Vikings moving past the drama

Vikings players spent the entire summer answering questions about Brett Favre and anticipating him as a teammate. After much drama, he turned them down, only to resurface quickly after training camp in Mankato was over. So how are they feeling about him now?

Vikings players and coaches were adamant that the book had closed on Brett Favre at the start of training camp. But when Brad Childress' "small window that we had to reconsider adding him" opened up, Childress had to convince his current players that signing Favre was the best move for the team and that the quarterback is now "fully committed."

That last part might be tricky, as Favre's legendary waffling on his retirement has been the subject of many printed stories and many hours on the sports talkers. So now that Favre is leading the Vikings, does he need to convince his new teammates about his motivation?

"I can't speak for the whole team, but I don't have no questions for him," receiver Bobby Wade said. "He's a grown man, a Hall of Famer. There's not a lot of things I could ask him besides, ‘What am I doing wrong? What can I do better?' He's got a lot of respect … a guy that plays in this league that long and the list of things that he's accomplished. You just kind of approach him as a sponge and try to soak up everything you can."

"Absolutely not," center John Sullivan when asked if he questioned Favre's commitment. "That was between him and the coaches and our management. They worked it out. All we care about is: If it makes the team better, we're happy that he's here."

Childress has always said the sooner the better when it came to Favre making up his mind throughout the spring and summer. At first, Favre's biceps tendon was the issue, as he was trying turn a partial tear into a complete tear and alleviate the pain without surgery. When that didn't work, he opted for surgery and the four- to six-week recovery time.

But after all of that, he still turned down the team's offer just before the start of training camp at the end of July. What wasn't known at the time was that he was also dealing with a partially torn rotator cuff that couldn't be repaired via surgery if he wanted to play this year.

Now that Favre is a Viking, the players are all towing the company line.

"He only missed one game. He missed a couple weeks. I think in the end it's not going to be that big a deal," linebacker Ben Leber said. "It's an offense that he's known his entire career. It would be different if he was trying to run a whole new offense and verbiage, but he should be able to step right in and make the right calls and adjustments.

"I don't think he has to answer to us. I think it's pretty clear what his motivation is. He wants to be a part of a special team. I think he sees that. We understood that, even before he got on the team, what type of team we had. He doesn't have to explain anything to us."

Beside, he's Brett Favre. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe indicated Favre has probably earned special privileges.

"Brett Favre is a different player. He's a Hall of Fame player. He can kind of stretch the limits a little bit. No hard feelings. He's here. It is what it is," Shiancoe said.

Even defensive end Jared Allen, who had closed his Favre book at the start of training camp and insisted on getting past that topic, now says he's glad Favre is on the team.

"I'm excited. It makes our team better," Allen said. "I got to spend a little time with him. He seems like a good dude. At the end of the day, it's about winning championships, and that's what we're here to do. He's going to make everyone better."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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