Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Lions will have two plans for Vikings

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Lions, NFC, Brett Favre Updated: December 30, 2010 - 9:35 AM

Although it looks likely Joe Webb will get the start at quarterback on Sunday in the Vikings' regular-season finale at Detroit, Lions coach Jim Schwartz and his assistants have spent time this week designing two defensive game plans.

One in case Webb starts and the other in case Favre is able to pass his concussion test and get back on the field.

"They have two different skill sets, they're at two different places in their career," Schwartz said this morning on a conference call. "There's two different talent levels and things like that. It's a similar reason that a couple of weeks ago we didn't announce a starter when Drew Stanton and Sean Hill were both coming back from injury.

"Both quarterbacks are distinctly different and they were going to take different approaches on Sunday from the opponent, so we played those cards close to our vest and sort of hung with it there. Their offense obviously isn't going to change a whole lot, particularly in the run game, but their passing game is going to be a little bit different. It can't help but be when you have a Hall of Fame quarterback and also a rookie quarterback. Each one would be a little bit different approach for us."

Webb, obviously, lacks experience but has mobility that Favre lacks.

Favre has said that whether he plays or not, Sunday's game will be the final one of his 20-year career. Asked if Schwartz would like the chance to say he coached against Favre in his final game, the Lions coach chuckled.

"I don't know if that matters," Schwartz said. "We're going to do our very best to win the game regardless of who is playing quarterback. I've had the experience of coaching against Brett Favre as a head coach. We haven't had very much success, but also [I've coached against him] as a defensive coordinator. When I was with the Titans, we beat them in Green Bay one time on a Monday night game. It was toward the end of his Green Bay tenure and I remember thinking at the time, 'Hey, that might be the last time that I ever go against Brett Favre.'

"Then it turned around that he came back when he was with the Jets and we were on a 10-game winning streak and we lost to Brett Favre and the Jets [in 2008]. It was like, 'Geez, that was the last time I thought I was going to see him but he came back to get us.' Then it was like, 'OK, well now it's out of the way, that's the last time we'll ever see him.' And then come around he's in the division and you're playing him twice a year.

"Obviously, he's had a Hall of Fame career, he's a great competitor. It's always fun to go against great players in the league and there's a great challenge that goes along with that, for the coaches and for the players. Whoever plays at quarterback, we'll have a plan and we'll play our very best."

So does Schwartz believe this is really it for Favre? "I'm the wrong person to ask right there," he said.

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