Jared Allen’s Gettin’ Antsy Over Brett Favre

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen visits the Vikings camp and talks with Brad Childress and an antsy Jared Allen, who told him:

“I do hope Brett comes back, but in fairness to the team and in fairness to Tarvaris — hey, we’re done with camp now — let’s move things forward. Tarvaris has an opportunity to take this team over … I think you have to have confidence in the quarterback. I think the quarterback has to be the leader of the team, especially the offense and, again, I think stability at the position is key as hell…All I’m saying — and I have a pretty good relationship with Brett — I think this is the last year we want do the flip-flop thing.” Found at ESPN.

To Draft A QB Or Not Draft A QB: Vikings Smokescreen?

The Vikings are in an extremely enviable position for the second round of the NFL Draft, having traded out of the first round with the Detroit Lions last night. The Vikings traded their 1st round pick (30th) and 4th round pick (128th) for Lions’ 2nd round pick (34th), 4th round pick (100) & 7th round pick (214th).

Sitting that high up in the draft with two top quarterbacks still available (Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen), the Vikes are in a position to nab their choice if they do indeed want to draft a QB, or take offers to trade down again from teams still in need of a signal-caller.

Draft junkies know that the Vikings (as do a lot of teams) go to some lengths to make other teams think something that may not be true with regard to the Vikes’ draft intentions. Today is an instance where that might just be paying off.

It came as no surprise to me, then, when I read in this morning’s Star Tribune that Steve Mariucci, an NFL Network draft analyst and longtime FoF (Friend of Favre) say that the 40-year-old QB has not yet recovered from the ankle injury he suffered against those cheaters, the New Orleans Saints. For good measure, Mariucci added “He’s trying to determine: Is his body telling him something here? Or is he going to be feeling better in due time. He still hasn’t made up his mind.”

Nice timing!

Well, is Brett Favre really going to return for another season if his ankle has yet to heal? Will the Vikings draft a quarterback as insurance? Raising these questions among the quarterback-needy that remain in the draft, only benefits Chilly and company. We’ll see how it plays out today but I’m liking where we sit.

Jimmy Clausen Video Highlights

Found at YouTube from awasiele.

Colt McCoy Video Highlights

Found at YouTube from ohio33state. What is it with Creed and college highlights?!?

Brett Favre’s Vikings Debut


I have to admit I was amped up to watch Brett Favre‘s debut as a Viking, if for no other reason than the strange spectacle of seeing him in purple.

The debut itself turned out to be anticlimactic if not predictable. Expected to play just one series, Favre returned for another after his first was cut short by Naufahu Tahi‘s missed block (one of three for the night). The offense played like one that had had only a few days of practice with a new quarterback. It will take more than a few days for receivers and quarterback to adjust to one another.

What Favre did show has got to be encouraging for Vikings fans.

You wouldn’t know that from reading an AP piece published shortly after the game, though. That piece placed the blame for the lack of offensive production squarely on Favre’s shoulders, saying he missed on all but one pass and even the completion was barely catchable:

His first pass was off target, intended for fullback Naufahu Tahi. Rookie Percy Harvin snagged a low throw into tight coverage on the next play, setting up fourth-and-1 near midfield. But Adrian Peterson, who carried 10 times for 44 yards, was smothered in the backfield for a big loss.

Favre was off the mark twice more on the next possession, misfiring toward Jaymar Johnson after an apparent route miscommunication and then chucking one out of everyone’s reach on the pressure by May

Well, that’s the easy story to write; the one you can file in time for your post-game deadline. But it was hardly accurate.

The pass to Tahi was thrown to the opposite side of the defender, to an open space where had Tahi adjusted, he could’ve caught the ball. The completion to Harvin was thrown in tight between two defenders; throwing the ball low greatly reduces the odds of it being picked off, it’s harder for the defenders to get to and if the ball is tipped by the receiver or defender, it is much more likely to hit the ground than to pop up in the air where it can be easily intercepted. The pass to Johnson was similar to the one to Tahi, away from the defender but catchable if the receiver adjusts. The only pass that was possibly errant was the last one when Favre was hurred by a linebacker blitz; even that one was thrown to an empty space in the field where it wouldn’t be picked off.

This type of sports “reporting” drives me nuts. It reveals one of two things: 1) Laziness or 2) a failure of understanding of the game.

Anyway, Vikings fans should be encouraged that they now have not just a veteran, but a Hall of Fame-quality quarterback who knows exactly what to do with the ball.

We should also be encouraged by the play of Tavaris Jackson. After a familiar shaky start, Jackson directed two impressive scoring drives that had offense running on all cylinders. But then that’s been his thing; shaky…impressive, shaky…impressive. Jackson needs to show consistently sound decision making before he’ll inspire enough confidence from coaches, let alone Vikings fans…and throwing the ball from five yards beyond the line of scrimmage doesn’t cut it.

Rookie reciever Percy Harvin proved he can catch the ball, a receivers’ skill Vikings fans are a bit insecure about since the Troy Williamson fiasco.

Thankfully for the audience, the game turned into an exciting one after the disappointment of the opening two series.

I’ll leave you with a Brad Childress dream, as mashed up by nadasfan:

Brett Favre To Vikings Saga: Day 4

NFL: DEC 28 Dolphins at Jets

You thought this was over? Silly person.

While the was widely reported, given ‘s history, . It’s a wonder the Yahoo Sports report wasn’t dismissed outright with a chuckle and a dismissive plllllleeeeeze.

Unsurprisingly, Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver by painting Favre as unpredictable. Well, that’s low-hanging fruit. But it’s wrong. At this point, Favre’s media manipulations are entirely predictable.

ESPN headquarters at Winter Park:

And, thus, the Brett Favre saga was set in motion once again. But former Strib and current ESPN.com writer Kevin Seifert :

This story has spun totally out of control, and I’m not sure if I can make reasonable sense out of it anymore. Schaap’s report suggests Favre’s medical records were sent to the Vikings ON THE SAME DAY that a Yahoo! Sports story reported that Favre told coach Brad Childress he doesn’t want to play in 2009.

The , defensively, “We really have no choice but to bring you the back and forth developments.”

Meanwhile, there’s unrest among the Minnesota media.

At the Star Tribune, columnist Patrick Reusse devotes column space to the obvious: to shine the spotlight on himself. Fellow columnist Sid Hartman goes into full We Don’t Need ‘Em mode . And beat writer Judd Zulgad, in order to pressure the team to issue some definitive statements, unleashes the fans on the Vikings .

On the other side of the river, St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Tom Powers , fellow columnist Charley Walters in this Favre saga, and beat writer Rick Alonzo with a quote from Vikings Middle Linebacker E.J. Henderson:

“I think it’s good to have that resolution so we can just move on and focus on us, and focus on getting ready for the season without all these outside distractions,” said linebacker E.J. Henderson after the Yahoo! Sports report. “I definitely think it’s good to have a resolution, if there is one. But who knows what the personnel guys, and the guys we’ve got upstairs, what they’re going to end up doing?”

WCCO TV’s Mike Max .

Brett Favre To Vikings Saga: Day 2

I’ve collected a handful of videos of YouTubers responding to the Brett Favre to the Vikings story at my Videolicious.tv daily video blog.

ESPN has camped out at Winter Park, so Brett Favre to the Minnesota Vikings appears to be the story of the NFL offseason.

ESPN’s John Clayton addresses some of the issues were Favre to wear purple this season, Gene Wojciechowski is all for Farve playing in Minnesota, while former Strib beat writer Kevin Seifert points to what the story says about the Vikings’ current quarterback situation:

More than anything, this facet of the story illustrates how far down the plank the Vikings have already walked. We’re in the second week of May, and they are shopping for a new starting quarterback. The simple act of setting up a meeting with Favre sends a mixed message, at best, to the two quarterbacks they had planned to pit in a training camp competition. Simply by virtue of Tuesday’s story, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels already know they’re on the brink of being pushed aside — at least for one year.

From this vantage point, it seems the Vikings have boxed themselves into a situation that mandates an agreement with Favre. They’re in no position to make demands, including offseason attendance. If Favre walks away, or if the Vikings move on because he won’t accede to their requests, Childress would be left with the unenviable task of rebuilding the trust of his remaining quarterbacks.

Jared Allen pipes in and likes the idea of Favre in the locker room:

NFL.com columnist Vic Carucci discusses what the move would mean to the the Vikings/Packers rivalry, NFL Total Access did a segment on the risk versus the reward of landing Favre, and Steve Mariucci gives his take.

Sports Illustrated‘s Don Banks is sick of it:

It’s beyond tiresome by now. Let’s face it, it’s sad and kind of pathetic that we’re once again being sucked into another Brett Favre watch. What are we up to now, four, five summers in a row with the same basic storyline: Will he play or won’t he? The indecision of the man has become as legendary as his football feats, and infinitely less entertaining.

Closer to home, Strib beat writers Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins quote a very excited Bernard Berrian:

“I try not to get too caught up in it because I don’t want to get too overexcited, thinking that he’s coming and then all of a sudden he doesn’t,” Berrian said. “He would be a great addition to the team. He’s a great player. He’s done so much for the NFL by himself. He definitely would bring leadership to the team.

“He’s been in the league for 17, 18 years and to have a player of his caliber come in, it speaks volumes for what he can do for this team.”

PiPressers Rick Alonzo and Sean Jensen get Rich Gannon and Pete Bercich‘s take:

“From an X’s and O’s standpoint, it would be perfect,” said Bercich, an analyst for KFAN-AM and a former Vikings assistant coach. “They’ve talked about how, in New York, they used him a lot. They might have overused him, maybe. I guarantee you Childress is either going to show him the film or talk to him about how with (Peterson) standing behind him, he’s going to get a lot of one-on-one coverage. He’s one of the best play-action passers there ever was.”

“It’s the same verbiage, same terminology,” Gannon said of the Vikings’ offense and the Packers’ system. “The comfort level is so important for a quarterback like that. What they did last year, in New York, they bastardized the system. They made all kinds of changes and tweaks. Everyone had to learn different stuff, because of Brett. He’d audible, and he’d be referring to the old terminology.

“Stepping into this system, with the great running game, and the solid defense… just manage the game, and take care of the football, there’s no reason he can’t win 11 or 12 games.”

Darren Sharper thinks it’s a good idea, too but Nick Barnett says the move would make Favre a traitor.

WCCO TV’s Esme Murphy covers the chatter, online and off, about the Favre story while Jason DeRusha reports on the financial impact Favre’s purpleness would mean to the team.

Brett Favre To Vikings Talk

The Brett Favre annual offseason drama continues with ESPN.com’s report yesterday that Brad Childress will meet with the 39-year-old quarterback with a torn biceps tendon and questionable motivations to discuss his future as a Viking.

The Strib confirmed the ESPN story last night. Star Tribune reporters Chris Miller and Judd Zulgad discuss the topic in a Web video but, stupidly, the paper doesn’t allow you to either embed the video or link directly to it, so if you want to watch it, go directly to the Strib’s Vikings section.

Incumbent starter Sage Rosenfels is burying his head in the sand and Strib columnist Jim Souhan doesn’t want Favre because:

There are lots of good reasons for coaxing a future Hall of Fame quarterback out of retirement. As long the Vikings don’t think one of them is an aging Favre’s ability to propel his team to the Super Bowl, then, what the heck? Sign Favre, watch the fireworks, and understand that this January, Favre might wind up looking all too much like a cross between Brad Johnson and Tarvaris Jackson.

Favre is the supermodel who maxes out your credit cards. He is the sports car that wipes out your bank account. He is enticing, and he is captivating, and he is trouble.

But PiPress columnist Tom Powers says Childress needs to woo Favre because:

Even if you hate the idea of Favre joining the Vikings, think of the excitement it would create. This is exactly the type of kick-start the Vikings need in this tough economy. Interest will go off the charts.

But more important than any intangibles is the simple fact that he is a better quarterback than anyone the Vikings have on their roster. Favre is better than what they have, he won’t cost any players or draft choices in return, and they have the money to pay him. Signing him should be a no-brainer.

Fellow Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere confidently predicts Favre will sign with the Vikings:

And, to round out the Favre coverage, PiPresser Charlie Waters envisions a bundle that includes both Favre and former Packers teammate, right tackle Mark Tauscher.

Purple Pain

Minnesota Vikings v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s never been easy to be a Vikings fan but this year is more agonizing than most. We have plenty of talent but when they get on the field, they are often underwhelming.

Last week was a perfect example. Through nearly the entire first half against the Buccaneers, the Vikings appeared to have the game well in hand. Adrian Peterson was running the ball well and the defense was shutting Tampa Bay down.

But when the Vikings got the ball back with 47 seconds remaining in the half, they ran the ball. They didn’t even try to seize the opportunity. Still, they headed to the locker room with a 10-3 lead.

But the second half of the game was all Buccaneers; as so often happens, the opponent had clearly made adjustments while we hadn’t.

The Vikes had no answer to the tight end seam pass and they did not utilize Adrian Peterson. You’ve got the most talented running back in the league and you’re down in the fourth quarter and you don’t have Peterson on the field when you need him most? WTF?!?

Having only a handful of plays in the final quarter is no excuse for sitting Peterson. He should be on the field if for no other reason than seizing the attention of the defense. If you’re not going to actually use Peterson, at least use him as a diversion.

Yet again, this was a game the Vikings should have won.

And it is for that reason why this year has been an especially painful one for Vikings fans who have long ago learned pain management techniques.

If only…

If only the Vikings were more a bit creative offensively. If only the Vikings had started the season with Gus Frerrote at the helm. If only the Vikes made the most of the considerable talent they have. If only the Vikings displayed the killer instinct that good teams possess. If only the Vikings wouldn’t be timid when presented with an opportunity to put a dagger through the heart of their opponent.

So, yes, the Vikings are tied for first place in a weak division and despite uninspiring play, are poised to make a run at a division title. Being the true Vikings fan (read masochist), I will watch every game and enjoy what I can but it is so hard to get excited about this team.

This team does just enough to give you hope but not enough inspire confidence. One thing is sure, coach Brad Childress‘ future starts today against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Why I Hate The Patriots

  Tom Brady’s Red Boots 
  Originally uploaded by doubleess65

Let me first say that I love , I knew those who were writing his football obituary were wrong, I knew he was going to blow up the league this year, and I’m glad he had a record year, broke ‘s record, and will get to play in the Super Bowl.

That said, with the exception of Moss, I cannot stand the . The Sporting News had an article some months back that quoted ‘s wife, as the approached their third Super Bowl title, complaining that everyone now hated San Francisco. Everyone used to love the 49ers but now that they were going for, and likely to win, a three-peat everyone was against them. It was in this context that the article tried to explain the animosity many now feel against the Patriots.

Dynasty fatigue certainly explains part of my loathing for the Pats but it’s much more than that. I haven’t felt this way about the Patriots until this year but now I think they are a bunch of punks. Here’s why:


  Bill Belichick 
  Originally uploaded
by ‘Ey Capernicus

First and most obviously, the Patriots are cheaters. They are documented cheaters. They got caught red-handed cheating. And now there are by taping a walk through before the game. If you know what your opponent plans to do beforehand, it is clearly a huge advantage.

Patriots apologists–mostly the NFL talking heads and broadcasters who are supposed to be impartial as they call games–dismiss the cheating by saying that now that they’ve been fined and their documents have been turned into the league, they are no longer cheating and besides, they are superior team anyway, which their undefeated season proves and can’t we put this behind us finally and forever and declare God?

Well, I don’t know that the Patriots haven’t continued to cheat. How can I? destroyed all the evidence? There is only one reason you destroy evidence; because it is damning. So I’m not buying that the Patriots are that good and that they no longer benefit from their years, it turns out, of cheating.

A less talented and less athletic team can vastly outplay a superior team if they know what their opponent is going to do. I know this first-hand from playing football myself by peaking into the opponents’ huddle and watching the quarterback diagram a play. When it works, it works beautifully because I know exactly what the team is going to do and can put myself in position to defeat the play.

Because the evidence has been destroyed, I don’t know how good Tom Brady. I don’t know that he hasn’t simply benefited from the Patriots’ cheating.

The Patriot Way = Arrogance

From Head Cheater on down, the Patriots are breathtakingly arrogant. And it’s Belichick who sets the tone. expressed his disdain for the classlessness of the Patriots in general and Belichick in particular last year after the Patriots rubbed the ‘ nose in the dirt following their playoff victory:

That classless behavior was also on display last year when Belichick dissed his former assistant after beating the :

Then, of course, there’s the time over a waiver wire player.

After Mangini exposed the Patriots cheating ways, the Patriots made a point of running up the score on their opponents. Bush league. And I mean that in both the traditional and presidential sense (or, perhaps they’re one and the same).

Poor Sports

Perhaps the biggest joke of the year was .

There is a team in my touch football league that is extremely talented and they play very smart football. They nearly always wain the championship. Winning is so important to them that they pay people to play with them so they have the best talent. Pretty lame in my book for a touch football league, but there you go. They are fun to play with and friendly and good sports…when they are winning. When they are losing, they turn into a bunch of whiny pricks who try and knock you over and complain to the refs about every play. They turn into ***holes.

The Patriots behaved exactly like them toward the end of the year when they had been in close games and were losing.


The only good thing to come out of the Patriots this season is that we will finally shut the 1972 Dolphins the hell up:

So that’s my indictment against the Patriots. I my mind, they will forever be associated with and and they’re accomplishments will thus be followed by the qualifying asterisk.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins Preview

Things seem to be falling the ‘ way today. beat the and, playing for home-field advantage (and this time of year, playing at Lambeau is a decided advantage), the had their ass handed to them by the .

With a win tonight, the Vikings will clinch a playoff berth.

But the scare me.

They are ninth against the run, so it’s going to be a tough game tonight. They will probably not have to put eight or nine men in the box to stop the run, which means it will be more difficult for to make them pay.

The Vikings offensive line will need to play much better tonight than they did last week, especially . Birk was man-handled by the Bears back-up defensive tackle last week. Despite Washington’s tough run D, the Vikings are going to have to pound the ball often to make the play-action work. And, by the way, there’s always an excellent chance of Adrian Peterson ripping off a long TD run or two. He nearly had two last week.

How bout a dual backfield with both Peterson and Chester Taylor and let the Redskins pick their poison about who they want to stop? I’ve been waiting for this all season and I think today is the day to implement it.

The Redskins are 18th against the pass, so there’s a good chance we’ll see Jackson toss the ball with some frequency but he’ll have to avoid the mistakes he made against the Bears last week. He’ll also be without wide receiver .

This is a game where it will be a huge advantage to get out on top early and then pummel the Skins to demoralize them early. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bevel call a trick play on the fist series.

What scares me the most about Washington, though, is .

First, since he hasn’t started in 10 years, there’s precious little tape of the guy, so the Vikings defense has had one and a half games worth of material with which to prepare for him. Second, Collins has been in the same system for years, so presumably he knows his offense inside and out. Lastly, the Vikings have historically played poorly against backup QBs.

Washington has the 11th ranked rushing offense and despite boasting a dangerous duo of and , but I’m only concerned with them to the degree that they are able to set up a credible play-action.

The Redskins have the 4th worst special teams unit, so could have a big game returning kicks. And that could prove to be the difference in this game.

I expect most of this game will be a fight for field position, tough and close. The single most promising thing that emerged from last week’s game was that the Vikings played badly but still found a way to overcome their poor play and turnovers to win the game. That’s something we haven’t seen in a while.

I don’t know that I buy into the Vikings being the hottest team going into the playoffs, as so many national pundits have proclaimed them to be, but a win tonight will go a long way toward convincing me.