EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Hastily hired five seasons ago to bring order to a disheveled franchise, Brad Childress vowed to lead the Vikings the only way he knew how — in case this was his only crack at being a head coach.
After an eventful and often tumultuous run marred recently by player unrest, livid fans and a boss angry about abrupt personnel decisions and a 3-7 start this year, Childress is out.
Childress was fired Monday, one season after he got a contract extension and came within a field goal of the Super Bowl. Owner Zygi Wilf wouldn't get into specifics about his decision a day after Minnesota was blown out at home by rival Green Bay.
"I am proud of our accomplishments and believe the foundation of this football team is stronger today than when I became head coach," Childress said in a statement released by the team.
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who has interviewed seven times for NFL head coaching jobs, will be interim coach for the rest of the season. Frazier said Brett Favre, at 41 in the midst of perhaps his worst season, would remain the starting quarterback.
"The challenge I have before me is to make sure that we're going in the right direction and at the end of the year we're not a 3-13 team," Frazier said.
Also, former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy, now a studio analyst with NBC, says he's not interested in returning as a coach or executive with the Vikings. Dungy, once a quarterback for the University of Minnesota, was defensive coordinator for the Vikings under Denny Green in the 1990s. Frazier was on Dungy's staff in Indianapolis.
Titans' Fisher: Young out for season
NASHVILLE — Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Vince Young needs season-ending surgery on his throwing hand. Not that being healthy would have kept the quarterback as the starter.
The team is placing Young on injured reserve in the next few days, but after his latest meltdown — throwing his pads into the stands after Sunday's loss to Washington — Fisher said Young wouldn't have started next week against Houston anyway.
Young saw a hand specialist Monday, and Fisher said team doctors recommended surgery on the torn flexor tendon in Young's right thumb. He was injured late in the third quarter.
"He may want to get a second opinion. He may want to get two dozen opinions," Fisher said. "Our doctor said for his position, it needs to be fixed."
Rusty Smith replaced Young, and Fisher said the rookie out of Florida Atlantic will start now. After tossing his pads, Young had a heated postgame exchange with Fisher in the locker room, then left the stadium.
The Tennessean reported that owner Bud Adams talked to Fisher and Young and told them to "get this thing settled." Young, under contract through 2011, is due $8.5 million.
SEYMOUR FINED: The league fined Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour $25,000 for striking the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger in the helmet on Sunday after a touchdown pass. Roethlisberger fell but was not injured and stayed in the game.
BENGALS: Safety Chris Crocker (torn ACL) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (knee) went on season-ending injured reserve.
BROWNS: Coach Eric Mangini confirmed that rookie quarterback Colt McCoy sprained his left ankle Sunday at Jacksonville, but was unclear about the extent of the injury. McCoy is having further tests.
CARDINALS: Outside linebacker Will Davis (broken left leg) is expected to be out for the season.
EAGLES: Cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who was down on the field for 11 minutes during Sunday night's game against the Giants, suffered a disc injury in his neck, an MRI revealed. His agent, Kevin Omell, said Hobbs is out for the season.
GIANTS: Hakeem Nicks, the team's leading receiver, will miss at least three weeks after being treated for compartment syndrome in his lower right leg.
JAGUARS: As one might expect, the team bucked big odds by beating Cleveland despite committing six turnovers and forcing one. According to STATS LLC, since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, teams plus-5 in turnover margin have gone 363-16-2 — a .957 winning percentage.
JETS: Right tackle Damien Woody (right knee) is scheduled for an MRI exam and coach Rex Ryan says his status is uncertain.
REDSKINS: Running back Chad Simpson (broken foot bone) and safety Anderson Russell (torn ACL) went on season-ending injured reserve. Simpson, who played two seasons at USF before finishing at Morgan State, was hurt Sunday in warmups.