Brad Childress is playing a dangerous game these days. His assertion that there was never any discussion of setting a deadline in front of Brett Favre runs counter to everything that he's stood for in his first three seasons as an NFL head coach. Childress has a rep for wanting everyone in OTA's, let alone training camp. But, if he's really intent on dragging Favre's 40-year-old bones out of mothballs, it's going to entail him making a separate set of rules for one player.
What makes it so essential that Favre be the savior of this team? For that matter, who seriously thinks it's even possible for Favre to be the one to lead this team to the Super Bowl? The longer all this purple panting goes on, the less I like Minnesota's chances of playing in Miami next February. Sounds loopy, doesn't it?
The NFC doesn't appear to have a clear-cut powerhouse heading into this season, with Dallas trying to restructure the passing game, Philly trying to keep everyone walking, New Orleans needing the defense to step back up, Arizona needing to contain the teapot-tempest that is Anquan Boldin's contract demands, Carolina wondering how many seasons Jake Delhomme really has left, and the Bears facing twelve-men-on-the-field penalties every play by adding both Jay Cutler and Jay Cutler's Bruised Ego to the huddle. The Vikings' stingy defense and Adrian Peterson's powerful running seem like a recipe to pummel the rest of this conference into submission if they can find a Trent Dilfer/Brad Johnson-type QB to adhere to a one-line job description: DON'T SCREW UP TOO MUCH.
In case anyone forgot, Brett Favre holds the all-time NFL record for QB screw-ups. So, how is he a good fit into a Peterson-powered offense? No one's going to mistake Sage Rosenfels for Joe Montana anytime soon, to be sure. At one time, though, he was worth a fourth-round pick to take a look at, and now before anyone's even really gotten to take a look at him, the coach is too busy reassuring the media that, yes, in fact, he is still slurping Brett Favre and will continue to do so until Brett's arm officially falls off.
Rosenfels, though, had his moments in Houston. There, he was throwing to Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels. Here, he's throwing to Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe, and potentially Percy Harvin. Out of his 20 Texan appearances, I'll grant you that he only managed not to get picked off six times, two of those when he didn't throw a pass. For now, I'll write that off to playing behind a Texans line that has yet to be decent at any point since the franchise's inception and still is sought for questioning in the murder of David Carr's career.
I may be the only one, but I sort of feel for Rosenfels, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel he's worn in the turf shuffling back and forth to the bench, only to find out that said light is attached to the #4 train coming in from Mississippi.
If Favre's making a concerted effort to avoid training camp and intends to come riding in on his white horse with one preseason game left, consider it an enormous boot up the asses of both Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson, both of whom may be fully aware that this is the last and best chance either one will ever get to become a full-time NFL starting quarterback. If it happens that way, Favre completely deserves to lose the huddle, and Childress completely deserves to lose the locker room.
Favre made no effort to ingratiate himself with Laveranues Coles, Thomas Jones, and the rest of the Jets offense last season. All this frenzied pursuit does is reinforce Favre's ESPN-fed notion that he's bigger than the rest of the team, if not the rest of the league. Substitute Peterson for Jones and Berrian for Coles and the results may still be the same: a team ignoring the better half of its offense while its quarterback tries to polish his John-Wayne-in-cleats reputation by trying to throw passes through the hole in a Cheerio.
And it'll be a sad result, too, for a franchise that seemed to be doing the right things, especially building around a real-deal young superstar. Them getting mixed up in Favre's vendetta against Green Bay will only end with the Packers having the last laugh, unless Favre sets aside his own ego and allows Peterson to continue to shine. Of course, Brett may have gotten quite used to having The Worldwide Leader saying his name 8,459 times per day. Giving up that fix may be more painful than that bicep injury.