Tarvaris Jackson admits there have been times he thought a change might be best for him, but the Vikings one-time (and perhaps future) starting quarterback told Sirius NFL Radio on Tuesday that he never requested a trade after Brett Favre joined the Vikings last August.
"Being a competitor and knowing the business side of it you have to think about different situations like that or what they’re thinking," Jackson said while appearing on a show with Adam Schein and former Vikings quarterback Rich Gannon. "If they’re thinking, ‘OK, we’ve had enough … we’ve got our guy,’ or whatever.
"You have to think everything through and think of different scenarios and just try to be ready for anything because you never really know what [coaches and front office people] are thinking. Honestly, it crossed my mind and I’ve wanted change, but change is not always good. The grass is not always greener on the other side. The Vikings are all I know right now and I’m just trying to do my best around here.”
Jackson and Sage Rosenfels find themselves in an extremely difficult situation this offseason. Many assume that Favre will return in 2010, despite last week's report that he needs ankle surgery. However, if he doesn't Jackson and Rosenfels likely will battle for the starting job and Vikings coach Brad Childress indicated at the NFL Owners meetings in March that Jackson would have the upper-hand entering that competition.
That means Jackson must prepare as if he's going to be the starter, knowing full well he probably won't be in that role on Sept. 9 when the Vikings open the regular season at New Orleans. Jackson's approach this offseason has been to worry about himself and let everyone else concern themselves with the other things.
"One thing I learned from Brett is just be yourself regardless of the situation and the circumstances," he said. "Just go out and be yourself today, every day and they [can] take it or leave it. That’s what I’m going to do and that’s how I’m approaching it. Just trying to get better every day like I always did, working hard. That’s all I can do and that’s how I’m going to take it.”
Jackson was candid in admitting that possibly being the starter isn't the same as knowing you are the team's choice: "It’s different when you know you’re the guy or when you kind of think you’ll be a backup. You can say you’re going to work as hard, but it’s a lot different when you know you’re going to be the guy and you’ve got those guys depending on you."
Jackson, who is 10-10 as a starter since being selected in the second round of the 2006 draft by the Vikings, has traded messages with Favre this offseason but he hasn't asked the veteran about his plans.
“I’ve texted him to see how he’s doing, but I don’t want to ask him if he’s coming back or not," Jackson said. "I don’t think that would be cool. He’s going to make a decision when he makes it and regardless of if he’s here or not I’m still going to work the same way. ... But as far as that goes and whatever he does I wish him the best. ... I know a couple of guys have said they think he’s coming back and that’s my gut feeling. Honestly, he’s a competitor and being around him -- I can’t say I’ve talked to him and asked him that -- but I wouldn’t be surprised if he came back.”