FOXBOROUGH -- Vikings coach Brad Childress is on a conference call with New England media right now. Childress, who had been fined $35,000 for remarks he made about the officiating following a 28-24 loss to the Packers last Sunday night, owned up to the remarks he made Monday when he referred to the Patriots as "one of the greatest sign stealing teams" he had seen.
"I said what I said and that's in the past,'' Childress said. ``We all try to get any tips we can get or glean, standing on the sidelines. I'm sure it's done throughout the league.''
Childress seemed to point a finger at the Patriots, dredging up the past after the Vikings suffered a 31-7 loss Oct. 30, 2006, at the Metrodome.
But Childress seemed to backpedal from those remarks when he said, ``But you know what? I have a great deal of respect for Coach [Bill] Belichick and the way he's formulated that program over the last 10 years. And I've told him so. He's got a mentally tough team who are great competitors who play the way I hope one of my teams plays some of these days.''
Asked if he understood how his comments would register with the players, staff, and fans of the organization, especially after the Spygate incident of 2007, Childress said, "I didn't mean any offense to any of those people. That's just the way I viewed it.''