The Brett Favre Comeback Part II (as the movie will be titled) is close. The former Packer and Jet is going to meet with Vikings coach Brad Childress. I love how ESPN is making it seem that favre has to convince the Vikes that he’s coming back for the right reasons. Nothing could be further from the truth. My gut tells me the meeting is more to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Favre knows the Vikings braintrust (Childress and Offensive Co-ordiantor Darrel Bevell – who worked with Favre in Green Bay as his QB Coach/Gopher). He knows the team – having played against them for years. He knows the system they run (Childress comes from the Andy Reid school and Reid used to work with Favre in Green Bay once upon a time).There isn’t much mystery here.
Now, I will admit something. I have been guilty as much as anyone else of talking about this and coming down on Favre for what he’s doing. There is another side to the story, believe it or not. One that really hasn’t been talked about yet. One that deserves to be.
It’s the Minnesota side of the story. Why would they make a move like this? Does it make them a Super Bowl contender? Why would they cozy up to someone (Favre) who has tormented them for years?
The Vikings are exploring the Favre possibility for a number of reasons. The simple reason is that their quarterbacks aren’t all that great. Tarvaris Jackson has a lot of talent, but he hasn’t turned that talent into production. The window of time in which a quarterback has to develop in the NFL is a lot shorter than it used to be. Jackson has been at it now for three years. The Vikings are obviously eager to move on.
That’s why they made the trade for Sage Rosenfels. Rosenfels has had his moments. But, he is nothing more than a game manager. He won’t lose any games for you, but he won’t win any for you either. He’s better suited for the backup role which he has filled for most of his career.
But the Vikings are exploring the Favre possibility for another reason. They need to play catch-up in the division. The Bears are seemingly stronger now that they’ve picked up Jay Cutler. The Packers should be better than they were last year considering they are implementing a new, more aggressive defense. Green Bay will also get key contributors back from injury (Nick Barnett, Cullen Jenkins, Atari Bigby). They should be much better than the 6-10 record they put up last year. The Lions are starting over, but fans are excited in Detroit now that Matt Millen is gone and Matt Stafford is in as the latest savior of this woebegone franchise.
The Vikings are getting left in everyone else’s dust. Their fan base is very, very fickle. Despite their success, they don’t always sell the Metrodome out. That means games are blacked out in the Minnesota area. Signing Favre would take care of that. Seats would be sold. Games will be viewed.
Signing Favre would also immediately make Minnesota one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl. Minnesota has some of the ingredients of a contender. Favre makes them a lot better. The Vikes already have a good defense. Sure, they have weaknesses in the secondary, but a high octane offense would minimize that weakness.
Minnesota already has a great running game with Adrian Peterson. They have competent receivers in Bernard Berrian, Bobby Wade and Visanthe Shiancoe. Adding Favre to that mix makes those receivers more dangerous. Favre has shown that he can elevate the games of his wdeouts. I have no doubt he’ll be able to do it again. Berrian’s deep speed would mix well with Favre. The Vikings will be able to get more out of him with Favre under center than they would with either Jackson or Rosenfels. Shiancoe is a nice security blanket as a tight end, and Favre loves to throw to his tight end. Always has.
Bringing in Favre, who has beaten Minnesota more time than Vikes fans would care to count, strikes at the heart of their biggest rivals. Favre reportedly has told friends he hates Green Bay. Not dislike. Hate. There’s an old saying – “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” As long as Ted Thompson is the GM of the Packers, Favre will never reconcile with Green Bay. Those two just don’t like each other, plain and simple.They never have, and they never will. Favre also doesn’t have a whole lot of love for Packers coach Mike McCarthy, even though McCarthy helped Favre have one of his best seasons in 2007. Favre would love nothing more than to be a thorn in the side of the two people he feels ran him out of Green Bay. The Vikings want to put the final nail in the coffin of their most hated rivals.
They might not be getting ‘married’ for the right reasons, but it is a marriage that I think will work.
And it is the side of the story in this soap opera that isn’t getting the attention it deserves.