Analysis: Getting a presnap read on Favre

Brad Childress could face the most important decision of his coaching tenure in Minnesota. That's why a face-to-face to meeting with Brett Favre is the right call. Childress needs to determine a few key factors in that meeting.

For those really bored (or those who just can't get enough of the NFL), try counting the number of times you see or hear "Brett Favre" in your daily quest for information. The reports, regurgitations and reactions on the subject of Favre's potential return to the NFL – and his apparent desire to play for the Minnesota Vikings in particular – are staggering.

The big question is this: Should the Vikings want him?

Fox Sport's Jay Glazer says the organization is split on the issue, despite the reports that head coach Brad Childress plans to meet with Favre this week to talk about the possibilities.

If the Vikings are split, so are the fans. One fan told me she grew up in Minnesota, lived near Green Bay with her family for five years and "never converted to Packerism, but always admitted Favre was a great player."

"What will be amusing, if the Vikings do sign him, will be the HOWLS from the Packer fans!," she wrote in an e-mail. "(That in itself will be gleefully delightful for me!) The way people worshiped him in Wisconsin, one would think he was the Promised Messiah. I just think it would be fun to see him wearing Vikings purple. I would buy one of those jerseys!"

The cash register in the marketing department across the street from Winter Park is probably assessing the situation right now.

But there is another segment of the fan base, too. Another Vikings fan told me he just couldn't stand to see Favre in purple. He's rooted against Favre throughout his Packers career and even if the quarterback helped lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl victory, he would feel the championship was tainted by the presence of a former Packer leading the Vikings.

So how does the organization make the right decision? By doing exactly what they are planning – have a meeting between Favre and Childress and get a first-hand idea about his intentions. The situation isn't all that different from when Childress met with first-round pick Percy Harvin prior to the draft.

Childress' meeting with Harvin in Florida was more about getting a read on the player's character, which had been under a microscope. In Favre's case, Childress needs to determine two things: Is Favre really interested in putting in the time this offseason to learn the offense and new teammates, and is he even fit to play after tearing his biceps tendon last year?

According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Vikings would want Favre to commit to the remaining offseason regimen and not just show up at training camp and start slinging the ball. That means he would have to make a decision next week before the Vikings start their organized team activities (OTAs) the week of May 18. Favre's biceps injury might have something to say about that timeline, too.

According to the ESPN report on Tuesday, Favre has not had surgery to repair the torn tendon, but he wouldn't necessarily need surgery, either. If he elected for surgery, there are also varying degrees of reparation that could be performed, sidelining him anywhere from a month to four months. The latter would certainly place his signing with the Vikings in jeopardy.

But the most important issue might be Childress getting a presnap read on Favre. The coach seems to have a great deal of confidence in his ability to read people. In talking about his predraft meetings with prospects, he said he can get a strong feeling from some prospects that all they are doing is lying to him during an interview. Other prospects, including Harvin and seventh-round pick Jamarca Sanford, engendered Childress' support by convincing him that they had matured and put their past troubles behind them.

With Favre, it's not his past that's an issue. It's his future. Is he willing to put in the time to learn a familiar, albeit somewhat different, offense than what he ran in Green Bay? The playbook is likely a combination of what Favre ran in Green Bay with Darrell Bevell as his quarterbacks coach and what Childress ran in Philadelphia when he was the Eagles' offensive coordinator. And those plays have morphed with the arrival of Adrian Peterson and will do so more with the drafting of Percy Harvin.

Favre would need to get used to the plays and the players in the coming months.

The Favre/Childress decision is more than just a marketing decision, it's a foundational football decision. Is this quarterback right for this team at this time? Childress needs to be right about this decision, making a face-to-face meeting the right audible for this coverage.


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