Scouts Inc.: Minnesota doesn't need a gunslinger

May, 5, 2009
5/05/09
9:18
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

I just got off the phone with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson, who put a succinct voice to the objections some of you already are making to Minnesota's dalliance with "retired" quarterback Brett Favre.

"If I'm the Vikings, here's what I'm doing: I'm playing heavy, heavy defense. I'm using my big, bruising offensive line and I'm handing the ball to Adrian Peterson. And I want a veteran quarterback who knows what he's doing but isn't going to kill us. Just give me a caretaker, someone who won't inflict any wounds. That's not Brett Favre. From what I saw last year, I don't even know he's one of the 32 best quarterbacks in the league right now. He might be an improvement over what they have, but there are so many different ways I would have gone. Brett Favre is a terrible fit for what I think the Vikings should be doing."

Favre would have some advantages that he didn't enjoy after moving from Green Bay to the New York Jets last season. The Vikings run a version of the West Coast offense that Favre learned under Mike Holmgren, Mike Sherman and Mike McCarthy with the Packers. Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, meanwhile, was once his quarterbacks coach in Green Bay and the two have remained close.

But Williamson noted the impact of Favre's partially torn biceps last year, which considerably lowered the heat on his passes. According to Williamson, Favre is an entirely different quarterback without his legendary arm strength.

Williamson: "He didn't throw the football well last year. Let's face it. You looked at him last year, especially at the end of the year, and you saw a guy who didn't throw the ball anything like he used to. If you have a gunslinger mentality and you don't have the physical tools anymore, then all of a sudden you don't have anything to hang your hat on."

In general, Williamson said he is opposed to the Vikings' "Band-Aid approach to treating critical wounds" at quarterback. This includes their February trade to acquire quarterback Sage Rosenfels, who has averaged one interception for every 20 passes in his NFL career. Absent Favre, Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson would compete for the starting job in training camp.

Williamson: "Rosenfels might be better than anybody on their roster. But he's a terrible risk-taker, too. He gives the ball up a lot in important times of the game. Just give me a caretaker. A guy that's not going to kill us. Rosenfels isn't really that guy. And needless to say, Favre isn't, either. I think he's an awful fit for them."

I'm on board with some of Williamson's points. Favre at 50 or 75 percent isn't good enough for a team that has designs on making a deep run in the playoffs. But you can only assume that Favre wouldn't return if he determines his arm isn't healthy enough to throw with his old velocity. If that's the case, the gunslinger issue is mitigated and he's a clear upgrade to their roster.

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