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Childress clarifies 'Spygate' comments

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Posted Oct. 27, 2010 @ 3:36 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Vikings head coach Brad Childress explained his comments from Tuesday, when he called the Patriots the "greatest sign-stealing team" he had seen.

The Patriots media asked Childress to clarify what he said today during a conference call.

"I said what I said. That's in the past. We all try to get any tips that we can get or glean standing on the sidelines. I'm sure it's done throughout the league," Childress said.

"We do it as well. I'll just let those stand. I have a great deal of respect for coach (Bill) Belichick and the way he's formulated that program in the last 10 years, and I've told him so. He has a mentally tough team that (has) great competitors that play the way I hope one of my teams plays one of these days."

When asked if he thought he saw any evidence of the Patriots stealing the Vikings' signals the last time the two teams met, in Childress' first season of 2006, he said: "No, I don't have any knowledge of that at all. No."

He added, "I didn't mean any offense to any of those people, just the way I viewed it."

Belichick had little reaction publicly to Childress' comments.

"I'm not really too worried about 2006. I'm worried about this Sunday against Minnesota," he said. "I'm not worried about next Sunday, last Sunday, '06, '02, '89. Really, it's just this Sunday."

Childress and Belichick have a bit of a history that is believed to have started in 2007 when the Vikings claimed TE Garrett Mills, who was waived by the Patriots. Belichick reportedly called Childress to try to talk him out of the move. When Childress refused, Belichick and the Patriots claimed LB David Herron, who was waived a few weeks later.

There also was some tension between the two teams when word of the Randy Moss trade leaked out the night before it went down. Belichick reportedly wanted the talks to be "hush hush" before a trade was consummated.

Childress has been dealing with his own set of controversies this season, most centered around troubled, struggling QB Brett Favre. When asked how he has tried to handle any potential distractions this season, Childress said, "I don't acknowledge them from my standpoint, or from our team's standpoint. We've got a good bunch of veteran guys and 53 of the right guys looking back at me in that meeting room. Good football players that are single-minded in purpose."

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