Editorial: Those are the brakes, Brad

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 18, 2006

Three and out. Three and out. Three and out.

That&8217;s what the fans saw Sunday.

So the fans sent a message to Vikings coach Brad Childress.

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&8220;We want Jackson!&8221; they chanted Sunday at the Metrodome during the team&8217;s game against the New York Jets.

Thank you, Brad Johnson, for all your hard work as quarterback. You are an NFL veteran and a Super Bowl winner. It&8217;s a shame you have to end your long career to a stadium of boos.

We know much of the blame lies with the Minnesota coaches for their poor play calling. The Vikings offense is as predictable as the weather in San Diego. The rest of the blame probably lies with age. Like with Packers quarterback Brett Favre, age reveals itself during the long and tiring NFL season. Johnson last year was rested when he took the quarterback spot mid-season for the injured Daunte Culpepper. This year, Johnson started out well but declined in performance as the season wore him down.

Many of the Vikings players and coaches said they didn&8217;t like to see Johnson booed. No one does, but then again the fans fork out big bucks to see success. The fans are the ones paying. The NFL players and coaches seem to forget that.

Sorry, Brad Johnson. Those are the brakes.

The fans were right, too. After Tavaris Jackson came in the offense sparked to life.

Now Childress has to decide &8212; again &8212; whether to play Johnson or Jackson.

Because the NFC is so bad, the Vikings somehow remain in playoff contention, albeit by a thread. Play for the future. Play Jackson. Give him the experience he needs to develop.

The worst harm that could be done at this point is the Vikings actually backpedaling into the playoffs.