I knew we couldn’t get through an NFL regular season without some Brett Favre controversy. Favre shut a lot of doubters like me up earlier this season when he had the Minnesota Vikings rolling through the regular season and crushing opponents. Favre looked great, the team looked great, and even Brad Childress’ questionable coaching couldn’t stop this NFC North division machine…until now. A tense exchange Sunday night between Favre and Chilly could be two minutes of Brad Childress’ life that could change his career forever.
For the first time all season, the Vikings have struggled in their last two of three football games. Not only were they defeated by both the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers, they were crushed by both teams. Brett Favre returned to his late-season form last year with the New York Jets. Brad Childress’ game plans have proven to be ineffective and at times just moronic. The story reached a new level on Sunday night when Brad Childress attempted to take quarterback Brett Favre out of the game. Yes, I did say attempted.
Favre addressed the situation after the game and well, let’s just say that this story has now taken on a life of its own. Favre said the following about the situation…
“[T]here was a heated discussion, I guess you would call it,” Favre said after the game. “We were up 7-6 at the time. No secret, I was getting hit a little bit. I felt the pressure on a lot of plays. We had seven points. So I think everyone in the building was like, ‘They’re not moving the ball, they’re not getting points.’ Brad wanted to go in a different direction and I wanted to stay in the game.
Sorry Chilly, you are the weakest link!
This latest revelation exposes everything that Brett Favre’s critics have said about him over the last few years. Is this really any surprise? Hey at least the Vikings have it easy. In Green Bay, Favre tried to bully both the head coach and the general manager into making decisions. There were numerous reports from New York last season of Favre sulking after head coach Eric Mangini criticized his decision making or more bluntly, interceptions. Even teammates such as Thomas Jones questioned this very same issue about Favre staying in a game and accused Favre of being selfish, although the circumstances were much different. Minnesota Vikings fans shouldn’t be surprised this happened, they should be surprised it took fifteen weeks for the devil to start wearing Prada.
This is a much bigger problem for the organization than it is for Brett Favre and Brad Childress. Favre likes to have these buddy-buddy relationships with his head coaches, and I don’t think it is only because he is such a nice guy. He is a manipulator. He did it to Mike Holmgren, he did it to Mike McCarthy, and he has now done it to Brad Childress. It was evident from day one that Favre didn’t speak about his coach the way that most NFL players should and do. Take Peyton Manning for example. Let’s face it, if there is any quarterback running their NFL team it is Peyton Manning. At the same time, he shows his new head coach more respect than Jim Caldwell probably deserves. The situation between Favre and Manning is almost similar. Caldwell is considering benching Manning to rest him, Manning wants to play, both disagree, but in the end Manning has said that it is the coach’s decision.
The situation will undoubtedly open up old wounds in an already divided locker room. The locker room was reportedly in disarray when Chilly shuffled Favre onto the team, feeling that they were lied to and disrespected by their coach. Many ex-NFL players who are now analysts cited that this would be a problem down the line. Now you have a public situation where a player flat out told the coach to stick it, and probably a few more words while he was at it. Here in Philadelphia, Terrell Owens was run out of town for the very same thing (ironically to the same Brad Childress when he was a coordinator). How can a head coach in the NFL coach his team and discipline his players when they are well aware that he can’t control the old man taking the snaps at QB? The answer is easy, they can’t.
The idea of benching Favre in that situation is also a debate in itself. I really don’t get Brad Childress sometimes. Childress will just as easily abandon the running game with arguably the best running back in the NFL at the strangest times for reasons that are unexplainable. The New Orleans Saints lost Saturday, the Philadelphia Eagles won, and the Vikings needed this win to stay ahead for the second seed. Why Childress would want to pull Favre in a 7-6 game (score at the time) in such a critical situation is beyond words to me. I don’t think Favre played well at all, but pulling him at that point in the game made very little sense. However, at the end of the day he is the head coach and he should be able to play who he wants, when he wants, and not when the players want.
Just ask Grady Little.
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