Sunday Notebook: No explanation needed

With Brett Favre on the team, players have been forced to change their stance from "we're moving on" to "we're moving on up." See what they're saying about Favre now, the financial impact he has had, and get other notes and quotes and from the busy week that was.

Vikings players got a backstage pass to Favre-a-palooza this summer … whether they wanted to go to the show or not. Players were left to answer questions from the time Brett Favre secured his release from the New York Jets through the fanfare of his signing last week.

Favre's indecision meant his eventual teammates had to change their stance on him. When he told the Vikings that he was going to stay retired before training camp started, they were all closing the book on him during the first two weeks of training camp in Mankato and moving on. For them, the saga was finally over. In reality, it wasn't.

Then he signed, leaving the impression that he just didn't want to attend the dormitory portion of camp.

"Obviously, it was what it was at training camp. They had an opportunity to make the team better. And that's what coach did, and that's their job," Jared Allen said after the signing. "I'm excited. It makes our team better. 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."

Allen was one of the players who seemed relieved that it was over when training camp began. But, like the rest of Favre's new teammates, he didn't think an explanation was needed once Favre changed his mind and joined the Vikings.

"I don't think he has to answer to us. I think it's pretty clear what his motivation is," linebacker Ben Leber said. "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."

That was the company line last week as teammates welcomed a proven starter at the game's most important position.

"It will be a great thing. Like coach (Brad Childress) said – nothing is final, success is not final," receiver Sidney Rice said. "He's in here now. We're going to work with him and see what happens."

Leber said the missed time shouldn't be hard for Favre to make up since he's been in the offense for 16 years in Green Bay.

But players were also careful to avoid crowning the Favre signing as the missing piece to a Super Bowl puzzle.

"I don't think so. This just brings consistency. That's it," Leber said. "Even before he got here, we felt very confident and very comfortable with this group. We're pretty high on ourselves in the locker room. We know we have a good team. Even without him, we thought we were going to go a long way."

FAVRE EFFECT

While the Kansas City preseason game was sold out already, the Favre effect continued late into last week, causing a round of perma-grins among executives and owners before the Chiefs game. It was a busy but good week at Winter Park.

In the 72 hours following his signing, Favre has helped sell 4,000 season tickets, 15,000 single-game tickets and 5,000 replica jerseys. Authentic jerseys could start trickling into the market next week, but because they take longer to produce it could be midseason before local stores are fully stocked with those, according to Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing.

Not surprisingly, the big seller for tickets is the Green Bay game, which is now being offered exclusively in a season-ticket package. Less than 1,700 tickets remain for the Green Bay game, meaning there will only be that many full season-ticket packages remaining. After that, season tickets will be solid in customized bundles, like five-game packages, none of which will include the Packers Monday night spectacle that is sure to be a ratings-breaker on television.

The Viking still have about 3,500 tickets remaining for their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

FRIDAY FLAVOR

Out on the plaza before the Chiefs game, it was apparent that it had to be the most anticipated preseason game in franchise history. The plaza was busy with a mixture of jerseys. A number of replica Favre jerseys were there, but Adrian Peterson still dominated the scene, with Jared Allen in second. A couple of vintage (read: worn) Scott Studwell and Dwayne Rudd jerseys also joined the crowd.

Once inside the Metrodome, there was the precious moment of the pregame. A couple strolled by, each wearing a Favre jersey. The man was wearing a Green Bay Favre jersey' the woman had a Jets Favre jersey. And they were attending the Vikings game. Go figure.

WEEKS AWAY?

Favre's familiarity and timing with the receivers remains the central issue to clean up. However, getting comfortable with the top receiver, Bernard Berrian, is difficult to do when he is on the sidelines.

"The first thing we need (is) to get all of our bodies back. We need Bernard Berrian back on the field so you have your full complement of players that you can time things up with," Childress said. "I know when (Favre) did throw during summertime he didn't do a lot of dropping. Over the last couple of years he spent a lot of time in the shotgun. Getting that drop rhythm back together and doing that scissor whip from the line of scrimmage and stretching those groins. It's one thing when you're standing throwing, but another when dropping and throwing. Those are the parts of the game that needs timing."

Running back Adrian Peterson didn't think it would take long for the offense to jell with Favre.

"Having him in there, I'm sure he's going to be able to adjust to it easily," said Peterson, who said he had been watching Favre since elementary school (that should make the grey-haired one feel spry). "He's been playing this same offense for 18 years so it's the little things that we've added and different formations and things like that this next two weeks that we're able to smooth things out and get ready for the regular season."

Childress figured it could be a couple of weeks before the timing comes around.

NOTES

  • The few plays with Favre in the game on Friday brought a frenzy of flashes from cameras among the sold-out crowd. "Unbelievable, for a second preseason game," said kicker Ryan Longwell, who played with Favre in Green Bay. "It felt like almost as big as last year's playoff game with the flashbulbs and the crowd, with the frenzy of media on the sidelines. It was great for a second preseason game."

  • Back in Green Bay, quarterback Aaron Rodgers is resigned to the fact that he'll be answering Favre questions for some time to come. "Just because he retired, or he un-retired, or he's around, or his number's retired, or it's not retired, throughout my career there's always gonna be those questions and comparisons," Rodgers said during a radio interview last week. "So, I was ready for that when I took the job and I was given the opportunity, and I'll continue to meet those questions when I take them and realize it's all part of my legacy in Green Bay because Brett was an incredible player for the Packers for so long."

  • Not surprisingly, former coach and NFL analyst John Madden still backs Favre. In a radio interview with Fox Sports, Madden was asked if the luster with Favre has worn off. "No, not at all. I think that for some reason people think they can take ownership of someone's life just because they're a player or a public person, and they can make decisions for them. ‘He shouldn't do this, he shouldn't do that. He shouldn't go back, or say that he's going to.' You know, it's his life," Madden said. "This isn't a game. This is what he does and it's a tough decision. The big part of it, to be honest with you, is that he's worried about not how he's going to be in August and in training camp or in September, but can he get through the whole season. Can he get through the sixteen games and play at the end of the season at a very high level? The Minnesota Vikings were in the playoffs last year, so they're not bringing Brett Favre into the Vikings to win six, seven, eight games. They're brining him in to get into the playoffs, win some playoffs and maybe get to the Super Bowl. If that's what he wants to do, I say ‘Hey, more power to you.'"

  • Former Vikings defensive coordinator Tony Dungy delivered a devotion for Vikings players before the Chiefs game.

  • Childress said he expects to get injured players like Berrian, DE Jared Allen, TE Garrett Mills and other back for their Monday night game against Houston.

  • The stars will be out this evening at Wildfire restaurant in Eden Prairie. Vikings players will be celebrity servers in a fundraiser for the Vikings Children's Fund. Scheduled to participate are Jared Allen, Bernard Berrian, Ray Edwards, Heath Farwell, Chad Greenway, Cedric Griffin, Percy Harvin, Anthony Herrera, Tyrell Johnson, Ryan Longwell, Bryant McKinnie, Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Sage Rosenfels, Visanthe Shiancoe, John Sullivan, Bobby Wade, Pat Williams, Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield.


    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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