Brett Favre (Jim McIsaac/Getty)
Vikings QB Brett Favre and head coach Brad Childress met twice this week to talk about their different philosophies and move past a sideline conversation that Favre described on Sunday night as “heated.” Each of them talked about their perspectives on the issue.
Brad Childress and Brett Favre huddled twice this week to talk about their different philosophies, potential additions to the playbook and generally trying to get on the same page after a sideline discussion between the two of them was caught on tape during Sunday night’s nationally televised game and interpreted as a rift.
Favre talked about the conversation after Sunday night’s game, following Childress’ post-game press conference. Childress then spent part of Monday and most of Wednesday’s press conferences addressing the matter. Favre also spent the majority of his weekly Wednesday press conference talking about his relationship with Childress, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and the way the offense is run.
“Brad and my discussion on Monday (was) more, ‘Put it behind us, let’s move forward and get ready for Chicago,’” Favre said. “… It was a fairly brief discussion if you want to call it that. It was before our team meeting. Obviously after the game, the dust has settled, the competitive side is not as in the moment as it was during the game. So we were able to just say, ‘Hey, let’s move forward.’ I don’t sit down with Brad when it comes to game plans and things like that. I sit down with Darrell and we talk about things and communicate back and forth. I watch film at night. So, that’s the way it has been.”
Favre admitted that Childress considered pulling him from Sunday night’s game because the coach was concerned about keeping his starting quarterback healthy. Favre was sacked four times by Carolina and hit numerous other times. But since the game, there have been several reports of Childress considering pulling Favre from previous games this season because he made audible calls that Childress didn’t like.
Favre said he is unaware of any other instances in which Childress considered pulling him from the game. Childress said he “never, inequivocally” told an assistant to pull from any game this season.
Childress referenced Favre’s first coach in Green Bay, Mike Holmgren, and a quote he had about not needing to make more than five or six “checks” in a game or the coaching staff might have the wrong game plan installed.
“I think he’s fully armed with, whether it’s run to pass, pass to run, be able to max protect himself,” Childress said. “I think all those things are available to him.”
However, Favre said he isn’t thinking about protections when he’s in the game. He is more focused on the coverages the defenses are trying to run.
Childress said Favre has the ability switch plays in a variety of different fashions, from pass to run and vice versa, as well calling plays when he sees an all-out blitz coming from the defense.
“He’s been extremely true to this system and he’s done a great job of administrating this system over the course of these games,” Childress said. “We’re not in a no-huddle offense where he’s calling everything at the line of scrimmage. If we are in a no-huddle, somebody’s giving him a run-pass option and then he always has a trump card because a quarterback always has a trump card.”
The issue now is getting past their differences. Favre mentioned several times how much he speaks with Bevell and his respect for the offensive coordinator, so Bevell could be the bridge between any conflicts.
“Darrell and I talk every day. We text each other every night. We're talking about plays,” Favre said. “I give him ideas. Sometimes he says, 'Eh, you know.' Others, we get involved or somehow work it into what we're trying to do. There's great dialogue between us. He's the offensive coordinator. It should be that way. And so I don't think anything in that relationship needs to change.
“Darrell thinks a lot like me. He knows me. We go way back. He's really sharp. Good ideas. And he'd be the first to tell you it still takes guys to do it. If we don't have guys that run good go routes, don't run go routes. If we have guys that aren't good doing this, don't do that. And that's what we're trying to do. And I think our communication has been great."
Childress, the guy who courted Favre during the offseason and picked him up at the airport for a personal escort to Winter Park when he signed four months ago, said he still has a good relationship with Favre.
“I don’t think anything has really changed. Have we learned each other since September or August? I’m sure we have,” Childress said.
Said Favre: “I think I'm an emotional player, and I came in here for one reason. I don't have much time to get it done, and sometimes I do wear my frustration on my sleeve. So what? So what? A lot of our players are that way and our coaches are that way. In the end the only thing that matters, regardless of what you think, is winning. That's it.”
After having more than a dozen players on their injury report last week, the list got much short for the Vikings this week. G Steve Hutchinson (shoulder), DE Brian Robison (quadriceps), DT Pat Williams (elbow) and CB Antoine Winfield (foot) were all limited.
For the Bears, DE Adewale Ogunleye (leg) is out. S Al Afalava (knee), LB Lance Briggs (back), TE Des Clark (ill), S Kevin Payne (ankle) and T Chris Williams (ankle) did not practice. DT Tommie Harris (knee), WR Devin Hester (calf) and T Orlando Pace (groin) were limited.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.