Vikings coach Brad Childress certainly wasn't surprised on Monday afternoon when asked about his decision to attempt to remove Brett Favre from Sunday's loss at Carolina. In fact, Childress was ready with his answer at his day-after-game news conference and it was, well, an interesting one.
"It was more of a stream off consciousness, where he comes of the field, I’m watching what I’m watching, and I said, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m thinking about taking you out of the game here,'" Childress said. "I mean, you’re getting your rear end kicked’ through not a lot of fault of his own. As I’m watching that and as I’m watching that occur, I’m giving him a stream of consciousness.
"Obviously, he didn’t want anything to do with that, which I certainly appreciate from his standpoint. From any quarterback. He wasn’t like, 'OK, let me get my hat on.' That wasn’t in his makeup. So I appreciate that from his standpoint."
Favre's lack of interest in leaving the game caused the veteran to tell Childress that he was going to continue and that ended up being the case. This is an interesting situation because the Vikings were up 7-6 in the third quarter when Childress talked to Favre on the sideline -- NBC cameras caught a brief shot of the two talking -- and a move to Tarvaris Jackson at that point would have been a shocker.
But that's what Childress evidently wanted to do in a "stream of consciousness" moment.
"You guys can characterize it as heated," Childress said. "There was pretty good communication going on back and forth. I didn’t see it as a heated. I didn’t see it as any different from the conversation that I had with him at Arizona after the game by his locker [on Dec. 6 after the Vikings had lost]. There was a back and forth of information and feelings.
"This game is an emotional game, particularly when you’re right in the middle of it. So I appreciate his wanting to stick to it. I know that people talk about pulling the quarterback. We’re not talking about maiming the quarterback. It’s what happens with quarterbacks. They play, they come out, they stay in. So, that’s what it is. It happens in a team sport and it happens in football."
Childress declined to answer if he has given thought to pulling Favre from other games because he felt a change was needed. ESPN reported today that Childress wanted to pull Favre from the Vikings' victory on Nov. 1 at Green Bay and sources told the Star Tribune that Childress also was going to pull Favre from the Vikings victory on Nov. 15 over Detroit at the Metrodome. In both cases, he was talked out of making the move.
Childress clearly was not thrilled that Favre went into detail about the fact Childress wanted to pull him out during his postgame news conference. Childress had given a very vague answer when asked about the sideline conversation.
"I think he probably gave you a stream of consciousness from the best of his recollection, wouldn’t you say? Yeah," Childress said when asked about Favre's decision to discuss the matter. "The great thing about telling the truth is you can tell it over and over again. I know exactly how it happened. What I said was, ‘It has nothing to do with how you’re playing. It has to do with what’s happening to you out there.’ And again, there’s volatility and emotion involved."
Asked if he had approached Favre to give him the option to come out if that's what he wanted, Childress said: "Yeah, and that’s a good question. I don’t know if I knew at the time what I thought was going to happen from that. I wasn’t looking for a, 'Are you looking to get out? Are you looking to stay in?'
"Again, it was a stream of consciousness. It was the thought that I was having at the time. Usually children do that. They give you the straight stream of consciousness all the time, appropriate or inappropriate. Mine was more communicative. It was to stream some dialogue. I wasn’t trying to get a goat. I was just telling him what I was seeing."
Childress also said that Favre did not defy him by refusing to leave the game, despite the fact many are going to feel that way.
"Not at all. Not at all," he said. "It was something that was talked through. I wish I could remember how it finished. It wasn’t a, 'So there.' It wasn’t like that. Things like that generally don’t happen on the sideline. Somebody may have come up with a book of pictures or another quarterback may have wandered up or something like that. I don’t even know what it looked like on TV."