By Judd Zulgad
Having covered Brett Favre for two years in Green Bay before moving to the Vikings beat in 2005, I remembered that the quarterback's mid-week news conferences were always interesting and left you with no shortage of material.
But until hearing Favre speak on Wednesday afternoon at Winter Park I had forgotten just how much copy he could provide in a single interview session. Among Favre's highlights Wednesday:
-- He's not physically or mentally 100 percent but at the age of 39 he doesn't know if he ever will be 100 percent physically.
-- He's not sure if his body can make it through a 16-game season. "I may not finish the year," he said.
-- He spoke to the team personally on Monday to "address a lot of situations up to this point."
-- He's not on the same page (in terms of on-the-field chemistry) with wide receiver Bernard Berrian, who missed the final three preseason games because of a hamstring injury and continues to be limited in practice.
All of these items made it on the blog and into the newspaper for Thursday. And this was only Favre's Week 1 news conference. There will be plenty more to come throughout the season each Wednesday -- that is the day Favre will talk -- so get ready for plenty of blogs and stories devoted to what the future Hall of Famer has to say.
Oh yeah, before I forget there was another interesting Favre quote that didn't get much attention because of all the things he did say. He was asked if trying to learn the offense and develop a chemistry with the wide receivers makes him more conservative entering Sunday's opener in Cleveland.
"My intentions have never been to take a great risk," Favre said. "Now, I know a lot of people would say they beg to differ, but that's just the way I've always played. There is no doubt in my mind, with every year that I've played, that there should have been more restraint at times. But this team is different in a lot of ways because it is a running game that has been dominant even when you know they are running. This defense, it's a different style defense than we had in 1996 and 1997 [in Green Bay], but it is still a very good defense. So the mindset has to be a little bit different.
"But you look at a guy like Adrian Peterson., who I think rushed for 1,700 some-odd yards last year. To me when I first came in and was learning the footwork and things in our running game, I remember [offensive coordinator] Darrell [Bevell] and [running backs coach] Eric [Bieniemy] and really all the offensive guys in the unit, and I said, 'Hey, it may be a 64 slant, but just be ready. Adrian may run 68.' He may see a hole before you get to him. So you just got to be aware of that. As a coach you go, 'It has to be done this way.' But yet if you told Adrian that and you restricted him [there would be some things he would miss]. There have been a ton of times had he just gone a hole over he goes 30 yards untouched and you go, 'Aw.' But you go, 'That guy I'm not going to tell him where to run.' He's good for a reason.
"I think in some ways my career has been like that. The difference being as a quarterback you handle the ball every play. You can change the outcome of the game good or bad, whether you like it or not. So there has to be more restraint. I think, based on where I am at this point -- three-and-a-half weeks maybe into it -- knowing our team is learning with each day, the worst thing I think I can do is put us in a hole. I'm not going to go into the game thinking, 'OK, be conservative. Take a check-down. Take a check-down,' because you may miss a big one. I am just going to try and play the game the way we are asked to play it here. Make no mistake the horse on this team is Adrian. Everyone else knows that, too. We just have to be able to counter that. How [we do that], remains to be seen."