In a story posted on the Biloxi Sun Herald’s website, Vikings QB Brett Favre said that he’s still undecided about playing during the upcoming season, but also gave some words of encouragement for those who hope to see him back in a Vikings uniform come this fall for what would be his 20th season in the NFL.
‘‘I would love to go beat the Saints,” Favre told the paper. “I know I can still play at a high level. Last year was a great year, but it could have been better (winning NFC Championship).’’
The Vikings, of course, open the 2010 season where the 2009 one ended: in New Orleans against the Saints on Thursday, Sept. 9.
Favre also said that his surgically-repaired left ankle is healing on schedule.
The link above also noted that there will be a full interview with Favre in Friday’s print edition of the Sun Herald, and I’m sure the transcript of that will make its way online sooner than later.
UPDATE – Our friends over at the Star Tribune blog ‘Access Vikings’ have gotten a hold of the full interview. Here it is in its entirety.
By Al Jones
The Sun Herald
BILOXI, Miss. — Whether Brett Favre plays a 20th season in the NFL is still up in the air.
Following an early morning workout on Thursday that included an eight-mile bike ride near his Hattiesburg home with his wife, Deanna, the future Hall of Fame quarterback hinted that a return to Minnesota was possible.
But Favre wouldn’t commit with a direct answer about possible retirement either.
“I’m not saying that,” Favre said. “I just don’t know. I do not want to stir the pot. If it (comment) comes from me, it’s a big deal. At my age, all surgeries are major. The three I’ve had on the same ankle were considered minor, but major to me. It feels fine now. If my body was a wreck, the decision would be made. But that is not the case. I know they (Vikings) want to know.”
Favre added: “Hell, I want to know. But I am not going to press it. If I do not play, it does not cost the Vikings a dime. They keep the $13 million. I know they have confidence in the players they have. They had a chance to draft (Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy) Clausen in the first round, but they didn’t want one.
“I know I can still play at a high level. Last year was a great year, but it could have been better (losing NFC Championship). When (Vikings coach Brad) Childress came to my home a few weeks ago, he told me to take my time. But the team would need to know at some point.”
In his first season with Minnesota, Favre guided the Vikings to a 12-4 record. The Vikings lost to New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game in which Favre threw a costly last-minute interception.
Minnesota opens the season on Sept. 9 at the Superdome against the defending Super Bowl champion Saints.
“I would love to go beat the Saints,” Favre said. “I want to win every game that I play. People tell me all the time to go beat the Saints and redeem yourself.
“People said the same thing with Green Bay the year before. It was, ‘You have to go back and beat Green Bay.’ I don’t want to be in my 20th year and hear people say, ‘You have to redeem yourself.’ Like I said, I would love to go beat the Saints. But what if that doesn’t happen?”
The NFC title defeat was the downside for a year as Favre passed for 4,202 yards and seven interceptions. Against New Orleans, Favre suffered an ankle injury, which was surgically repaired last month by Dr. James Andrews.
“It was my best season,” he said. “I’ve had three MVPs and that was not one of them. I know I can still play at a high level. I know I still love to play the game.
“I do know when it’s over, it’s over. I can’t play forever. It’s not like being a dentist or playing golf, I can’t play football forever.”
Favre said his indecision has caused his reluctance to speak publicly on the matter.
“That is why I am staying quiet at this time,” Favre said. “I have people telling me all the time that the NFL is better when I play. That is a big compliment and it makes me feel good. I also have people telling me that when I retire, they are going to stop watching football. I know that’s B.S.”
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We know that stars such as DE Jared Allen, QB Brett Favre (if he returns) and RB Adrian Peterson ultimately hold the keys to the Vikings success each year. We also know that it takes every soul on a 53-man roster to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl.
With that said, however, there are still a handful of players on a team each year whose performances provide an extra edge that helps get the team over the top. WR Sidney Rice was such a player for the Vikings in 2009. DE Ray Edwards is another example. Both Edwards and Rice produced at career-high levels and their production helped the Vikings separate from the rest of the league.
In order for the Vikings to get back to and surpass the level of success they achieved last year they’ll need similar performances from the supporting cast (for lack of a better term). So who will those players be?
Next week we’ll take a look at 5 candidates on the Vikings roster who might be relied upon to help the team gain that extra edge to win a 3rd consecutive division title, get back to the NFC Championship Game and ultimately reach the pinnacle of the NFL by winning a Super Bowl.
In the meantime, let us know who you think holds the key to gaining the extra edge? Is it a past star looking to regain his form? Is it a young player or rookie looking to make a name for himself? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below this entry.
Tags: Sidney Rice
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 46 Comments »