Rice chats it up with fans

Vikings receiver Sidney Rice was the focus of an online chat with fans, and he discussed Brett Favre, his hip injury and more.

Sidney Rice was in the internet spotlight Monday as he sat down for an online chat on the league's official website, and was asked about everything from his health to his teammates.

It took all of one question in his online chat session to be asked about the possibility for a Brett Favre return. Internet chatters were welcomed and the first one out of the box asked if Rice believes Favre will be coming back for a 20th season.

"I'm going to say yes because I always want to keep it positive," Rice wrote. "He had surgery and he's been throwing the ball well. We just don't know. We all hope he comes back."

Rice hinted that, like Favre, he may not be taking part in training camp practice when the team hits two-a-days in Mankato. He said his lingering hip injury is getter better, but hinted that he's targeting the regular-season opener at New Orleans, not necessarily the end of this month when training camp begins.

"I feel like it's going to be fine," Rice said. "I just want to be ready for the first regular-season game. I had a couple of meetings with the doctor and I'm not going to need surgery. I'm just being cautious right now – doing rehab – and I'll be ready for the start of the season."

Rice credited Favre's arrival with his improvement as a player. He said Favre is one of his favorite teammates and he has listened to the wisdom that the 40-year-old veteran has imparted. Expected to have a big year in his third season – a hypothesis that has significant evidence to back it up because third-year receivers routinely advance to their full potential then – he said learning from Favre accelerated the process.

"The biggest thing was maturing – learning more about the game," Rice said. "And the addition of Brett Favre for the Vikings was also a big help. I was a sponge and soaked it all it in – and learned more about the game."

While it would be understood if Rice threw out expectations and goals, he cut against the grain of the diva wide receiver. When asked how high his goals and expectations for himself were in 2010, Rice said any goals he may have are based on team success, not individual prowess.

"The only goal I have is to win the Super Bowl and contribute to my team in any way possible. Just like last year, I didn't set any personal goals for myself this season. I just want to be the best player I can be out there and be unselfish at the same time."


  • ESPN's John Clayton said Monday that he expects Favre to report to the Vikings by Aug. 18. That would be a near-identical point of arrival of last year as training camp broke and the first game of the preseason was completed.

  • In a video of Favre working out in Hattiesburg, Miss. with a local high school team, he looked pretty nimble on his surgically-repaired ankle. Last year when he continued the NFL preparation process by throwing passes to Oak Grove High School players, the focus was on his shoulder and the zip he could put on the ball. This time, it involves his ability to slide in the pocket to avoid pressure. So far, so good.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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