It’s been more than three months since Brett Favre’s bayou beatdown and, according to head coach Brad Childress, he still isn’t sure which way Favre is leaning – to come back for a 20th season or retire for good this time.
Childress sat down with Kara Henderson of NFL Network to answer some of those questions … sort of. When asked if Favre has helped teach Childress to be more patient, he said it’s a quality he has always had, but that Favre has broken the mold about how a team handles a veteran player and has earned that right.
“I am patient,” Childress said. “I just think he’s earned the chance to figure it out. There wasn’t a book before for a 40-year-old quarterback, so he came in and did what he needed to do and played extremely well. He’ll make his decision and nobody is going to begrudge him that fact that maybe he misses a day here or there.”
Henderson tried to press the issue somewhat, asking Childress what his thought process is on Favre’s potential return? Childress was short and sweet with his answer.
“I don’t have a real clear picture,” Childress said.
Childress said the Vikings were a unique opportunity for Favre. Unlike when he was traded to the Jets and had to learn a new system, his familiarity with the offense Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell run was something that couldn’t be bought on the free-agent market or through the draft. Childress said the Vikings don’t really have to have two plans for the offense in 2010 – one that includes Favre and one that doesn’t.
Childress said that every player on the roster has a system to play to. He made the comparison with Favre to that of someone being raised in France and speaking French for 16 years, then leaving for two years and coming back home – just as Favre came “home” to an offensive system almost identical to what he ran so well in Green Bay.
“You still are able to speak French,” Childress said. “I don’t the see the need to have two plans. If he comes in or when he comes in, he’ll jump back in and speak French again.”
When asked his thoughts on the loss to the Saints, Childress said what he thinks about most is that the Vikings didn’t have a three-turnover game all season, yet had five against the Saints and still had a chance in the final seconds of regulation to win the game.
Is he over it? Not quite, but it’s improving.
“I’m better now than I was when I went down to see Favre,” Childress said.
When asked about Adrian Peterson’s fumbling problems, Childress said the Vikings have their intentions to stop it, but said A.D.’s competitive nature will go a long way to easing his problems with fumblitis.
“We have a few different plans,” Childress said. “He’s got enough resolve and enough pride that he’ll pour himself into whatever it is he needs to do. He’s not ducking behind it.”
The interview concluded with Childress being asked if 2010 is a Super Bowl-or bust mentality. He said the first goal for this season is, as it has been in previous seasons, to win the NFC North and assure a playoff berth and a home game. Beyond that, he said, the team has goals, but they are incremental and will be realistic.
“We’ll set goals, but they need to be right-minded,” Childress said.
In what it called its last look at the decade of the 2000s, USA Today named its 53-man roster for the decade. Brett Favre was the third of four quarterbacks on the team, joining Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb. The team kept five running backs, led by Adrian Peterson, who was a co-starter with LaDainian Tomlinson, who came close to being Peterson’s backup in real life … or the real NFL. Peterson’s inclusion came as something of a surprise, since he played just three seasons in the decade. Former Viking Randy Moss was named a starting wide receiver along with Terrell Owens. Of the starting five offensive linemen, two of them were Vikings teammates – guard Steve Hutchinson and center Matt Birk.
With as many players with Vikings ties on the offensive side of the ball, the defensive line got what may be viewed as a snub. Kevin Williams made the team, but Jared Allen narrowly missed the cut, giving way to the likes of Jason Taylor, Michael Strahan, Julius Peppers and Dwight Freeney. As it turned out, Williams was the only Vikings defensive player to make the paper’s final roster. Former Viking Darren Sharper narrowly missed the cut.
Former Viking Tyler Thigpen appears cemented in as the No. 2 quarterback in Miami behind young starter Chad Henne.