The Minnesota Vikings Shouldn't Burn the Brett Favre Bridge Yet

M. EccherCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2009

Driving, e-mails to your boss, and quarterback decisions: It's best to steer clear of all three when angry.

Right now, the Minnesota Vikings have plenty of reasons to be angry.

They've been jilted at the altar by The Indecider himself. They've got too little quarterback talent on the depth chart and too many purple No. 4 jerseys on backorder. They just spent an entire summer making locker room-wrecking overtures, only to become the crash test dummies for the newest phrase in Brett Favre's vocabulary: "No more."

And the fans? If you stick your head out the window in Minneapolis, that sound you'll hear reverberating through the streets is the cacaphony of slammed doors that the Vikings faithful had propped wide open in welcome.

In a few fleeting ticks of the clock, the local barometer on Favre has swung from blissful to bitter.

Star Tribune blogger Seth Stohs declared, "The second that training camp starts on Friday should be the exact moment that Vikings leadership should delete Favre's number from their phones."

Columnist Jim Souhan opined, "Favre should be ashamed of himself for toying with an entire organization."

And while Favre hinted at the possibility that he'll consider a midseason return ("If someone calls Nov. 1, who knows?"), Brad Childress proclaimed, "There's not a chance from my standpoint. I'm going forward with the guys that we have."

Pump the brakes for a minute, Chilly.

You're still steamed about the Favre situation, no doubt. After waiting on him all summer, you want to sound firm and decisive to remind everyone who's in control. And you need to throw a some support behind the guys whose jobs have been hanging in limbo for months.

But before you say anything you can't take back about what will and won't happen, step back and take stock of the situation.

You're about to hold a quarterback competition between a journeyman backup and a project who has bounced between the starting role and the bench three times in the past two seasons.

You've got a stacked defense and a talented offense with a great big doughnut hole under center.

You didn't get any closer to a solution this week. "The guys you have" didn't get any better.

The difference between the 10-6 squad that got bounced from the opening round of the playoffs at home in January and the one taking the field in training camp this week is Sage Rosenfels, a handful of rookies, and a new special teams coordinator.

So like I said, let's not rule anything out just yet.

Believe me, I'm as irked about Favre as the next red-blooded Minnesotan. I saw him as a clear upgrade at the position. I thought he gave the Vikings the best chance to win.

When his arm isn't falling off, he's still a better passer than Jackson or Rosenfels.

When he's healthy and under control—as he was for the first two-thirds of last season—he's still a quality quarterback in a league in which quality quarterbacks are awfully hard to find.

Here's the thing: If that's true today, it'll probably be true on Nov. 1, too.

Of course, if the Vikes storm out of the gate 6-1, with T-Jack or Rosenfels looking sharp all the way, this will be a moot point. Nothing would put Favre in the past faster than a fast start.

But what if Minnesota stumbles early? What if they get hammered at home by Green Bay in Week Four? What if the quarterback situation starts messy and gets messier?

What if they're 4-3 as October winds down? What if they're 3-4?

At that point, it might be handy to have Favre waiting in the wings.

There are issues of pride, loyalty, and control at play here. There are hurt feelings and bruised egos. None of those things are especially helpful in making sound football decisions.

Brett Favre was a sound football decision on Tuesday. Unless Jackson and Rosenfels make leaps and bounds, he'll be a sound football decision in two or three months.

If the Vikings need him at that point, Brad Childress needs to pick up the phone.

Unless he deleted the number, that is.


Follow Vikings posts and updates on Twitter: MarinoEccher.


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