Brett Favre has the records. He has the Super Bowl ring. He has the mythic acts of heroism. But one thing he may not have? The backing of the entire Vikings locker room.
The evidence keeps trickling out indicating that, indeed, Brett is not the #1 choice of everyone who will be suiting up for the Vikings this year. “Per a source with knowledge of the locker-room dynamics in Minnesota,” reports Mike Florio, “there’s a ‘faction’ that still prefers Tarvaris Jackson.”
Yes, that Tarvaris Jackson.
According to Florio, this pro-Jackson faction, its size “undetermined,” believes Favre is over-the-hill, and that Jackson’s talent makes him more suited to lead the team on a championship run.
These T-Jackers had reason to keep their mouths shut a few weeks ago, when their guy was still gimpy from a training camp injury, and had been clearly passed by Sage Rosenfels as the starter. But after Jackson’s brilliant performance against second stringers in the preseason game vs. the Chiefs? They apparently have begun to stir.
Alas, amassing a perfect QB rating against a second team defense in an exhibition game does not an argument for starting status make. It was nice that T-Jack did so well, seemed so motivated, but am I the only one who remembers his dreary performance against the Eagles in the playoffs?
Am I the only one who recalls how poorly he played the first two games of last season, leading to his benching in favor of another old gray-beard, Gus Frerotte?
Do I alone have a problem with Tarvaris’s career-long habit of missing time for injuries that other quarterbacks (some named Favre) may have been able to man up and play through?
The unnamed T-Jackers may be playing a Jedi mind trick on themselves, purging their own memories of the bad T-Jack stuff, and replacing them with happy dreams of what T-Jack could be if only Brad Childress shows enough faith in him.
As if Chilly hadn’t already invested sufficient faith in T-Jack over the years, even naming him the starter without a training camp competition the two seasons before this one.
The T-Jackers certainly can’t argue that Chilly hasn’t given their guy a shot. And if they honestly think that one good stretch in a preseason game is enough to leap-frog him over Brett Favre? Dwight Smith must’ve left some of the good stuff behind, and they must’ve found it and decided to smoke it.
That being said, I do believe it is necessary to be open-minded about this whole quarterback thing. Yes, Brett Favre, by past history and everything else, has earned the right to be anointed the starter, even though he has completed exactly one pass in a Vikings uniform thus far. However, I also think that Chilly has to have a quick hook if Favre begins showing signs that he is as finished as the T-Jackers already believe he is.
And if it becomes necessary to yank Favre as the starter, Chilly has only one choice:
Promote Sage Rosenfels.
Cause who in the hell wants to watch Tarvaris Jackson run around like a scared barnyard animal again? I’ve had enough of that. So has Chilly. That’s why Sage was brought in before Brett was brought in.
Thankfully, football is not a Democracy. The T-Jackers don’t get a vote in whether their guy is elevated on the depth chart. It’s up to Chilly. He’s the one who pulled the trigger on Favre (apparently against the wishes of Rick Spielman and others in the front office). He’s the one who will have to face the music if things go belly-up.
And, he’s the one who drafted Jackson in the first place. Jackson would’ve gotten no shot in the NFL at all had it not been for Chilly’s (some would say misguided) belief in him. To paraphrase Bill Cosby: Chilly brought Jackson into this world, and he can take him out.
So, no, in my mind there is no quarterback controversy in Minnesota. Brad Childress has made his decision; he has cast his lot with Brett Favre. You can argue the wisdom of that all day if you like. The point here is, Tarvaris Jackson has already had enough chances. It’s time for someone else to get the keys of the KAO. If that someone can’t drive it, maybe Jackson gets another shot down the road.
The T-Jackers can pout all they like, but frankly, no one cares. Least of all #4, who is used to his teammates hating his guts.