We finally got the answers to some of the questions that Brett Favre hadn't confessed to prior to Monday evening. But, at the conclusion of "Joe Buck Live" on HBO, it was clear Favre wants to play again and that the Vikings are the team he wants to hook up with.
Favre admitted that he looking to return to the NFL and that Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., performed his surgery to detach his right biceps tendon "two-and-a-half weeks ago." He said the standard rehab time is four to five weeks, which places any true evaluation of the status of his arm at late June or early July.
When asked by Buck if the rehabilitation is a sign that Favre will return to the Vikings, he was evasive as to the full extent of the Vikings' interest – this coming after it was confirmed that Vikings head trainer Eric Sugarman had met with Favre to discuss hastening his healing process.
Favre said his knowledge of the Vikings' offense makes Minnesota a logical landing spot for a veteran looking to hit the ground running with a new offense. He said the Vikings are the only team he has spoken with about a return to the NFL and that there would be no tangible learning curve to step into the offense.
"It makes perfect sense as far as coming back, because it's an offense that I ran for 16 years," Favre said. "I could teach the (West Coast) offense. It was tough going to New York last year because I was two weeks late (and it was) a totally new offense for me. We condensed it down to where I could at least call the plays, but it was like learning a foreign language."
Favre acknowledged that Adrian Peterson is the centerpiece of the Vikings offense, but added that all competitors believe they can be game-changers and that, even with two of the game's best at their respective positions, if they aren't clicking at 100 percent, there is no pre-ordained formula for success.
"If I go (to Minnesota), there are no guarantees," Favre said. "We all know that. I went through that last year with New York. I think every player should think he is a difference-maker. I think you have to believe that. But I think in that situation – understanding what is expected of you, knowing your team, know that as long we can run the ball and complete passes when needed – we should be pretty good."
Favre further confirmed that, while he and Brad Childress. Childress wanted Favre there as an observer; Favre didn't want to create a media frenzy yet. Keeping in mind that a player needs to sign a contract and pass a physical to take part in any OTA workouts, it seems clear that the two sides were in agreement that, at some point, the plan is for Favre to be a Viking.
"Coach Childress had asked if I would come to OTAs – not that I would have to participate – and I totally understood that side of it," Favre said. "I chose not to. You can pick sides on this and I think both sides are right. He wanted me to be there to be part of the team and things like that, knowing that there would be no guarantee that my arm would be like it was before. I chose to stay away, because I figured there would be a media frenzy if I was there. And there would be a media frenzy if I couldn't play, if we had to say three weeks later, ‘You know, his arm is just not up to par and he can't play.' So why not just have one media frenzy and that be later on? It wasn't anything to do with practicing or anything like. It's either all or nothing to me."
Buck asked if signing with the Vikings would be a "knee to the gut" of Packers fans. Favre said that his playing days with the Packers should stand on its own merits and not be sullied if he and the franchise went different directions.
"I think the 16 years I spent in Green Bay speaks for itself," Favre said. "This whole process and what's happened the last couple of years – there are those people who are in your corner no matter what. You can't do any wrong, even when you do wrong. And there are those people who no matter what you do, they're going to dislike you. That's not going to change. Then there's the rest that don't give a (expletive)."
When asked if he ever regrets making the decision to attempt a comeback, Favre was self-effacing, saying that he asked himself the same question every day.
"At 40 years old, which I'll be in October, we're not getting any younger," Favre said. "Believe me, I wake up every day and I go, ‘Why am I even thinking about playing?' Obviously things you think about at 39 you didn't think about at 25, even at 30."
Buck again pressed the issue of his decision to come back to play for a Packers rival, and Favre said that he believes that the passage of time heals all wounds. To back it up, he invoked the greatest Packers legend of them all.
"I don't know what to tell (Packers fans) other than Vince Lombardi went to the Washington Redskins when he left," he said. "His name's on the trophy. We give that trophy out every year. I don't hear too many people say, ‘Damn traitor, you went to Washington.' Time heals a lot of things."
In the end, the appearance seemed to clearly pave the wave for Favre to return to his old stomping grounds wearing purple instead of green. He has convinced himself of that and convinced a lot of people watching that he's coming back and it will be with the Vikings.
As a final capper, to those who thought they would never see the day Favre would play at Lambeau Field in a uniform other than the Packers, he gave us this nugget.
"It's football," Favre said. "It's not life or death."
Prepare for the media frenzy. Barring a setback in his recovery, it looks like Favre is coming to Minnesota.
Favre paves the way for return
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