Brett Favre raised some eyebrows after the Vikings' 31-3 loss to Green Bay on Sunday when he said a couple of times that he wanted to re-evaluate things that evening.
When you're 41-years old and in your 20th NFL season, this could be considered code for re-evaluating whether you want to finish out a 3-7 season that appears all but lost. However, the quarterback attempted to clear up that matter Wednesday as he spoke two days after Brad Childress was replaced by Leslie Frazier as the Vikings coach.
"We have six games left, I hope to finish them all," Favre said. "Make that clear. I want to finish on a high note if my body will allow me and I can play up to my expectations, my standards. I want to do it. After the game, I wasn’t implying that I wouldn’t do it. I want to get this team back on track and that’s my goal.”
Favre, 41, spoke in a raspy voice and said he might be dealing with the flu.
It was no secret that Favre and Childress did not see eye-to-eye on how the Vikings offense was run and Favre said he had sent a text message to his former coach that has yet to be returned. Frazier spent time after Wednesday's walk-through talking to about a dozen veterans on the field.
"I can’t say I was surprised or shocked," Favre said of the move to Frazier. "I was probably more – and when I say this, I’m talking Monday and even Sunday after the game – it’s kind of the way our season has gone. I think back to how we played or didn’t play in this past game as opposed to who was coaching or not coaching us. Because ultimately it falls back on the players individually, whether you like your coach, you get along with him, agreed with what is called or not called. You still have to play and I think it would be easy to pass the buck off on the next player or next coach or past coach. It’s the way this business works. Coaches usually go first. Players, you can’t get rid of everybody right now. You wouldn’t field a team."
One of the complaints of the veteran quarterbacks who played for Childress was that their suggestions for the game plan weren't embraced or listened to. Frazier said he will "welcome wholeheartedly" input from Favre.
"I witnessed it with Peyton Manning, the effect that it had on our offense in Indianapolis, when he’d come in on Tuesday and give suggestions and Brett’s no different," Frazier said. "He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s seen just about every defensive front and coverage that you can see. So, his input will be invaluable. But at the same time, there are going to be some ideas and some thoughts that may not necessarily be a part of what we do, and he’ll understand that. We’ve already had some of those conversations, but we welcome those ideas and thoughts."
Pagac to handle defense
Fred Pagac's title might not change officially but Frazier made it clear the linebacker's coach will assume many of the responsibilities of the defensive coordinator. Frazier, of course, had held that title.
"Fred will help handle the brunt of things," Frazier said. "But he’ll get input from Joe [Woods, who coaches the defensive backs], he’ll get input from Karl [Dunbar, who coaches the line]. Obviously, I’ll have some input in what they’re doing. But he’s going to be the lead guy. He’ll give direction. He’ll give direction in the meetings, on the field, and he’ll be the lead guy."
Pagac also will take over the defensive calls in-game but he will get assistance from Woods and Dunbar. "They’re going to see things and say, ‘Hey Fred, think about this,'" Frazier said. "It’ll probably be a little bit more inclusive than it was when I was doing it on game day."
- Frazier said there are no other plans for changes or immediate departures on the coaching staff.
- Frazier has stressed he wants to see the practice tempo get better. Asked to elaborate on that, he said: "We're just going to make things game-like is probably the best way I can describe it. As much as we can. And the players expect that. We just want to get them in that mode that every practice is similar to a game."
- As for managing Favre and his various injuries during the practice week, Frazier said: "It depends on Brett. I'll let our trainer, Eric Sugarman, know and communicate to me what we need to do and then we'll take it from there."
- Safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) isn't practicing for the Vikings today.
- The Vikings signed cornerback Cary Harris, a sixth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2009, to their practice squad and promoted offensive lineman Pat Brown to replace Anthony Herrera, who is out for the season because of a torn ACL.
- Favre had little to say when asked about the Associated Press report today that Jenn Sterger's manager said Favre's agent about about paying her to keep quiet. "The statements that Bus made, that came out this morning, we'll leave it at that," Favre said. Favre's agent, Bus Cook, said in a statement to the AP that Sterger's camp made "numerous overtures" to him and he believes money has been the motivation for Sterger.