Brett Favre: 5 Major Reasons He's Holding the Minnesota Vikings Back
With seven games remaining in the 2010 regular season, the Minnesota Vikings have fallen so far down the NFC ladder that a bid for a playoff spot is pretty much a faded aspiration. Miscues, turnovers, and poor decision making are all the normal symptoms that befall a team at 3-6, but these are the symptomatic issues that have surrounded quarterback Brett Favre more than anyone else.
Yes, there are some clear cut issues within the coaching staff that must be addressed, and we are also talking about a team with a few missing puzzle pieces, but in a whole the load has clearly fallen on the seemingly broken down shoulders of Brett Favre.
I’d like to take my own speculative look at some of the reasons Brett Favre is holding the Minnesota Vikings back, while also leaving the floor open to your input and reasons as to why this is happening, so take a peek and chime in if you so desire.
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Brett Favre entered the 2010 season with an injury predisposition that never seemed to go away. In fact, as the season has progressed, the man who was once-"Iron Man" is now more like the "Tin Man".
But what makes things worse is the fact that he won’t quit, which is just as admirable as it is unintelligent.
A quarterback has to be as healthy as possible to fully optimize his potential—even Brett Favre—and when that health is compromised, the quarterback’s quality level dwindles at an alarming rate as we’ve seen through nine games thus far.
His latest addition to his laundry list of injuries is his shoulder, the one attached to his throwing arm!
Short of actually cutting the guy's arms and legs off, Favre seemingly isn’t going realize the negative effects his injuries and aging body is having on his team or his own output.
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A no-brainer here, but the underlying issue is that even a 10 TD to 16 INT ratio is overlooked by the staff because it is Brett Favre.
There aren’t very many teams in the NFL that would not have already explored other options—at the very least tried something different.
Why? Look no further than Favre.
Now I do understand that a lot of this also falls on the dimwitted decision making of the coaching staff, but the effect on the team is more than enough to suggest it is holding back the Vikings from doing more than they have.
The Vikings only pass 54.6 percent of the time, so it isn’t as if he is playing roulette with attempts here, he just isn’t seeing the field the same way as he used to, and he surely isn’t throwing the ball with the same velocity and umph as he used to.
This type of situation has held the Vikings back from day one, and will continue to do so until a massive change happens.
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Let’s say you were an NFL starter on a team that has more than enough talent to find their way to the postseason. And let’s say each week you go out there, with a team leader that is legendary in his own right, but his declining health and systematically poor play holds you back from ever reaching your full potential.
How would that make you feel? And how do you think that would make your whole team feel each week?
Moral is one of the biggest X-factors in a team’s success. Without it, even the best team can fail amidst the easiest of ventures.
By now, the Vikings have got to be feeling the draining toll of Brett Favre and everything that has been associated with him through nine games.
But the real issue is his unwillingness to admit the severity of his ailments, and his unwillingness to say “Hey, maybe I should sit this week, and see if someone else can give us a better shot at winning.”
Think about how that affects your teammates.
Does it show grit and perseverance? Or does it show a fear of failure?
To be honest, it would only show perseverance it Favre was actually doing something more constructive and positive than he has thus far, and when you’re left with a fear of failure issue with your quarterback, the whole team is automatically held back.
The Defensive Toll
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Brett Favre has thrown 16 interceptions in 295 attempts, and he has thrown at least one interception in every single game this year except for one against Dallas.
In fact, Favre has not only thrown a pick in eight out of nine games, but he has three games with a many picks, and two games with as many picks.
Its one thing for a defense to deal with interceptions from their own quarterback, it comes with the territory. But it’s a whole different ball of wax when the defense is ushered out onto the field over and over, and sometimes over again every single week.
Not only does that directly affect the in-game stamina of these guys, but it also introduces increased chances of injuries to the defensive players.
The defense is not being afforded the chance to perform at their optimal level, because Favre and his turnover rate is holding them back from doing so; an issue that must change, but seemingly has no end in sight.
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Being a member of the 40-year-old quarterback club is an exceptional honor to say the least. It is a club graced with such members as Warren Moon, Doug Flutie, and Sonny Jurgensen to name a few.
But when it was time to call it quits, these other guys did; when the time came that each of these players knew they held their team back more than they advanced them forward, they all decided that enough was enough.
The game of football—as a professional career—has the power to take a 25-year-old body, and transform it into a wheel chair bound memory of what used to be. And when the body begins to show its physical decline, not even the greatest of players can rise above what is inevitable.
It sometimes appears as if Favre is really trying to do the impossible.
But at what point does it all become clear for Favre? At what point does Favre the football player come back down to earth and realize he is holding this team back?
Great quarterbacks don’t just pop up like daisies in the spring; they are a rare breed that only come around once every so often. And some of the qualities that make a quarterback great aren’t necessarily a gorgeous stat line; rather, it’s the gritty no holds barred swagger they don each week.
It’s the lack of fear when taking the types of chances that a nicely groomed franchise quarterback would never take.
It's that never say quit mentality that each surrounding teammate feeds off of.
It’s that little extra special “thing” that just seems so damn magical.
But being a great quarterback also comes with its own set of limitations that eventually asks a true leader to swallow his pride, let go of his glory days, and remember what it truly means to be a “team player”.
It’s an aspect that helps your team, instead of holding it back; an aspect—perhaps the last—that Favre has yet to achieve.