Childress impressed by Favre’s arm on television

By Judd Zulgad

McClatchy News Service

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings coach Brad Childress was enjoying his vacation last week when he turned on his television and saw video of Brett Favre throwing to receivers at a high school in Hattiesburg, Miss.

"I didn’t look at his wristwatch or the sunglasses or the hat or the receivers," Childress said Sunday. "I looked at what I look at as a coach."

And Childress approved of what he saw, saying: "I liked his throwing motion, the little bit that I saw on tape. It looked fine to me."


Childress is still waiting for Favre to make a decision about whether he will end his retirement to play for the Vikings this season. Favre, who had arthroscopic surgery in May to release the partially torn biceps in his throwing arm, told the Associated Press last week that he would make a decision by July 30, the day the Vikings report to training camp in Mankato.

Childress doesn’t recall the last time he talked to Favre — "A couple of weeks ago, maybe," he said — and made it clear he found out about Favre’s announcement of a self-imposed deadline when he heard the reports.

"(Am I as) fixated on it as you are?" Childress said, jokingly. "No. I’ve said all the way along, he’s going to let us know when (he’s ready)."

Childress recently has received firsthand reports on Favre’s progress from offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and head trainer Eric Sugarman, who met with Favre two weeks ago in Mississippi. "I think (Bevell) thought he was progressing," Childress said. "I think Suge felt the same way."

As for whether Bevell also began working on the Vikings offense with Favre, Childress said: "There will be a spot where that happens, providing that he ends up being with us. But I think it’s just been more banter back and forth. ’What are you calling this? How are you doing this?’ That kind of thing."

Childress also had little concern about recent comments by Jared Allen. The Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end told the Los Angeles Times that getting Favre "would be a bonus," before adding, "Let’s either get it done and get moving on with it, or let it go. It’s not so much that it’s a distraction ... but it’s annoying, let’s put it that way."

Said Childress: "I know what most of those guys on the football team are thinking, because most of them share it with me. I know where they are at."

Setting things straight


Childress spent Sunday at Minnetonka High School playing for a celebrity team at Matt Birk’s Gridiron Challenge flag football tournament.

It was often believed Childress and Birk weren’t on the same page. Birk signed with Baltimore as a free agent in March following 11 seasons with the Vikings.

"That’s just not accurate," Childress said of the perception that he and Birk did not get along. "That’s the thing. He said, ’Come out here and show the media it’s not as bad as advertised.’ But whatever. ... Guys can agree to disagree and people go their own ways. I enjoyed coaching him immensely and he was a great professional. I wish him the best of luck except one game next year."

The Vikings and Ravens will play on Oct. 18 at the Metrodome.

Said Birk: "I think I said before, did we have some differences? Yeah, we had some disagreements. But I think through some honest and sometimes uncomfortable conversations ... we might not have resolved all our differences but I certainly respect him. (Attending this) speaks to what he’s about. I asked him to do this not knowing how he’d react and he’s like, ’My daughter’s getting married and I’m going out of town, but if I’m in town I’ll do it.’ Sure enough he was and that’s pretty cool."

Childress and Birk both played quarterback for their teams, which met in the opening round.

Childress threw six touchdowns, leading his team to a 36-14 victory. Childress’ squad also beat a team that had punter Chris Kluwe at QB.

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