Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said he had a "long Fourth of July weekend" and he paid for it on Tuesday.
Jackson is one of a dozen or so NFL players taking part in a camp organized by Cardinals All-Pro receiver and Holy Angels alum Larry Fitzgerald in the Twin Cities. The players do hard conditioning work and Jackson struggled through the drills.
"No matter what you do, it feels different," he said afterward. "Something different always kind of shocks your body. It was a long Fourth of July weekend. I’m just trying to recover today, but I’m alright.”
Jackson said he's been running at his home in Alabama, but the drills Tuesday brought a different intensity.
"If I wouldn’t have ran at home in the humidity, I probably would have died today," he said. "That probably got me a little ready for this conditioning stuff. It was hard. It was a little hard today.”
Jackson said he came close to passing out and even vomited at one point.
"I threw up a little water, but I didn’t really eat too much before I came out here," he said. "I’m going to go drink all the water, get a little something to eat and relax.”
Jackson has worked out in Orlando the past few years but he accepted Fitzgerald's offer to train with his group this summer. Vikings wide receiver Jaymar Johnson also is working out and Sidney Rice is expected to join.
"[Rice] did it last year so I was really hoping he came today because I know he was going to be just as tired as I was," Jackson said. "I was hoping I would have somebody to run with. I had linemen and everything beating me today. I can’t do that. It was kind of heartbreaking when I see a lineman beating me. I was real tired, but I’ll be fine.”
Jackson said he is going to train with Fitzgerald's group for several weeks so that he can be in good condition when he reports to camp.
"They’re going to try and make it as hard as possible to make (training) camp seem a little easier," Jackson said. "They did a lot of different stuff today. That’s why I came up here because I knew there would be something different for me. Just try to do something new.”
Jackson naturally was asked about Brett Favre, who is expected to return for his 20th NFL season.
"You all watch TV the same way I do," Jackson said, smiling. "He ain’t working out for no reason. I welcome him back. There’s nothing I can do about it so I’m going to welcome him back and hopefully get to the Super Bowl.”
Jackson said the timing over when Favre will announce his decision doesn't affect his approach to camp. He went through a tougher situation last season when he entered training camp thinking he's competing for a starting job.
"If he doesn’t show up to Mankato, sign the same time he did last year, that’s fine, that’s more reps for me, Sage [Rosenfels] and Joe [Webb]," Jackson said. "We just basically try to take advantage of it. When he comes backs, be ready mentally and just know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s going to be a long season.”
Jackson said he tries to go about his preparation as if Favre isn't going to play, although he knows that's almost certainly not the case.
“You just say to yourself, ‘OK, he ain’t coming back,’" he said. "You tell yourself in the head, you’re thinking that. You might have your opinion about whether he’s coming back or not, but at the same time when you’re out there playing you’re not thinking. Each rep you get, [you’re not thinking] 'I don’ t need to get this rep, I don’t need to do my best on this rep because Brett is coming back anyway.' You don’t want to do that. You just want to go and give your best. When he shows up or if he shows up, just welcome him back. That’s all you can do.”