Brett Favre Retires: Can the Minnesota Vikings Move on Without Him?
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter has just reported that Brett Favre will not return to the Minnesota Vikings for the 2010 season, leaving the NFC contenders in shambles.
Despite popular belief that Favre simply wanted to skip out on training camp, the veteran quarterback contacted Vikings' head coach Brad Childress early Tuesday to notify him of his decision.
This creates a major problem in Minnesota, which is now stuck with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels to compete for the starting job. In 33 career appearances Jackson has passed for 3,643 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions, and he has fumbled 10 times.
Rosenfels has not appeared in a game for the Vikings, but in 32 appearances for the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans, he has passed for 4,156 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions and has a career quarterback rating of 81.2.
Reports out of Vikings' training camp aren't promising either, as Rosenfels reportedly threw six interceptions in his first weekend of training camp. Either way, it will be hard to match Favre's outstanding 2009 numbers of 33 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.
Impact on Vikings' Offense
No matter which quarterback ultimately earns the starting job, Brad Childress will have to significantly adjust the playbook to ensure that either Jackson or Rosenfels simply manages the game, rather than be a gunslinger as Favre typically was.
The Vikings have arguably the best running back in the National Football League, Adrian Peterson, and he will be called upon to carry the team if it hopes to make another deep postseason run. The Vikings in the draft selected Toby Gerhart out of Stanford, who will serve as a power back.
There is no way that Childress will dial up as many pass attempts with an unproven quarterback taking snaps, and teams will game-plan to contain Adrian Peterson, shutting down an offense that was making highlight reels every Sunday just eight months ago.
Just How Good Are the Vikings' Wide Receivers?
We all saw the highlights from last season.
Rookie of the Year Percy Harvin was outstanding, catching 60 passes for 890 yards and six touchdowns.
Bernard Berrian caught 55 passes for 618 yards and four touchdowns.
Sidney Rice caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.
Now, the question arises as to whether any of these three receivers can perform the same way without Favre under center.
Each week, Favre managed to make one of the Vikings' top receivers a candidate for Player of the Week, from the infamous touchdown pass to Greg Lewis for the game-winning touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers, to the Week 17 demolition of the New York Giants, in which Sidney Rice caught six passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Should Brett Favre Have Told Brad Childress Earlier?
Whether Brett knew he was coming back or not, the Vikings' front office should have prepared accordingly in the 2010 NFL Draft for a Favre departure. Instead of selecting Chris Cook or Toby Gerhart , the Vikings likely would have selected a Jimmy Clausen or a Colt McCoy.
With the respect Favre was given in his only season in Minnesota, he should have returned that same degree of respect and allowed the team to make the necessary adjustments in the offseason , rather than waiting until the first week of training camp to announce his decision.
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