Favre: Taylor was 'underused' in Minnesota
Not so with Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who loves to hear himself talk perhaps more than any player in the NFL, which is why only half a dozen questions or so from the Bears media Wednesday produced 16:31 worth of responses.
While Favre is fortunate to be able to hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson, arguably the best running back in the game, he laments the loss of Chester Taylor, who was a productive reserve behind Peterson but signed with the Bears in the offseason.
"I'm not going to sit here and say it hasn't had an impact," Favre said. "We all know it's had an impact. And that's why Chicago picked him up. That's why any team would pick him up, because of the things that he can bring. I thought, and I still say this, I thought Chester was very underused last year. It was my first year here, but I thought his ability to play really a wideout position, run screens from the halfback position, just his feel overall, just feel for the game, blocking responsibilities and things like that, were as good as any of the guys that I've ever played with at that position. And he's kind of a 'tweener,' if you ask me. I just thought we could have had more packages and used him in so many different ways."
Peterson is having another Pro Bowl-worthy season, leading the NFC with 857 yards rushing, but Taylor's replacement, second-round pick Toby Gerhart, has only carried the ball 19 times and caught just eight passes in seven games.
"No doubt, I think if we didn't know already, we've realized how much of an impact [Taylor] did have for us," said Favre. "I really haven't paid a whole lot of attention to how much [the Bears are] using him there, but he's really an excellent football player and the trick is figuring out how best to use him."
The funny thing is that Bears fans also feel Taylor has been somewhat underused, as he is only getting about eight touches per game and has been stonewalled behind an ineffective offensive line, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry.
Childress: 'Weighing' decision to play Rice
Rice broke out a year ago, catching 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight TDs, but he has been sidelined all year long with a hip injury and was just taken off the physically-unable-to-perform list and put on the 53-man roster last week.
Coaches in this league don't say much when it comes to injuries, and divulging the status of injured players is unheard of when answering questions from media on conference calls, so naturally Vikings top dog Brad Childress offered pretty much zero insight on whether or not Rice would see his first action of the season Sunday in Chicago.
"He was practicing last week," Childress said. "It's one of those deals. You want to see how the guy comes back to you every time, every day. Because he is going to go through some initial soreness, which he has. And it's quite one thing to practice on an NFL field. It's another thing to absorb the hits and play NFL-speed football. Those are kind of the things that he's weighing, that we're weighing, but we'll make the decision whether he can go or not all together."
Childress would like to have Rice back in the lineup, especially after the Randy Moss experiment was blown up after four only games, because he's impressed with what he sees from the Bears' secondary on tape.
"I think that they're being aggressive in terms of the man-to-man that they're playing," he said. "They've always played great two-deep [coverage]. I think D.J. Moore is doing a nice job at their nickel spot. They're playing well-structured defense and still being aggressive with it at the same time."
Second-year pro Percy Harvin is currently Minnesota's leading receiver, reeling in 40 passes for 519 yards and three touchdowns, but he's still best suited as a No. 3 option working out of the slot.
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John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.
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