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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Favre finds comfort in 'enemy' territory

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- It was a whirlwind Tuesday, but Brett Favre feels back at home on a branch of the Mike Holmgren tree.

After being chauffeured by his new coach, Brad Childress, (and being followed by a hovering helicopter) from the airport to the Vikings' facility, Favre took a physical, signed his contract, ate lunch, put on his Vikings helmet and hit the practice field.

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Favre is back in the NFC North, and more importantly he's back in the West Coast system -- his comfort zone. Childress coached for Andy Reid, who coached for Holmgren. He's expected to quickly fit into Minnesota's system, much more than he ever did in his four-plus months with the New York Jets. Favre always seemed like he was playing catch up in 2008.

"(Minnesota's system is) Much easier from a system standpoint," Favre said. "Still have to learn the guys and stuff, but it was so much easier today just to call the plays I was familiar with. Those guys in New York last year were great kind of conforming the offense a little bit to where it was functional for me. But it was difficult. I really didn't think it would be as hard as it was.

"Whereas here, there's little subtle changes in the offense that may take a little (time), but the formations, the protections, the routes and stuff are the same. Today I didn't miss a beat calling those plays."

Favre ended his retirement this year nearly two weeks later than last year when the Packers traded him to New York. But because of his familiarity with the Vikings' system and their coaches (Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell coached him in Green Bay), Favre seems ready to make a run with the Vikings.

No crash course is needed for Favre. He relishes that this team relies on a passing game he's mastered, has a fabulous running game and a stout defense. Maybe that's why Favre called his delayed signing with Minnesota a "perfect fit."

As he met the media Tuesday evening, Favre was very clear: He came to Minnesota because he wanted to and because he thinks he can help Minnesota win.

At times, he was near defiant. When asked what he has to say to fans who may have tired of his waffling act, Favre said this: "Don't watch." He then evoked the words of former Green Bay center and close friend Frank Winters, a no-nonsense Jersey guy: "Dude, it's America."

Asked if he fears his legacy is on the line if this Minnesota experiment fails, Favre responded by saying "it's my legacy. It's mine."

Favre, who will turn 40 in October, says he still wants to win.

"I didn't come here to lose," Favre said.

Favre knows that the perception for many is that he signed with Minnesota to get revenge on Green Bay, where he played for 16 years. He denied that strongly and said it would be a waste of time for fans to think he's moving to Minnesota just to play the Packers twice a year. By the way, the Vikings host Green Bay on ESPN's Monday Night Football on Oct. 5 and then the Packers host Favre and the Vikings on Nov. 1.

Favre reiterated that he has friends on the Packers and he had a lifetime of good times in his 16 years there. He once again said both sides probably handled last year's divorce poorly, but it's time to move on.

By moving on this time, though, Favre is headed back to familiar territory. Let's be straight: It's not Green Bay. It's the enemy. Strangely, though, this is the closest thing to his football comfort zone that Favre is going to find.

Who knew that what would make Brett Favre most comfortable is donning the purple of Minnesota?