Brett Favre attempted to persuade an Associated Press reporter that he hasn't decided if he's going to play for the Vikings and that he's "running out of time" to make up his mind.
However, the tone of Favre's quotes Wednesday did nothing to change the expectation that the former Packers quarterback will soon end his retirement.
"There's two weeks left and I'm doing everything I can," Favre told the AP after throwing passes to receivers at a high school in Hattiesburg, Miss. "I was down here Sunday morning working out. I'm trying to get everything to where I feel 100 percent when I go in. I can't go in any less. When you're 39 years old, it's hard enough. But it's getting there."
Favre said he will provide an answer before the start of training camp. The Vikings' deadline for reporting to Mankato is July 30, with the first practice the following day. Vikings coach Brad Childress is scheduled to address the media on July 30, but it's possible the team also could introduce Favre at that time as well.
Favre's comments confirmed an ESPN report that he is encouraged by the progress of his surgically repaired throwing arm but that he needed more time before he makes a final decision. He said Wednesday that his right arm felt "pretty good" but that he's not ready to commit to playing because he wants to make sure he can be effective for an entire season.
In what might have been his most telling statement in the AP story, Favre said: "I don't think Minnesota would even consider [my return] if I didn't have it. Second of all, I wouldn't even think about it if I didn't have it. Now, having it here and having it on the field on Sundays is two different things. I know that for a fact. I know what it takes to play on Sunday and I still believe I have that."
Favre continues to work out with the Oak Grove High School team three days a week but said he recently started Sunday workouts, too. Favre, who turns 40 in October, had surgery in late May to release the partially torn biceps in his right arm. He told the AP that surgery was successful and that he has enough velocity on his throws to play right now, but he wants to make sure his arm can hold up for an entire season.
According to the AP, Favre was impressive in making throws to high school and college receivers on Wednesday. Favre connected with receivers on 50-yard passes, hit on short timing routes and had good zip on the ball.
"I felt like going to New York last year that I still had it," Favre said of his season with the Jets. "I didn't know my arm was hurt at the time. So that's what I try to get across to people. I had that fixed, the surgery to fix that, so I'm trying to make sure that if I go back, that part is completely resolved."
Favre and the Vikings seem to be in agreement that he needs to tell the team about his intention before practices commence. Favre is extremely familiar with the West Coast offense run by the Vikings after having been in the same system for 16 years in Green Bay, but he still must begin adjusting to working with the Vikings personnel.
Wide receiver Bernard Berrian told ESPN2's "First Take" that it's "very important" Favre gets to work with his new teammates. "I think training camp is the most important part besides the offseason [since] he hasn't been around during the offseason," Berrian said. "It's time for him to get to know us, to get our timing down, get the routes down. He already knows the offense so that's a big help. But he still needs to learn the players and we need to learn him."
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman visited Favre in Mississippi last week to watch him throw. ESPN reported Favre threw an estimated 100 passes and indications are the session went well. Bevell also was believed to have worked with Favre on elements of the Vikings offense.
"If you're throwing and it's a little off and you have a little pain, it's a little bit understandable," Favre said. "If there's no pain and there's no excuse, that's where you've got a problem. So I want to go out and have one of those days throwing and then have another where all of those throws you make, every warmup throw you make or just in general, feels perfect."