Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress was more than happy to drive quarterback Brett Favre right into the Vikings starting lineup
Well we knew it was probably coming and on August 19th, the “immortal” Brett Favre descended from the Mountain Top High to “unretire” once again. Favre officially joined the Minnesota Vikings signing a one-year, $12 Million dollar deal with a second year option, flip-flopping once again. Favre was immediately given his No. 4 jersey – backup John David Booty had to settle for his new No. 9 – went to practice and was even named the starter for the Viking second preseason game on Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs before even hitting the practice field.
The signing of Favre ends the third – or is it the 4th – offseason where he decided at the last second to join an NFL team right before the start of the season. I don’t begrudge Favre the opportunity to continue his playing career, but why did he wait so long and even more important how could the Vikings braintrust (namely head coach Brad Childress) make it so easy for him to waltz right back in the NFL like nothing had ever happened. The on the hot seat head coach said of Favre’s quick entry into Vikings’ Purple, “This is a fluid business, and we were moving ahead but you always go back and reassess”.
My how quickly things have turned for the graybeard quarterback that refuses to shave or walk away from the NFL after almost 20years. Looking back on July 28th, the man who holds every major NFL career passing record said via Childress that he was done. But I guess a couple more weeks of throwing to high schoolers instead of being in training camp made the future Hall of Famer change his mind. I guess Favre’s arm is feeling better after renowned sports injury surgeon Dr. James Andrews put his surgically repaired right arm back together. Andrews not only fixed Favre’s torn bicep injury, but he also worked on a torn rotator cuff that has plagued No. 4 for years.
Thank Goodness I didn’t write Favre’s final stats of most career NFL touchdown passes (464), most career NFL passing yards (65,127), most career pass completions (5,720), most career passing attempts (9,280), most career NFL interceptions thrown (310), his “iron man” most consecutive starts quarterback streak (269 and you can make it 291 if you include the playoffs), and most career victories as a starting quarterback (169) in ink. Favre will now be counted on to lead a team that he barely knows other than competing against them in the past. And there is the lingering question how will the Vikings existing two “also-ran” quarterbacks – Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels – handle being pushed aside without little or no explanation.
I know the Vikings think with their stellar defense, Pro Bowl RB Adrian Peterson, a strong O-line led by Pro Bowl offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, and a receiving corps featuring emerging Bernard Berrian and first round potential breakout rookie Percy Harvin that Favre is the last piece. But this 10-6 NFC North Champion team from 2008 better be careful what they are wishing for as the 39 — will turn 40 on Oct. 10 – did not look stellar down the stretch as the New York Jets limped home to a 1-4 finish including losing a playoff berth at home to the Miami Dolphins in Week 17. Favre may have every passing record in the book and he had a magical ride in 2007 for Green Bay, but last season his body started to betray him as he led the NFL with 22 INTs.
The hardest part for the Vikings’ lockerroom will be adjusting to the venerable passer and testing the mettle and leadership of a group of players that have already bonded together after sweating it out at training camp in Mankato. Of course Favre was giddy of his return as he proclaimed, “I think it’s great for football, I can’t see how you think it wouldn’t be.” I guess Favre didn’t talk to Rosenfels and Jackson, but I am sure Packers’ fans will let him know how exactly they feel about his flip-flop act when he visits on November 1st with his new team.
At least for now we can put Favre-watch to rest for 2009, but I am sure come next offseason his whole retirement/unretirement act will be revisited.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)