EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- I just returned from Minnesota coach Brad Childress’ daily news conference, where he addressed the comments of quarterback Brett Favre after Sunday night’s 26-7 loss at Carolina. Childress confirmed he approached Favre with the idea of removing him from the game, but classified it was a “stream of consciousness" thought related to the “beating” he was taking from Carolina’s defense and not his performance as the team’s starting quarterback.
Below is a transcript of the relevant questions. I’ll be back soon with some final thoughts on the matter.
Why were you considering taking Favre out of the game?
Brad Childress: It was more of a stream of consciousness, where he comes of the field, I’m watching what I’m watching, and I said, “Hey, you know what? I’m thinking about taking you out of the game here. I mean, you’re getting your rear end kicked” through not a lot of fault of his own. As I’m watching that and as I’m watching that occur, I’m giving him a stream of consciousness.
Obviously, he didn’t want anything to do with that, which I certainly appreciate from his standpoint. From any quarterback. He wasn’t like, “OK, let me get my hat on.” That wasn’t in his makeup. So I appreciate that from his standpoint.
You guys can characterize it as heated. There was pretty good communication going on back and forth. I didn’t see it as heated. I didn’t see it as any different from the conversation that I had with him at Arizona after the game by his locker. There was a back and forth of information and feelings.
This game is an emotional game, particularly when you’re right in the middle of it. So I appreciate his wanting to stick to it. I know that people talk about pulling the quarterback. We’re not talking about maiming the quarterback. It’s what happens with quarterbacks. They play, they come out, they stay in. So, that’s what it is. It happens in a team sport and it happens in football.
Did you feel like Tarvaris Jackson may have given your team a better chance to win?
BC: In my stream of consciousness? Well, I certainly was thinking about that. But more my stream was of the nature that he’s taking a beating here. So I know the next part of that. But that wasn’t part of it right then when I was speaking to him.
What were your feelings on Favre telling his side with the media Sunday night?
BC: I think he probably gave you a stream of consciousness from the best of his recollection, wouldn’t you say? Yeah. The great thing about telling the truth is you can tell it over and over again. I know exactly how it happened. What I said was, ‘It has nothing to do with how you’re playing. It has to do with what’s happening to you out there.’ And again, there’s volatility and emotion involved.
Did you approach him to give him the option to come out?
BC: If he wanted to tap out? … Yeah, and that’s a good question. I don’t know if I knew at the time what I thought was going to happen from that. I wasn’t looking for a “Are you looking to get out? Are you looking to stay in?”
Again, it was a stream of consciousness. It was the thought that I was having at the time. Usually children do that. They give you the straight stream of consciousness all the time, appropriate or inappropriate. Mine was more communicative. It was to stimulate some dialogue. I wasn’t trying to get a goat. I was just telling him what I was seeing.
So he didn’t defy you by refusing to come out?
BC: Not at all. Not at all. It was something that was talked through. I wish I could remember how it finished. It wasn’t a “so there.” It wasn’t like that. Things like that generally don’t happen on the sideline. Somebody may have come up with a book of pictures or another quarterback may have wandered up or something like that. I don’t even know what it looked like on TV….
Will you be different the next time you give him your stream of consciousness?
BC: I suppose it’s a learning experience. I’m generally not great about parsing my words. I think usually before I say them, but in a stream of consciousness setting, it was kind of, what I was watching, what I saw the last series, what I had watched in how many ever plays we had played. That’s what it was. I can’t tell you how I’ll act if there is a next time.
Have you approached him with the same sort of thoughts previously this season?
BC: Where I approached him? No.
Was there any game where you thought about doing it?
BC: Now we’re going deep. I’m going to let you guys go deep with however you want.
Do you need to remind him that it’s not always about winning the game, that it’s also about winning in the playoffs?
BC: I think that’s a fair point. One of his replies last night was “Hey, we’re struggling, we need to win this game. That’s what we need to do.” We weren’t thinking ahead to the Giants or the Bears or anything. He was staying in the moment. His competitive zeal is there, always. So, yeah, that’s fair. You could tell where he was there with that.