No Brett Favre? Don't Panic, Vikings Fans
Well, it appears that this Favre to Minnesota story may be coming to a close.
On Thursday afternoon, Yahoo! Sports was told by a source close to the Minnesota Vikings that the team would not sign Brett Favre after Favre told head coach Brad Childress that he would remain retired after a telephone call in the past day.
After reading many articles and hearing fan reaction, it appears that the Vikings organization might just close down.
Wait, wasn't this team 10-6 last year with a NFC North Division Championship?
Isn't this the team with the best running back in the game, as well as the best rush defense in the game?
Isn't this a team that has had no problems with the quarterback position over the past three seasons?
Okay, well the answer to that last question is probably a no.
Vikings fans, cheer up. There is much reason to be optimistic heading into the 2009 season, even without Brett Favre under center.
When Peterson seemed to get worn out with his aggressive running style, Taylor seemed to pick up the load nicely, especially catching passes out of the backfield and moving the chains on third downs.
The Vikings had trouble moving the ball through the air last season, mostly due to inconsistent quarterback play. When we did see the Vikings throw the ball effectively, we saw the receivers come up huge.
Wide receivers Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin look to spread the field and take some heat off of Adrian Peterson this season. Berrian, after a slow start, seemed to come on as a deep threat in 2008.
Harvin, the Vikings' No. 22 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, is an explosive receiver, running a 4.41 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
At one point, around nine years ago, the Vikings had a Pro Bowl center in Jeff Christy. In 2000, Christy signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many wondered how the Vikings would fill this hole. Christy had been a leader on and off the field.
However, there was a kid from Harvard the team had drafted in the sixth round of the 1998 draft named Matt Birk. The rest is history.
Now, the team is in a similar situation with center John Sullivan. Sullivan was drafted in, you guessed it, the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He has had a year learning from Birk, is a smart guy, and is a good candidate to step in and be a leader.
As I mentioned earlier, the quarterback position is and has been a question mark in the Vikings offense.
After being benched after week two in favor of Gus Frerotte, Tarvaris Jackson was re-inserted as the team's starter after Frerotte was injured in Week 14 at Detroit. Jackson played well down the stretch, throwing four touchdowns in Week 15 at Arizona on his way to winning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The part people will remember is his struggle against the blitz-happy Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson seemed rattled throughout the game. He was often forced out of the pocket to throw the ball, and when he was in the pocket, he had trouble stepping into throws down the field.
During this offseason's free agency period, the team traded a fourth round pick for Houston Texans quarterback Sage Rosenfels. Rosenfels, an eight-year NFL veteran, has never really had a chance to show what he can do as an NFL starter.
From what I have seen, he has a very quick release and can make decisions on where to go with the ball very quickly.
The negative is his touchdowns to interceptions ratio. Last season, Rosenfels threw for six touchdowns while also tossing 10 interceptions. He has a knack for not taking care of the ball, something the Vikings coaching staff will work on with him throughout the offseason.
Although neither quarterback has the ideal starting experience in this league, it should shape up to be a competitive battle this summer in Mankato, MN, where the Vikings hold their training camp—and competition is always good.
Although Brett Favre will most likely pass on the Vikings' offer to come in and start, there is no reason to call off the 2009 season.
With talent all around and a quarterback competition that will push both Jackson and Rosenfels, there is no reason for panic in Vikings country.
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