Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Letting it sink in

I've been rolling around in my head all the different ways to address "the topic," but there's so much to talk about, I don't think I can come up with a post that's both all-encompassing and coherent. So I'll break down my thoughts on a point-by-point basis.

* The deal itself. Last I heard, we were talking about $10 million for one year. Instead, Brett Favre will be a Viking for the next two years, making $12m this year and $13m the next.


It's nice for Sage Rosenfels, who signed a two-year, $9 million deal a few months ago and likely becomes the highest-paid backup quarterback in the league. And it's obviously good for Favre. But I can't think it's good for anyone else, especially the Vikings. NFL salaries and contracts are a dubious science, but did we really just give a nearly 40-year-old player a top-25 salary? And a higher salary when he turns 41? Really?

Rob Brzezinski, the Vikings' capologist (and maybe the best at his job in all of football), is crying.
* Favre's health. He has a small tear in the rotator cuff of his throwing shoulder. But hey, he's started every game for the last 17 years, so who cares?

Except that he was awful for the Jets after he tore the cuff and only had surgery a few months ago. And you know he won't come out of the game, no matter how bad the arm gets. This has all the look of a karmalicious "Brett Favre finally succumbs to injury after joining the Vikings" season. Packer fans are laughing at us.

* Training camp. Brett didn't want to go because, after all, he knows everything about the offense already. The Vikings are out of camp, so now he signs. In hindsight, we should have known.

* Chemistry. It's probably overrated, but when your own teammates call you out for being a jerk (as Thomas Jones did) and you're likely perceived as getting a free pass from the work of training camp and there's no way in hell the head coach or his OC, your good buddy, will ever criticize you...

* No excuses. Brett did this his way. He could have been with the team three months ago but he hemmed and hawed his way for months. But it's OK, right? All we hear is how well he already knows the offense, which wasn't the case early on with the Jets last year, and everyone was quick to make excuses for his spotty play.

Brett Favre will need to come out and be like the Brett Favre of old, slinging the football around, breaking the opposing team's hearts with last-minute drive, and showing that same hard-nosed grit and determination he always has as he leads the Vikings into and through the playoffs. There will be no "It wasn't the right situation." There will be no "He's struggling with the scheme." There will be no "He's not familiar with his teammates." Those were all correctable, and Brett Favre chose not to. He chose it. Nothing was forced upon him. It was his decision to make, and his alone, and he should be held responsible for the consequences.

There won't be any free passes given if the Vikings suffer a rash of injuries. Brett Favre won the Super Bowl with an arguably less-talented team in 1996, and if he can do it with the 1996 Packers, he can do it with the 2009 Vikings, even if they're missing a star or two. Reggie White only had 8.5 sacks that year; Jared Allen should top that number, easily. Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levens are no Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. Antonio Freeman had 56 catches for 933 yards; Bernard Berrian had 48 for 964 in 2008. I look at the Packers' starting offensive line and don't see anyone there who resembles Steve Hutchinson or Bryant McKinnie. So even if E.J. Henderson goes and gets hurt again in the first month or Adrian Peterson misses half a dozen games, there's no excuse for why Brett Favre can't win a Super Bowl with this team. I mean, that's why we got him, right? We can not win the Super Bowl just fine with Sage or T-Jack.

There won't even be a free pass given if Favre himself gets hurt because -- guess what? -- 40-year-old (and 41-year-old) quarterbacks often get hurt. He and the Vikings knew this going in and while it's safe to say that Favre is more durable than most, nobody, not even Brett Favre, can play forever.



Peter said...

The best part about this post was when you said that the Vikings can NOT win the Superbowl just fine with Jackson/Rosenfels.

That's a great way to put it.

Go win, or this season is an astounding failure.

Puddn'head said...

Come on. The Vikings did not sign him expecting him to be the 1996 Favre. Or at least if they did, they are idiots, and I don't think they are. They are not expecting him to carry this team, as he did that one to a great degree. This is not the New York Jets, or the vast majority of the Packers teams of the last 40 years. They are expecting him to merely be a credible starter that can make the offense multidimensional for a change, and in doing that also help free up the other dimension 9the run game).

This is still AP's team, even with Favre. I hope to god Favre realizes that, and I hope and PRAY to god that the coaches realize it. YOU don't seem to realize it, when you say that we should still win the Superbowl with favre even if Adrian misses half the season. But, thank god, it doesn't matter if YOU get it or not.

Jason said...

First, the passing game has virtually no effect on the running game:



Second, I agree that this isn't 1996 Favre, and the Vikings probably realize that, too. Then why did they sign him? How is a QB who threw the same number of interceptions as he did touchdowns last year an improvement over what we already had? Why are we spending $12-$13 million on a player who is, at best, a marginal upgrade?

This team went 10-6 with some really bad quarterbacking most of last year. They could go 10-6 (or probably 11-5 or 12-4, if they get a few breaks) with the same quarterbacking this year. If we're going to devote all this effort and all this energy and all this money to Brett Favre, he should be able to make the team better than that. Otherwise, there was no point in going through all this.

Disappointed Titans Fan said...

Sadly, Sage Rosenfels is still only the second-highest paid backup QB in the league.

Vince Young is scheduled to make $12m this year and almost $15 next, thanks to the back-loaded deal he signed as a rookie.