Tarvaris Jackson (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
The Vikings are in a bit of a precarious situation with Brett Favre remaining uncommitted to the 2010 season, but coach Brad Childress expressed confidence in his backups earlier this week.
While the Vikings remain hopeful that Brett Favre eventually will decide to return for a 20th NFL season, coach Brad Childress expressed confidence in backups Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels.
Childress, speaking at the NFC coaches’ breakfast during the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, pointed to how much Jackson and Rosenfels learned from playing behind Favre last season.
Childress especially focused his comments on Jackson, who has yet to sign the tender the Vikings extended him as a restricted free agent.
“I think they both evolved and grew even though it might have been in a vicarious way last year with Brett, through him,” Childress said. “But I know there was great dialogue and I watched Tarvaris in his games and in his snaps do a great job and I thought he grew mentally, which was as important as anything, in how he approached the game and how he approached practice.
“Really some of the intangible things because there’s not statistics for that. I think on face talking to him he’d really admit that it was a great year and you can’t put a premium on that. Being around a guy like Favre and growing in our system and seeing how a Hall of Fame quarterback operates our system.”
Indications are that if Favre surprises everyone and does decide to retire that Jackson (10-10 as a starter in four NFL seasons) would take over. Jackson was the Vikings’ No. 2 quarterback last season.
“If you took it off of last year, yeah,” Jackson would be the starter, Childress said. “But we’re going to get to the field here before we start next year so we’ll just see how those guys have evolved.”
Meanwhile, Childress said he had no update on Favre’s possible return and clearly the Vikings remain in wait-and-see mode.
“I don’t know,” Childress said. “Just the same as it has been really. I just don’t know. I told these guys before, in this business you have to be able to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity because that’s what this is about.”
That could continue into the first part of training camp, too, because no one will be surprised if Favre decides to join the Vikings after they return from their stint in Mankato.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was one of only four owners to vote against the NFL’s proposed change for overtime in the playoffs. The measure passed easily with 28 votes and while Wilf might not have liked it he quickly moved on.
“It was a good debate, and we discussed it,” Wilf said at the owners meeting in Orlando. “I guess I’m old-fashioned. I like the rules the way they were and whatever the outcome would have been. We’ll move on.”
Coach Brad Childress said Cedric Griffin is doing fine in his recovery from a torn ACL but that the cornerback is getting to a key stretch.
“There’s a point in here where, I’m told, that on an ACL injury, you feel stronger than you really are,” Childress said. “And there’s a point where that graft or whatever it is that they do becomes brittle. And you have to be really careful in your third, fourth, fifth month that you’re not doing what your body feels like it can do. You have to stick with the protocol. I guess it becomes brittle and it strengthens back up. It’s the strongest early and it goes to a spot where ... He’s doing as good as he can be doing.”
Childress also commented on the recovery of linebacker E.J. Henderson, who broke his leg in a December loss at Arizona. “Nothing is going to surprise me with E.J. because he’s taken and embraced this thing,” Childress said. “Talking to him and the people that he’s talked to with a similar injury he wants to set the E.J. Henderson protocol for this injury. Moving ahead, being ahead of the curve, doing the things he’s done at this point of time. Everything I’ve seen, he’s attacking it and he’s moving in the right direction in a hurry.”
Childress said he and his good friend, Eagles coach Andy Reid, have agreed to participate on the NFL-USO Coaches Tour to visit U.S. Soldiers in the Middle East in late June.
The Vikings will begin their offseason program Monday with younger players due to arrive at Winter Park, according to Childress. Veteran participation will start two weeks from Monday.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “You know (he’s) a good player. I don’t know if we’re far enough down the free-agent trail here now. He’s certainly a guy that’s on our board and on our list, as are others. Is there interest? Not right this second. Do I know of him and skills and abilities? Absolutely. And I have a lot of admiration for what he has been able to do.” — Vikings coach Brad Childress on the team not having interest in running back Brian Westbrook, who has been released by the Eagles. Childress was Westbrook’s offensive coordinator at one time in Philadelphia.