Vikings' Childress says Favre wasn't given a deadlineVikings' coach also gave his most insightful comments about the team's level of interest in the retired quarterback
By: By Judd Zulgad, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Superior Telegram
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brad Childress called a Twin Cities radio show Wednesday morning to dispute a report that he had given Brett Favre a deadline of this week to decide if he's going to play in 2009. But the Vikings' coach also gave his most insightful comments about the team's level of interest in the retired quarterback.
"My opinion is that (Favre) was a great player," Childress told KFAN. "He obviously had a setback last year. He was playing very well early. If in fact he's had that surgery, I'm anxious to see just exactly what he's got left in that cannon because had a pretty good arm as we know."
ESPN revealed Sunday that Favre had undergone an arthroscopic procedure on his throwing (right) arm to repair a partially torn biceps tendon that he injured last season while playing for the Jets. It remains uncertain when Childress might get a chance to see Favre throw, but a day after it was reported the Vikings had temporarily suspended their pursuit of the future Hall of Famer there is little doubt the possibility of Favre wearing purple remains alive.
Childress, who called KFAN's "Power Trip Morning Show" unprompted as he drove to Winter Park, told host and former Vikings long snapper Mike Morris that Favre was "absolutely not" given a deadline, as ESPN reported Monday. "Maybe by (Favre's wife) Deanna or somebody like that, but certainly not from me," Childress said. "Not even close. Don't know where that would have dropped out of the sky from."
A Vikings spokesman said Childress would have no further comment further Wednesday. He is scheduled to address the media this morning after the Vikings hold a practice as part of organized team activities.
Childress would not say when the Vikings pursuit of the soon-to-be 40-year-old Favre might resume. The Vikings don't open training camp until July 31 and their offseason program is just about finished. "I don't know, I'm not into predicting the future," he said. "We'll just have to see what's around the corner tomorrow."
Former NFL executive Pat Kirwan of Sirius NFL Radio said Favre will join the Vikings on July 15 or earlier. Kirwan is friendly with Childress and was the first to refute the fact that a deadline existed.
The fact a deadline would have been established seemed odd given that Favre is going to need time to decide if his arm responds to the procedure. But the report came from Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder, who have broken several Favre-related stories. "I don't know how you guys in that industry go about your sourcing, 'a source says that a source says,' I don't know, it's questionable, very questionable," said Childress, who also was critical of a Star Tribune report last month that he was going to visit Favre in Mississippi.
Bill Hofheimer of the ESPN communications department sent the following e-mail in response to Childress' comments. "In the course of reporting the news of the deadline, we also noted the possibility that Favre could still join the Vikings once the deadline had passed. Clearly, that's important context. We stand by our reporting."
As for how this will impact quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, who currently are expected to compete for the starting job in training camp, Childress made it clear that does not concern him.
"I talked with Sage and Tarvaris," Childress said. "They are competitors. Do they like any of the conversation? Absolutely not. But they know this. I'm charged with adding and subtracting players from this team to make us better. Every day when I walk in this office there's not a day that I don't try to look and see if we can get better at some position. And if this is going to make us better down the road and it's got a chance to happen I'm going to take care of the Minnesota Vikings."
Asked why the Vikings have not been quicker to clean up inaccurate reports on the Favre situation, Childress said: "I really don't clarify things that are incorrect because I literally could stand at a press conference all day long and clarify. It's really not my job to comment on erroneous things. I don't have time to do that. I can sit and laugh at it and wonder how responsible that is. I simply don't have time to do that. I'm on my way driving into work here so I'm captured here but when I get done with this I'm done."
*Childress confirmed that cornerback Antoine Winfield has continued to stay away from OTA workouts this week. Contract talks between the Vikings and Winfield broke down last month and the veteran has not attended any of the Vikings' offseason practices.
*One interesting point that came up during the course of the conversation on KFAN is how Childress and Favre might coexist given that the Vikings coach is a stickler for detail and the quarterback likes to do things his way. "I think it's more of, just like you talk about with a quarterback, can he manage a game?" Childress said. "I think it's more about that. And then you letting him know your expectations and how we're playing the game here and what we value here. Those are different virtually everywhere you go and every system you play in."
-- Copyright (c) 2009, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services