Brett Favre is being allowed some latitude to change plays at the line of scrimmage with all his experience in the West Coast offense. The results are already showing.
Brad Childress has never been known as a coach who gives his quarterback much freedom when it comes to changing plays either in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage.
But that is expected to change somewhat now that Brett Favre
is running the show in Minnesota. Favre's 16 seasons playing in a similar version of the West Coast offense as a member of the Green Bay Packers means he has no trouble recognizing what to do when running this system.
Favre, signed by the Vikings last month after he decided to end his second attempt at retirement, made some late adjustments in the Vikings' season-opening 34-20 victory at Cleveland on Sunday and is likely to do the same this coming weekend in Detroit.
"It is a little bit," different from the past, wide receiver Sidney Rice
said. "He'll change (the play) at any moment and that's good – especially for wide receivers if the ball is going to be in the air and give us an opportunity to make a play on it."
Favre certainly wasn't the key figure from the Vikings' opening-week victory. He threw for only 110 yards and one touchdown. Childress was pleased with some of the changes Favre made at the line.
"You know he did a great job getting us out of a couple of runs that had a low probability of success and actually took one to the side where we gained a bunch of yards," Childress said. "He did that on his own.
"Obviously he is able to see an extra man, an overhang guy, places that we have been hitting them and brought it back the other way. He put a couple things on the pass game that we really weren't expecting. You know, you live and you learn and he will live and learn, too."
Favre threw for only 110 yards in his first game as a Viking – that is less passing yardage than he had in any one game with the Jets in 2008 – but he also did not make any costly mistakes. The Vikings are going to eventually need Favre to show defenses he can open up the offense by hitting on the deep ball, but against a subpar team like the Browns the fact he put up less-than-impressive statistics mattered little.
RB Adrian Peterson, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,760 yards in 2008, picked up where he left off by rushing for 180 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' season-opening victory. Peterson was at his best in the second half, rushing for 155 yards and a highlight-reel 64-yard touchdown that included six broken tackles.
RB Chester Taylor rushed for only 17 yards on seven carries against the Browns but also had a team-high five catches. Taylor, who was third on the Vikings with 45 receptions in 2008, continues to see plenty of playing time in third-down situations.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe figures to be one of Favre's favorite targets and caught three passes for 26 yards against the Browns. A tireless worker, Shiancoe has continued to show significant improvement since a disappointing first season with the Vikings in 2007. That came after he signed as a free agent from the Giants.
WR Darius Reynaud has assumed the job as the Vikings' primary punt return man after fellow receiver Jaymar Johnson got the majority of the reps in training camp. Reynaud returned two punts for an average of 27 yards and had a long of 36 yards against the Browns.
DT Kevin Williams continued to show he is one of the NFL's best at his position, recording a sack, a tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery in the opener. Williams is a four-time Pro Bowl selection.
DE Jared Allen, surprisingly, was pretty much absent from the stat sheet in the opener. He had one assist on a tackle and that was it. He was held without sack by Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas.