K7976 BC-FBN-VIKINGS-FAVRE 07-29 0787 Web
Childress says he’s turning attention to Jackson, Rosenfels, with Favre out
McClatchy News Service
MANKATO — Brett Favre might not be able to guarantee he will remain retired this season, but if the quarterback is going to return it apparently isn’t going to be with the Vikings.
A day after Favre told Vikings coach Brad Childress he didn’t feel he could handle the grind of an NFL season, Childress made it clear he is "more than content" with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels competing for the starting job. "Obviously (Favre) has gone his way and we are going our way," Childress said.
Asked if something could happen down the line with Favre, Childress said: "There’s not a chance from my standpoint. I’m going forward with the guys that we have. We’ll have a great competition, we’ll have a great camp and be a good football team one way or the other. (That) is what I told Brett, (that) is what I told our team."
Childress brought closure to the Vikings’ three-month flirtation with Favre as he spoke Wednesday in front of the dormitory in which the Vikings stay on the Minnesota State, Mankato campus. Players are not required to report until Thursday morning when meetings begin, but Jackson and Rosenfels were among the early arrivals.
The two will begin their competition — that was the plan before Favre became an option — when practice opens Friday morning. Childress said he talked to both Wednesday. "The message was that they’re right where they were in the spring time, so have at it," he said. "They’re both excited."
Childress said that not only will Jackson and Rosenfels not have to worry about Favre, but that Michael Vick also isn’t in the mix. Vick has received a conditional reinstatement to the NFL after serving jail time for his involvement in dog fighting.
"I would just say that the guys that we’ve got we are going to fashion the team around and go forward that way," Childress said when asked about Vick. "I don’t know how many different ways I can say that."
Rosenfels, acquired from Houston in February for a fourth-round draft pick, seemed relieved to have the Favre saga behind him. "I’m happy that it’s over with," Rosenfels said. "I think you would go insane in my position if you kept up with all that stuff day to day. It probably drove you guys insane. I just stayed away from it."
When it comes to Favre, making any assumptions that it’s really over can be very dangerous. In fact, hours after telling Childress of his decision, Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, were attempting to leave the door open that he could return. Favre told Sports Illustrated that it’s "very unlikely" he would play again and that he truly believes it’s over, before adding, "But if someone calls Nov. 1, who knows?"
Childress made it clear he won’t shy away from the topic of Favre during today’s meeting. But he is making no apologies for what happened — there was a report last week that a handful of prominent Vikings had contacted Favre in an effort to urge him to play — or the fact this might have ruffled some feathers.
"I’d just bridge back to the National Football League is extremely, extremely, competitive," Childress said. "You say, ’Well quarterbacks are a different animal.’ Well, from a standpoint that they compete to play, I don’t know that they are different. I don’t worry about it when you say, ’Well is trust an issue?’ They trust the fact that we are going to get the best players we can to surround the rest of the football team with. It’s not about one person."
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen voiced confidence in Jackson and Rosenfels and scoffed at the nation that Childress needs to address the quarterback issue. "He came in at minicamp and laid it out," Allen said. "This is what’s going on. Nothing is personal. If someone is taking it personal, that’s on them. They need to get their minds right because we have a season ahead of us."
No matter how confident some of his teammates might be, Rosenfels realizes there are now question marks about the Vikings quarterbacks.
"Everyone has their opinion," he said. "I have my opinion. I feel like the quarterbacks are going to play really well this year. I have to go out and prove everyone right and wrong every day. I’m going to prove myself right at the end of this season I think."