Thursday, September 23, 2010
FavreWatch: Feigning fiasco
By Kevin Seifert
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. --- The last thing Brett Favre wants to do, he said Thursday, is "raise red flags." But if you listened during Favre's weekly news conference, you heard these gems:
Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian has just 3 receptions for 27 yards after two games this season.
"I'm not really sure who I'm throwing to on particular plays."
"If I sat here and told you that I knew exactly what we're doing right now I'd be lying."
"When I leave the building, I don't know what goes on in our staff meetings. That's not our concern. We all need to be on the same page more. I don't want to raise red flags. We've got to get on the same page, because we're 0-2."
I threw a few of those quotes out on Twitter, and @throwingcandy was quick to respond: "Oh Please! I smell possum."
I'm inclined to agree, even though Favre's play this season has at times reflected all three statements. Two of the Vikings' five wide receivers joined the team after training camp. The Vikings haven't displayed a clear idea of what type of offense they intend to be. And it's been clear that different people have different ideas.
But this was also a classic example of Favre figuratively throwing up his hands as if to suggest he's doing the best he can under the circumstances. It's a brilliant tack that thrusts him into the hero's role should the Vikings eventually get straightened out.
Regardless, Favre offered a glimpse of his current reality as the Vikings prepare for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. For one, Favre said he skipped Wednesday's scheduled news conference because he didn't want to be late to a meeting and film study. He admitted that he and receiver Bernard Berrian "have not hit on all cylinders," insisted the team has enough receivers after the failure to acquire Vincent Jackson and said he needs to limit his aggressiveness during this transition time.
"I've got to err a little more with caution on some of these decisions," Favre said. "And history has shown with me that when we're struggling a little bit, I try to press the issue and try to make something happen. I think that's what's made me the quarterback I am and has benefited me throughout my career. But it's also hurt me. It's hard to be patient and try to get this puzzle pieced together."
Finally, Favre semi-joked that he has appealed to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to protect him by calling plays that minimize the chance he will throw a risky pass. Bevell said that role is "something I'm always conscious of."
"We [talk about that] all the time," Bevell said. "How do you manage him? How do you make sure you put him in the best situation? He's always got the one guy on [his left shoulder] telling him what to do. I try to be the guy on the other side to settle him down and continue to remind him that this is not one man versus 11. He's got those guys out there. He's got to let them do their jobs. He doesn't need to get out of the box. He's doesn't need to have out-of-body experiences. Just trust the system and we'll make sure the guy on the other end is making plays for him."