Philadelphia Eagles assistant Brad Childress was hired as coach of the Minnesota Vikings yesterday, five days after Mike Tice was fired at the end of a 9-7 season.
"Coach Childress was the elite NFL head coaching candidate," owner Zygi Wilf said at a news conference. "He embodies class, character and discipline and is a great family man. Bottom line, Brad Childress is a winner."
Tice was fired Sunday after Minnesota beat the Chicago Bears, 34-10, in the final game of the regular season.
Childress, 49, has been the Eagles' offensive coordinator since 2002. This is his first head coaching job.
Childress joined the Eagles as quarterbacks coach under Andy Reid in 1999, and helped Philadelphia reach the Super Bowl last season. Before that, Childress was an assistant under Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin.
Minnesota also interviewed defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, Kansas City assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Al Saunders and Indianapolis assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell.
But Childress and Washington defensive coordinator Gregg Williams immediately rose to the top of the Vikings' wish list when they fired Tice.
When Williams signed a three-year, $8 million contract extension to remain with the Redskins earlier in the week, the Vikings centered most of their efforts on Childress, who was also considered a candidate for openings in Green Bay and Houston.
After Childress left for Minnesota, the Eagles made assistant head coach Marty Mornhinweg offensive coordinator.
Mornhinweg came to Philadelphia in 2003 after spending the previous two seasons as the head coach in Detroit.
Defensive Player of the Year -- Brian Urlacher won the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. The Chicago Bears' star middle linebacker and the public face of a ferocious defense that allowed the fewest points in the league this season, Urlacher adds the honor to his 2000 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Urlacher's 34 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL gave him a runaway victory. Second to Urlacher was Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney with four votes.
Cowboys -- Bill Parcells is coming back for at least one more season with the Dallas Cowboys - and maybe even two. The team announced that Parcells agreed to a new contract through the 2007 season. "I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to continue what we have started here," Parcells said in a news release. "The Cowboys organization has been the fairest of fair to me, and hopefully I can repay them with an improved performance." Parcells, 64, had a year left on the four-year, $17 million contract he signed in January 2003.
Chiefs -- Kansas City cleared the way for Herman Edwards to become its new coach, agreeing to a compensation deal with the New York Jets. The Chiefs would give the Jets a surprisingly low fourth-round pick if they hire Edwards, who has ties to the team and general manager Carl Peterson. Because Edwards was still under contract with the Jets, the Chiefs needed to give up something to get him.