was special. They struck it up right off the bat. Rice was a safety valve for him. If he could get it down to a one-on-one, and Favre was in trouble, he could chuck it up and Sidney ended up jumping up and making a play. In those situations, [the relationship] will make a difference providing Tarvaris can stick it on him and Sidney continues to be a playmaker. I think it's better that both of those guys know the system, that they can teach the receivers and teach everybody else around them. That's about the only benefit I can see.
Matt Stafford would have to show me the money. He'd have to show me that he can stay healthy.
Then who is a surprise team this season?
You know, it's possible. But boy, he has rare skills and ability. And every year stands on its own merits -- last year's got nothing to do with this one. But he's got tools around him in [Greg] Jennings, in Jermichael Finley coming back off injury. They got Ryan Grant coming back, James Starks if he can continue. But the thing about Aaron Rodgers is, he can get out of trouble with his feet, but he's not a Vince Young. He's gonna move out and he will kill you if you let him out of the pocket by a) launching it up to somebody, or b) running for 20 yards, which is demoralizing as hell.
If you took a job as a head coach, with Jay Cutler as your incumbent quarterback, are you happy, or are you worried?
I know I got a guy that can flat sling it. It beats the alternative: not having one.
He does take a lot. You know what, Romo's like Donovan McNabb. I think people hate on him pretty good. Philadelphia's known for it. I think the masses kind of say, "Let's see Tony stay healthy. Let's see Tony play 16 games, and do it in the playoffs."
What do you think about Reggie Bush in Miami? He's never been known as an inside-the-tackles runner, but can he be THE guy there?
They say they're gonna give him that opportunity. I think he's better out in space, and [the coaching staff] can create a certain menu for him. Whether he can hold up … you know he's had chronic knee problems. I think probably playing on the grass will help him, but I have my questions about that.
What's the perfect job for you: being the top guy, the offensive coordinator, or quarterbacks coach?
I love coaching quarterbacks. Think about this: As a head coach, you're a CEO. To get to be a head coach, you know, you have to develop a level of perfection, you have to be good at what you do. If you're a quarterback coach, can you take a rookie and make him a player? A Donovan McNabb? Remember that was the year (1999) of the quarterback. Cleveland took Tim Couch before us, Akili Smith went directly after us. Cade McKnown. Daunte Culpepper. You think about the guys that were flash-in-the-pans. So can you take a guy, mold him, and then can you repeat? Shoot, we went to four NFC Championship Games before we won one to go to the Super Bowl. I've been there five (times), because I got the Vikings there. But as a head coach, it's the only job where you become an expert in the lower levels, where you do less of what got you there. That's the only thing that's maddening about it.
What's next for you?
Don't know. I'm just kind of letting it come as it comes. When I started, I wanted to somehow get a paycheck in football. And (my first job) was $3,500 as a graduate assistant with Mo (Gary Moeller) at University of Illinois. It was a "stipend," they called it. It was 1979.
By the way, who was your favorite player?