Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Peter King makes the most sense here


The big story is the signing of Bret Favre with Minnesota--or is it? Is it really a story or just a melodrama that won't mean anything if it's week four of the NFL season and Minnesota is 1 and 3 and Favre is out for the season?

I wouldn't disagree with any of this:

If I were Childress, I'd have waited until Sage Rosenfels struggled -- if he struggled -- and then made the call to Favre. By doing it now, Childress loses Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson; how can they ever trust anything he says now? I'm sure both are furious, and Rosenfels, particularly, is crushed. And the way Favre talked to me three weeks ago, there's a chance he won't last the season and Childress will have to turn to one of his angry quarterbacks.

What Favre told me late last month he wasn't coming back because he felt totally beat after some hard summer workouts, how could he think he'd have enough stamina to make it through a season? He simply didn't think he'd be able to handle the physical rigors of the season. "I just didn't think my body would hold up the way it had in the past,'' he said.

The perfect scenario would have been for the Vikings to see if Rosenfels or Jackson played well enough through a piece-of-cake early schedule (at Cleveland, at Detroit, San Francisco), and if the position was an Achilles heel, then reach out to Favre to see if he was interested. By doing it now, Childress tells his team he doesn't trust Rosenfels or Jackson. That could come back to haunt him if Favre's body breaks down.

Childress has looked like a desperate man throughout this melodrama. He made it known internally that Favre had to do at least some work in the offseason program or the veteran mini-camp to be considered. Favre never showed. Then he had to come by the start of camp. Favre didn't come, opting for his third false retirement in 17 months. Now the Vikings let him come back after the team has gone through training camp. Favre's the wishy-washiest player in memory -- and the Vikings are his enablers. It's ridiculous.


That's why I agree so strongly--conditioning is everything for an NFL player. I am always leery of the player who manages to "hold out" over training camp. That's a player that just can't take the daily beating of two-a-days in the heat and the intensity of being coached and prepared for a season. That's a player that probably doesn't have a contract issue--that player has a problem with his work ethic.

Clearly, Favre isn't conditioned for an upcoming NFL season. His shoulder didn't last with the Jets, it likely will not last if Minnesota has to rely on it and use Favre like everyone wants them to use Favre--to throw balls that few, if any, of the current Minnesota Vikings players are capable of catching.

If I was cruel, I'd ask someone to name three wide receivers from the Vikings. I'm not. Here's the entire roster, as of today, for Wide Receivers and Tight Ends:

87 Bernard Berrian WR 28 6-1 185 6 Fresno State
12 Percy Harvin WR 21 5-11 192 R Florida
16 Glenn Holt WR 25 6-1 193 4 Kentucky
11 Jaymar Johnson WR 25 6-0 176 1 Jackson State
14 Nick Moore WR 23 6-2 186 R Toledo
15 Vinny Perretta WR 23 5-9 186 R Boise State
82 Darius Reynaud WR 23 5-9 201 2 West Virginia
18 Sidney Rice WR 22 6-4 202 3 South Carolina
19 Bobby Wade WR 28 5-10 186 7 Arizona
13 Bobby Williams WR 23 6-2 194 R North Alabama
83 Jeff Dugan TE 28 6-4 258 6 Maryland
40 Jimmy Kleinsasser TE 32 6-3 272 11 North Dakota
45 Garrett Mills TE 25 6-1 235 4 Tulsa
-- Jake Nordin TE 25 6-3 262 1 Northern Illinois
81 Visanthe Shiancoe TE 29 6-4 250 7 Morgan State


Aside from Kleinsasser, the old man of the group with 11 seasons under his belt, sitting at second on the depth chart, only Shiancoe and Wade have seven seasons of experience and Dugan and Berrian have six seasons.

There are probably good players here, but none of them are household names, and, it gets worse--Berrian, the depth chart choice to start, is listed as questionable, at that.

It's all well and good that the Vikings got Favre to unretire again. The question is, who does he have to throw to? How does he fit into their system?

I don't see where he has anyone to throw to and I don't see how he "fixes" their real issues, which are a lack of depth at wide receiver. It's almost as if Minnesota should have been planning to go after Plaxico Burress and Terrel Owens, rather than Favre. That, I could have understood.

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