Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Favre makes his point

Posted by: under Vikings offense, Vikings players, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: September 9, 2009 - 4:18 PM

Brett Favre decided upon his arrival in Minnesota that he should talk to his teammates as a group to tell them exactly where things stood with him. The quarterback knew that many in the locker room had followed his roller-coaster ride this spring and summer that centered on whether he would end his retirement. Favre also knows his teammates are of the ESPN generation and likely had heard everyone else's opinion.

So Favre gave his opinion in a way recently when coach Brad Childress told him to go ahead and address his new teammates. 

"I don't think anything needed to be addressed," Favre said Wednesday during his mid-week news conference. "For the most part, it's all been addressed. Not from me. I asked Brad a while back if just at some point I could speak to the team from the heart. I think the guys within these last three weeks have gotten a pretty good judge of what type of guy I am, what type of player. It's obviously different because now in this locker room, amongst this team, one of 53, all the stuff that went on prior to training camp and up until me signing. I just wanted to address, I didn't feel like I needed to. But I wanted the guys to know where I stood and what I was here for. Sort of the timeline to what happened and things like that.

"Not that I felt like I had to. ... I felt like it came across [well] because it was from the heart. At 39 years old, as I look out into the room, I saw a lot of me out there. At 21, at 28, at 32, at whatever. I can just think back to throughout my career and the different stages I went through and all the teammates I played with and just the way you think. As we all have gotten older you think differently. You look at things a lot differently than you did as a younger person. You feel differently. I just kind of wanted to address it that way. Not that it's going to give us three more wins or three more losses. I wanted to be genuine and the guys know where I stood."

Favre, who will start his first game for the Vikings on Sunday against Cleveland, said he feels good but admits that doesn't mean he's at full strength.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not physically or mentally 100 percent," he said. "I don’t know at 39 if I’d ever be 100 percent physically. But as I’ve said numerous times, I feel real confident in the plays. There’s plays that I’ve run here in the past. But how it pertains to Percy [Harvin], Sidney [Rice], Bernard [Berrian], Shank [Visanthe Shiancoe], those guys. One play that I’ve run 100, 1,000 times or whatever that this guy may run different. So from that standpoint there’s still work to do and there will be throughout the season.

"You just can’t practice every play with every guy and there’s not a substitute for game-type situations. As far as the work that I’ve gotten, I feel good about what’s taken place. I think for this team we need to continue to build chemistry. To me it’s the most important thing. Everything else will kind of fall into line as we go along. But it’s chemistry. Knowing each other and how they play the game and enjoying one another in the locker rooms and the bus trips and flights and things like that. That’s to me as important as anything.”

Favre who will enter Sunday with his starting streak at 269 consecutive games admits he doesn't know if he will be able to play the full season. He's coming off surgery on his biceps tendon in his throwing arm and continues to deal with a slightly torn rotator cuff.

"I may not finish the year," he said. "If you would have asked me my first year if I would finish I’d said I may not. No one thought I’d play 18 straight years without missing a game, me included. I have no idea what’s going to happen. None. And that’s an opinion. I have my opinions, as we all do, good or bad. As I said when I came in here, it’s a great opportunity. I knew that from day one. When Brad called the last time, it was like, ‘There’s no guarantees.’

"They were willing to take that chance, and I was willing to take that chance. I can remember Brad saying, ‘You’ve got to cross over the line, take a chance.’ There was this fear and reluctance in my mind, at 39, and having surgery, that I wouldn’t… I shouldn’t say play the whole year – but play at a high enough level. That could include not finishing the year, but as a lot of people have said, you won’t know unless you try. So that’s an opinion; expert opinion, I guess. But I don’t pay any attention to that, nor the good. You’ve still got to go out and play. This team is relying on me to play well and play every game, and that’s my intentions."

Interestingly, Favre also made it clear that he would have been willing to end his consecutive games streak last season with the Jets when he was dealing with the biceps injury.
 
"Absolutely, I was receptive to it last year," he said. "When we finally did an MRI and found out I had a torn biceps last year, I felt like, with about four or five games left, that even though I was making some pretty good throws and some decent plays, I felt like I was doing the team more harm because I was missing on some throws. Subtle, just a yard off, 2 yards off, maybe a tad behind.
 
"I talked with Brian Schottenhemier, talked to Mike Tannenbaum, and my quarterback coach who now is the coordinator for Cleveland, and addressed that with him that I thought maybe I was doing more harm than good. They knew I had a torn biceps, which we backed off in practice. I took a cortisone shot a couple times to try to relieve the pain. I started pressing. I was real receptive to [sitting]. We felt like, after talking with each one of them, that it was best to just – we’d come this far – to just finish it out. I had no qualms about having Kellen [Clemens] play, and that probably hasn’t even been addressed before because I didn’t think it would need to be addressed at the end of the season, but I just didn’t feel confident because of this injury. So sure, I don’t want to go through that and neither do the Vikings."

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