Tarvaris Jackson admitted to having an emotion instilled in some fans when it comes to Brett Favre's indecision – frustration.
Perhaps no other player on the Vikings is as affected by Favre's decision as much as Jackson. If Favre returns to Minnesota for a second season, Jackson could sit behind the ironman quarterback for another season before reaching free agency again. If Favre surprises everyone and retires, Jackson will be called upon as the favorite to lead a team with high expectations.
"It's not easy. I just try to handle like I can. Try to take it one day at a time. Not saying I don't get frustrated and go home and cuss my walls or anybody, my TV or anything," Jackson said. "You get tired sometimes or sometimes you hear stuff on TV. Just turn the TV off or change the channel because I get tired of hearing about the stuff. Hopefully we get the season going and get that through."
Last summer, Jackson said it was enough to get him to stop watching sports television, but he later admitted that didn't last too long. He is too much of a sports fan to let the Favre situation completely alter his life away from football as well.
Jackson said the situation hasn't completely soured him on the Vikings, but there is almost no way the uncertainty for a second straight year can't weigh on him.
"Just try to be the best teammate I can be. It's an awkward situation and it's been going on for the last couple of years. I can only handle it the best way I can, just keep looking forward and hopefully all this stuff (workouts) pays off," he said. "Hopefully one day I'll be able to get back on the field and just try to learn as much as possible. I'm not saying it's an easy situation. I just try to do my best to keep a cool head throughout the situation and just be as hungry as possible and just cherish every day I have in this league."
In some ways, Jackson might be able to put some of the responsibility for the Favre situation on himself. Before training camp started last year, the Vikings appeared ready to move on without Favre after he told them he had decided against playing a 19th NFL season. But after a lackluster training camp from Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, who were in a competition for the starting job, the Vikings convinced Favre to give it a go.
The rest – personal escort from Brad Childress, record-setting season and NFC Championship bid – is history. And now the summer of 2010 is groundhog's day for Vikings fans, except it is Favre's ankle instead of his shoulder that was repaired at the end of May and he's actually under contract this year.
As Childress has made his appearances in Mississippi this offseason – at least three by our count – to gauge Favre's mental and physical readiness, the head coach is apparently keeping his other players in the dark of whatever insight he gained in the Deep South. Maybe that's because Childress says he wouldn't be surprised no matter what decision Favre makes. Jackson is informed like most observers – by the media.
"We're just like fans. Whatever we see on TV, that's what we know. It's been like that for the last couple of years. I guess you just learn to deal with it," he said. "It's different. As best as possible, everybody handles the situation different. It's different because you kind of want to speak and say what you want to say, but at the same time it's not best for the team so you just try to keep the team in mind and you just try to do what's best for the team."
At least there is one positive for Jackson. He might not have had much time to show any improvement he made on the field last year, but he believes his preparation has improved because of observing Favre.
"I wasn't there every night with (Favre), but just the way he prepared, I think I'll be better in my preparation. My confidence, I kind of let it backslide a little bit," Jackson said. "I kind of listened to my coaches a little too much instead of being myself and I think that kind of hurt me a little bit. I've just got to be myself. If that don't work, it ain't going to work. Me being half as competitive as I can be is definitely not going to get the job done, so I just figure do what I do and do what got me here. If it don't work, I've just got to move on."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Favre's indecision frustrating for Jackson
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