Favre clears the air with new teammates

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre addressed a number of topics with his teammates on Monday during a team meeting, trying to clear the air on his intentions with the team and talking about the possibilities with the talent on the roster. See what Favre and his teammates had to say about the situation.

Two weeks ago, Brett Favre dismissed reports of a "schism" in the locker room, but when he came to Minnesota he requested to speak to the team "from the heart."

On Wednesday, when asked about establishing team chemistry, Favre said he addressed the team recently. The speech took place on Monday.

"It was serious," said veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield. "He got up there, told us his intentions, told us he was going to do everything he possibly could to get better and help us make plays on offense. As a veteran on this team, we tip our hat off to him. It's tough to come in here, new team, new receivers, all that stuff. But I think it's going to work out all year."

Favre said part of the talk revolved around chemistry, something he has said will be a work in progress throughout the year.

"In this game, the game of football, it takes 11 (players) being on the same page. The unit that plays more as one, as opposed to a bunch of individuals, is the team that succeeds. And that goes for a whole team as well," Favre said. "I had the chance to speak to the team personally, the other day, and addressed that. I wanted to address a lot of situations up to this point. But that was one of the things."

Part of the reason for the address was to clear up all the hoopla surrounding his summer-long decision on whether or not to return to the NFL and join the Vikings. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe came away from the approximately 10-minute speech impressed.

"It felt like it was very, very sincere. I felt like he was really here to help the team win. He gave his apologies for all the commotion that was caused, even though it might not have been intentional by him … apologized for the frenzy," Shiancoe said. "I see that as a guy standing up and giving us what we expect of him – being a leader and for him to really man up."

"He got up there talking about his No. 1 goal was to come here and help us win," Winfield said. "As a team, our No. 1 goal is to win a championship. He seems like he's focused on that. He's just trying to fit in. He's only been here a couple weeks. We've welcomed him with open arms. A lot of guys respect him. I'm just excited to see him get out there Sunday and play."

Favre said he requested to speak to the team when he first joined it. However, he decided to "let the dust settle," as Shiancoe termed it. Since then, many of the questions teammates might have had about Favre have cleared up on their own as they've gotten to know him.

"I think the guys, within these last three weeks, have gotten a pretty good judge of what type of guy I am, what type of player," he said. "It's obviously different, because now I'm in this locker room, amongst this team, one of 53.

"All the stuff that went on, prior to training camp, and up until me signing, I just wanted to address. I didn't feel like I needed to, but I wanted the guys to know where I stood, and what I was here for – sort of the timeline of what happened and things like that – not that I felt that I had to. And I felt like it came across well, because it was from the heart."

Part of Favre's address was a trip down memory lane, and he addressed the feeling in the Green Bay Packers locker room surrounding their 1996 Super Bowl season.

"I said I was very fortunate to play on a team that won the Super Bowl in 1996. And this team is as talented," Favre said. "And what I would say to our guys as I did to anyone else: The difference being we knew … we knew the chemistry was finally there. And we knew we were going to win it. And this team has to believe it, which I think we do. As every team I felt like should. If you want to be good, you've got to believe it. But the chemistry has got to come together, and some of that is luck."

Part of it sounded like a reflection on his playing days and the stages of maturity he went through as a player.

"At 39 years old, as I look out into the room, I saw a lot of me out there – (at) 21 (years old), 28, 32, whatever. And I can just think back, throughout my career, to different stages I went through," he said. "And all the teammates I played with, and just the way you think. As we all have gotten older, you think differently. You look at things a lot differently than you did as a younger person. You feel different. I just kind of wanted to address it that way."

Kicker Ryan Longwell, who played with Favre in Green Bay, said the quarterback doesn't regularly give speeches, so this should have caught players' attention.

"He's not a guy that stands up and is a big rah-rah speech giver. So when he speaks, which he did a few times in Green Bay and he did the other day, you know it's something important and there's a point he wants to make," Longwell said. "He just wants the guys to know he's here for one reason and one reason only."

Several players said they don't believe Favre needed to make the speech, but they appreciated what he had to say.

"We know this guy is here for the team. You could feel that. It was a very sincere address," Shiancoe said.

Said Favre: "I just wanted to be genuine, and for guys to know where I stood."


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