Childress, Longwell still uncertain on Favre

Brett Favre (Scott Boehm/Getty)

The Vikings don't seem overly concerned about Brett Favre coming back, but it seems clear that they genuinely don't know for sure based on comments from head coach Brad Childress and kicker Ryan Longwell. Longwell presented arguments for Favre's retirement and his return.

The Brett Favre saga shows no sign of slowing down.

Although just about everybody has become convinced that Favre will come back for another season, in an interview with NFL.com, head coach Brad Childress and longtime Favre teammate Ryan Longwell gave their perspectives on the situation.

When asked about Favre's anticipated return for a 20th season, Childress said, "Nothing would surprise me. It would not surprise me if he's in and it wouldn't surprise me if he's out."

Childress discussed his impromptu visit to Favre's home in Mississippi after the Combine in February. When he showed up, one of Favre's first questions was "When do you need to know?" about his return.

"I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, that's not why I'm here,'" Childress told the league's web site. "I wanted to see where you live, how you go about your business. I just tried to talk about the environment and we kind of went back through a history lesson of where we've been and what we just went through. I knew he wasn't going to jump over any line and I didn't expect him to. I don't have any illusions about that."

Childress said that he didn't want to press Favre too hard, which could have swayed his decision to retire, especially after the painful beating he endured against the Saints.

"It's not about pressure or putting his head in a vise," Childress said. "What he had to do is come to grips with, when he steps over that line, it's not just about getting paid what he's going to get paid or showing up and saying, ‘I'm ready.' It is that he knows what it is – mentally and physically – to grind through an NFL season."

Longwell, who befriended Favre 13 years ago as a rookie kicker, has as much insight to Favre as anyone. He recently said he thought it was "50-50" that Favre would return. He elaborated on that point, saying he can see it from both sides of the coin.

"I think can see both sides of the argument," Longwell said. "He played so well and at a level so high last year he and (Favre's wife) Deanna both seemed at such peace in December and January about how the whole thing had gone down – how he had played, how the season had gone, how he had molded with the team and the community, especially the locker room. No matter what happened from that point on, they were good with it. How can you top that? Which is the argument not to come back."

But Longwell was quick to point out that the same things that could prompt Favre to retire are many of the same reasons that justify a return.

"Then the other side is that he did mold so well with the locker room and did play so well and is in such a good system and a good fit," Longwell said. "You can see that he still has it and still has it left. You don't want to walk away before your skills erode and he's certainly got skills that no one else has."

So, will Brett be back? Stay tuned. If Chilly and Longwell don't know – and you have to believe they don't – it may still be up in the air.


John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for 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.

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