Childress giving Favre space for decision

Vikings coach Brad Childress said Sunday from the owners meetings in Orlando that he hasn't paid any more visits to Brett Favre since shortly after the NFL Scouting Combine about a month ago. Childress also said the team continues to investigate its options for a backup running back.

The recruitment by the Vikings to convince Brett Favre to come back to the team for another season hasn't included any more face-to-face visits from Brad Childress, according to the NFL's official website.'s Jason LaCanfora talked to the Vikings head coach Sunday in Orlando at the annual owners meetings. Childress told LaCanfora that he hasn't had any recent discussions with Favre, but that they regularly exchange text messages. While he didn't say he won't be going to see Favre again at his farm in Mississippi, he did say it wouldn't be happening soon … as in prior to the draft.

On an unrelated topic, Childress said that the Vikings are having internal discussions about finding a running back replacement for Chester Taylor, who signed with the Bears in the first days of free agency. It is unclear whether that will come from the draft or through free agency. Childress admitted the Vikings made a strong push to sign released running back LaDainian Tomlinson, but L.T. ended up accepting an offer from the New York Jets, who could promise him a better chance to compete with second-year man Shonn Greene for the starting job. All the Vikings could offer was a role similar to what Taylor had as Adrian Peterson's backup.

Childress wasn't specific about how the Vikings plan to fill the void at running back left by Taylor's absence, but said they are doing their due diligence – whether that be in the remaining free-agent market or the draft.

"We continue turning over those rocks, if you will," Childress told LaCanfora. "But nothing is jumping to the forefront."

The announcement of the three prime-time games on the opening weekend, including the anticipated Vikings-Saints rematch on Sept. 9, as well as the three Thanksgiving Day games are expected to be announced Monday. Rumors out of Boston have it that one of the Thanksgiving Day games will pit the Patriots at Detroit, which should be an excuse to hold off eating turkey until about 3 p.m.
There is a growing sentiment out of Philadelphia that the Vikings and Childress still have an interest in veteran RB Brian Westbrook. However, two hurdles remain in the way. First is that the Vikings will likely wait to see if a running back they like falls into a draft slot that they believe can fill the role Taylor provided. Second is the announcement made by Westbrook following his release that he wants to continue playing, but wants to play for a team that plays its games and practices on grass. The Vikings don't fit the first criterion and are typically forced indoors by midseason at the latest. Both of these issues are relatively big hurdles in the way of trying to get a deal done.
The eight-member NFL competition committee approved the proposed changes to the overtime rule that would allow both teams to have at least one possession in overtime unless the team that wins the toss scores a touchdown. In something of a surprising move, considering the Vikings were the team the rule is looking to help or at least appease following their overtime loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship Game in which the Vikings never touched the ball, Childress told the Star Tribune he's undecided about his personal feeling on the proposed change and Zygi Wilf is rumored to be against it. For the motion to pass, 24 of the 32 team votes are needed to vote in favor. A vote on the issue is expected Wednesday.
All of us at VU would like to wish Adrian Peterson a happy birthday. A.D. turned 25 on Sunday.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will address the owners this morning at their meetings in Orlando. The focus of his presentation, as expected, will be on the current stalemate in labor negotiations with the players' union.
The Rams might find themselves in some hot water with the league. A story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch claimed that Rams general manager Billy Devaney and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer "met with Bradford in Florida." Therein lies the problem. "Bradford" is Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, one of the league's top draft prospects. Under league rules, visits with rookies prior to the draft can only happen in three places – a team facility, the city in which the rookie played his college ball or the player's hometown. Bradford is an Oklahoma native, he played for OU and the Rams were still in St. Louis the last time we checked. If true, this could be cause for a significant sanction by the league against the Rams, because, if such a visit took place, it would be in clear violation of league policy and subject to punishment.
One early rules change that will take effect this year won't come to a vote of owners. The umpire on the field will be shifted from the defensive side of the ball to the offensive side due to safety concerns for umpires. An umpire has typically been spotted about five yards from the line on the defensive side of the ball and is often in the middle of the action and even used as a pick by wide receivers. Two umpires were said to have suffered concussions last year and three of them had injuries that required surgery following the 2009 season.

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