Four weeks after a loss in the NFC Championship Game that still bothers Brad Childress, he talked with Brett Favre, the quarterback who was beaten up during that loss at the Superdome.
Childress spoke with Favre on Monday and Tuesday, but those two phone conversations – the first time they spoke since Favre left Minnesota following that loss to New Orleans – didn't leave the head coach with any better sense of whether Favre will return to the Vikings for 2010 or not.
"I wouldn't really characterize it either way," Childress said. "I spoke to him a couple times earlier this week, Monday and Tuesday. He's more fixated on getting some crushed limestone down on the road to his mother-in-law's house on his property. They have a water issue down there. I think he's got other things on his mind right now. Certainly I couldn't give him any landscape architecture ideas or anything of that nature. The conversation didn't last very long. He needed to get back to work."
Childress reiterated what vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said on Thursday: There is no timeline for Favre making a decision. And Childress seems fine that.
"I'm pretty good with that and I think the thing is this: Our team understands that as well. The old not knowing, not knowing, not knowing – you can question guys on our team and say, ‘Would it be nice to know sooner than later?' Yeah, but you have to be able to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity in this business, whether you're a player, whether you're a coach and deal with it well. I think our players get that, understand that. I think that they'll be fine," Childress said.
He said later that there was no timeline last year while Favre was healing from offseason surgery to repair a partially torn biceps tendon in his throwing arm.
"We'll just see how it goes. We have communication going back and forth. We'll just see whether he's going to get in or get out," Childress said.
It's a recurring question that Childress can't answer right now and he's not pressing Favre for that answer either.
"I'm not going to put him in any box after the year (he had). … He's still healing up from that game and he's kind of earned that latitude. I think he kind of defines things a different way, where everybody said, ‘Well, he had to be here for OTAs (organized team activities), for the mandatory minicamp, he's trying to get out of training camp.' I just think it's important to manage a guy's resources, particularly on a 40- or 41-year old. There's really not a manual on that, just like there's not a manual for raising kids. There's not a manual for 40, 41 (years old), and to have one of his best years you just have to be mindful of that."
Ultimately, Childress wouldn't be surprised by Favre's decision either way, but he isn't aware of any offseason surgeries that Favre will need.
To this point, the conversations between the two of them have been pretty casual.
"Talked about a couple different football elements. Nothing that was earth-shattering," Childress said.
"I saw him before he left (after the season). I would tell you that about everybody on our football team, they need to get away and breathe and do what they do, whether it's with their family or warm weather or whatever. While some go get lost, some start working out. Just giving him space, that's what you do. You see a lot of them during the football season. This is their time."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Childress speaks with and about Favre
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