Now that Brett Favre has decided to come back for his 20th season, the Vikings are sure to be one of the heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl this season. Waiting around for Favre showed the desperation of Brad Childress and the Vikings franchise, but they didn’t have any other choice because without Favre their situation would have been bleak. The Vikings would have dealt with Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson playing quarterback, and at best, they are both backups. With the defense they have, the Vikings would be a pretty good team, but not great, like they should be with Favre.
Coach Childress and owner Ziggy Wilf should get a lot of credit because they were both adamant about waiting around for Favre while others would have simply turned the page. Childress’ willingness to let him skip all of training camp before sending Steve Hutchinson, Jared Allen and Ryan Longwell to personally ask him to come back was ballsy, but it worked. There is no denying how much more potent and efficient this offense is with Favre behind center rather than Jackson or Rosenfels. Childress knows that Favre gives the team the best chance to win the Super Bowl, and that’s all that matters to him.
Brad Childress joined WQAM in Miami on The Michael Irvin Show to talk about what it was like when Brett Favre informed the team he will return for his 20th season, how he came to the decision to send a few players down to Hattiesburg to convince Brett Favre to come back, and what his relationship is like with Brett Favre.
What it was like when Brett Favre informed the team he will return for his 20th season:
“Well just from the standpoint knowing that he was on the way, the guys that were here in the cafeteria you could sense a little uptick, a little buzz. It certainly is not easy for Sage or Tarvaris Jackson to stomach – I had a talk with both of those guys, but in this job you are charged with putting your best foot forward with the additions or subtractions. But we are just happy that Brett is here back with us.”
What he said to Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels regarding Brett’s return to the team:
“Well there is a couple of things Michael; you did see how hard he worked to put himself into position. He had by all regards a good two weeks of training camp and Sage played very well the other night against St. Louis, Tarvaris only took like 8 snaps. But I don’t have a crystal ball and neither does he. This is such a fluid environment. I don’t know if he will have to play for a quarter or a half or a game. You know it is a violent game, I guess I should say and I have said it before. He also serves to only who stands and waits. That is true; we have always had a ‘next man up’ mentality. Either his tape is going to be his resume here for us in the longer term, or somewhere after next year he will have an opportunity somewhere else.”
How he came to the decision to send a few players down to Hattiesburg to convince Brett Favre to comeback:
“Well this is a big horse-sense type of business if you will. I mean somewhere you look at the facts, you know what you have done and the conversations that you have had. Instincts are huge and my best sense was that was what it was going to take. Brett was a huge part of our success last year, we wanted them back and those guys were tired of texting or talking. Any kind of relationship there is a lot more done at the table or eyeball to eyeball, and that is what I felt it would take. You might say, Geez you violated something. Should you have to do that? No, that is what it took, by any means necessary. I don’t know if there are any bylaws and I said yesterday, when the train varies you have got to go with the train. We have got a great owner and he said, is that what we need to do? That is what we needed to do and those three guys were probably the tightest with him. They didn’t balk at all, they were game on.”
What he has had to go through as head coach of a team having to deal with Brett Favre’s retirement dilemma:
“Well it is not really about me. I just say this, Bill Parcells probably had the greatest line for me a couple of years before I got this job. At the Combine I was walking with him and he said, ‘You know you are going to get your chance soon?’ And I said, you think so? He said, ‘Yeah you are going to get your chance. Remember this, it ain’t all that it is F’n cracked up to be.’ And I said, what? He said, ‘You heard me and don’t forget who told you that,’ So let’s fast-forward 2 years later. I am walking out to the 50-yard line 4th preseason game of the season, Bill was standing there and I get within about 10 yards of him and he says, ‘Huh? What did I tell you?’ He was going through the Terrell Owens deal riding the bicycle, Terry Glenn was there then. I had just let Daunte Culpepper 3 weeks after I got there. There is no manual for it, I will say that to you. It is the only business in the world where you get better with the X’s and O’s and then when you jump into this seat it isn’t as much about that as much as it is about relationships with people and communicating with people.”
What his relationship is like with Brett Favre:
“It is a decent relationship. It is certainly a player-coach relationship. One thing is that I came to know him over the years when I was at Wisconsin with Coach Alvarez. It just so happened that a guy that I coached with, Andy [Reid], way back in the day at Arizona in ’86 happened to be Mike’s tight end coach and then Brett’s coach. Mike signed one of my quarterbacks a long time ago to the 49ers, Greg Wyatt, knew him, went up there to visit, knew Brett Favre a little bit from a distance. He and my offensive coordinator are the same age. My offensive coordinator here played at Wisconsin, played at the Rose Bowl the year that he went to the Super Bowl and won it. As luck would have it, he was back at Green Bay as this guy’s coach. I knew of him at a distance, talked to him before a game for 15 minutes out there playing soft toss but I never really knew the man that is why I went out of my way last year at the end of the year, after the Combine, to go down there and sit on his turf. It is just walk a mile in my shoes. You don’t know it until you see it. You think to know it, but I have got a greater appreciation for who he is and I have got a greater appreciation for how he works during the season at his craft. It is not just a guy that happens to be a tremendously skilled guy. He spends time at what he is doing.”