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Brett Favre is the Vikings' problem

I'm sure all of the Brett Favre apologists will say the Vikings lost their first two games for every reason but the play of Favre. This is wrong. Many of the problems with Minnesota can be traced back to Favre and how he held an entire team hostage for the off-season.

The Vikings are struggling due to a lack of timing and continuity. You have to believe this began with the Vikings players seeing how Favre, the catalyst of the team, treated training camp and other affairs this year. When timing routes and meetings should've been taking place between quarterback and receivers, there instead were news headlines about Favre's very unclear future.

Quite frankly, there is no substitute for hard work and preparation. It's ridiculous to think that one could just throw a few passes to high school kids and do Wrangler commercials, then walk onto an NFL field and win. The competition level is too high for an aging man to continue to think that he could get away with his casual approach to the game.

What's even more interesting is that Favre's yardage wasn't bad in Sunday's loss to Miami. He threw for 225 yards - a very impressive stat for any quarterback. But three interceptions is not. Turnovers will lose games.

And after an 0-2 start, I'm wondering whether the Vikings still think it was wise for them to beg Favre not to retire? Was it worthwhile to offer him more money and send their best players and coaches to visit him during training camp to plead with him to play? Please.

This could turn out to be the worst off-season decision of the year. Honestly, what do you believe these Viking players are thinking? I'll tell you. They are wondering the same thing they wondered last year: How the heck does an NFL franchise allow so much indecision? How does an NFL franchise allow a single player to dictate what happens and what doesn't? And here's the most detrimental thought of all: Teammates now say to themselves, 'if he can get away with it, then why shouldn't I be able to do the same'?

The Vikings do not have a clear direction at this point, and although they were a pass away from playing in the Super Bowl last season, this team seems disjointed and dangerously close to a meltdown. And we all know the reason why. Sad, but true, we all know that Brett Favre's shenanigans are the main reason why.

By LaVar Arrington  | September 20, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
 
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Comments

Lavar:

Love you piece. In fact, I pretty much wrote similarly what you said about the Vikings organization, players and morale last month in my blog. I hope you check it out, I think you'll like what you read as I have liked reading yours.

http://www.trendspottings.com

Posted by: JohnnyBeachbum | September 20, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Agreed.

On TMQ over at espn.com, Easterbrook noted how announcers of the Vikes-Saints game were blaming his receivers for the off-timing on routes. One of his readers piped up and said: it is more reasonable to assert that ONE guy's failure to show up for training camp is the issue than to presume that screwups by FIVE guys who WERE in camp are the problem.

He's right.

Posted by: poorskins | September 20, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This a really cute article and everything Lavar, but what about 2009?

Favre came in later last year than this year with even less "Hard work and preparation."

Also keep in mind he has 4 whole WRs this year, and he was in camp working on timing and meetings longer than half of them. (Camarillo was traded for last-minute, and Harvin was out most of camp with issues.)

Brett Favre's "shenanigans" got the Queens a 12-men in the huddle penalty away from the Super Bowl LAST year. How crazy of his teammates to want him back for another go at it? Please.

Posted by: onthebunsen | September 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

LaVar,
I think you are completely right. Frankly, Favre and the entire Vikings orginization are to blame. Last year does not matter; one good year does not buy you the next. I have been a fan of Favre, but let's be real this man won one SB 16 years ago. NFL teams are very good at figuring out how to beat a team that looked nearly unbeatable the previous year. Anyone thinking the Saints are going to have the same great record and unbelievable passing numbers and offense as they did last year? it takes work...work Favre won't put in. The Vikes deserve what they get. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: moarhai | September 20, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

LaVar I'm right there with you! I get that Favre is a great player with a great history but I don't understand how you can let one individual run your organization's entire operation! I think the Vikings made the wrong decision waiting for Favre to make up his mind and if I'm being honest, I really believe Favre's actions have been super selfish and he has not thought about his team and how they would cope with his wishy-washy actions!

Posted by: realchica | September 21, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Favre's completion percentage was nearly 70% last season. More than 4000 yards. 33 TDs vs 7 INTs.

That's what they are thinking when they put up with his indecision and begged him to come back. Because without Favre, where are they? Who's the backup? Tarvaris Jackson? Really?

Do you think they'd be better with Jackson + some timing nonsense in training camp over Favre with none of that? Really? Are you sure you're not just hating and picking your spots? Hmmm?

For an elite quarterback and a chance at a superbowl you put up with a whole lot and you make exceptions. And any player on that team with half a brain understands the difference between themselves and a legendary talent in his 40s who absolutely deserves whatever the hell he needs to keep playing.

Posted by: uranderson | September 21, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

"Favre's completion percentage was nearly 70% last season. More than 4000 yards. 33 TDs vs 7 INTs.

That's what they are thinking when they put up with his indecision and begged him to come back. Because without Favre, where are they? Who's the backup? Tarvaris Jackson? Really?

Do you think they'd be better with Jackson + some timing nonsense in training camp over Favre with none of that? Really? Are you sure you're not just hating and picking your spots? Hmmm?"

Mr. Anderson, did you know that the Vikings WON the division with Tavaris Jackson as the QB the season before Brett arrived....Please face the fact that Brett is at the END of his career. I really hope that when Tavaris' contract with the Vikes ends, he leaves the team and really put them in a bind, because the only way this Brett thing ends sadly, is with him on a cart with a career ending injury... :(

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | September 21, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

The Vikes are going with the best available QB at this time. Albert's "games" cost the Skins far more because AH doesn't performances seem not to have the impact of Bret.
Lot easier being a second-guessing columnist than a real player, isn't it?

Posted by: pjohn2 | September 21, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Lavar, put away the haterade.Favre is playing because he can and you can't.If you have so much knowledge why don't you help the Redskins.Favre is not new to this, he knows what is needed. Even if Tarvaris Jackson was starting, he would have no one to throw to either. This is only 2 games, why don't you review your former team the Giants.

Posted by: bessiebodie1 | September 21, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Favre is playing because he can and you can't"

Just like every other NFL player. So?

Posted by: fredcorgi1 | September 21, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I like the thought and agree with your point. My issue is that its only starting to show up in the national media now because they are 0-2. Lavar, I think you were one of the few I heard questioning the ripple of Favremania on his teammates (i.e., holding the team hostage, being a me first "LEADER") weeks ago and I think you should have gone with that as more of the central theme that you'd explore. I think 0-2 is significant, but that franchise could really be damaged if they don't turn it around. Thats a fairly young, talented team that now knows the leverage they could have.

On a bit of a different note: I actually think this whole "It MIGHT be time to hang them up" spectacle, going back to the Packers days, has been a red herring--one cooked up by Bus Cook and Brett for even more overexposure and as a bargaining chip. Its really been nothing more than a hold out. Pretty sick stuff if that conspiracy theory is close.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 21, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"Mr. Anderson, did you know that the Vikings WON the division with Tavaris Jackson as the QB the season before Brett arrived....Please face the fact that Brett is at the END of his career. I really hope that when Tavaris' contract with the Vikes ends, he leaves the team and really put them in a bind, because the only way this Brett thing ends sadly, is with him on a cart with a career ending injury... :("

------------------------------------

Pssst, no they didn't. Jackson only started 5 games in 2008 and the Vikes were 2-3 in those games. They were 8-3 in games started by Gus Frerotte, of all people.

I agree that Favre needs to retire but let's not act like this is an Aaron Rodgers situation that the Vikes are in.

Posted by: ouvan59 | September 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

You know who really knows about this stuff. You can practice, practice, and practice but there is nothing like game speed and the reality is if he was there during camp and the preseason he would not have particpated much anyway. How much action did Clinton Portis see in the presason - not much. How much time did Cooley see -not much. Yeah, I know they were at camp and working out but Favre is forty something and his body cannot take the punishment - if he pulls somthing it is going to take much time to heal. I know this as I am forty something and your body does begin to break down. Also, didn't one local star athlete once say, "Practice", "Practice" - we are only talking "Practice" - who needs Practice?
Lavar I would love to see ya coaching at Maryland one day. That would be a great job man. Take it light!!

Posted by: Baller1122 | September 21, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"He threw for 225 yards - a very impressive stat for any quarterback."

This is not a impressive stat.

Posted by: StLou | September 21, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm a lifelong Packer fan and have every reason to agree with you after he held our team hostage the last years of his time there - but how do you explain last year's success under the same conditions as this year, in terms of when and how he joined the team?

You can't. I'd like to jump on board with you but it doesn't add up.

Posted by: CenterLeft | September 21, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Vikings were one pass away from the Super Bowl last year but it was easily predictable that Brett Favre was going to try to prove he's still the "amazing gunslinger" and probably consciously thought to himself "I need to throw a pass that will make people say only Brett Favre can do that." And of course he does, at a crucial time in the game, and it's easily picked off. I said throughout that game he was going to do something that would bring the focus all on him - just like he did with the Michael Strahan sack record, having to make himself a part of that, and all the ridiculous "I think I'm going to retire" every year just so he's the center of attention the entire off-season. He has now taken a HOF career and turned it into everyone just wishing he'd retire and go away. But you watch, he'll do the same thing this offseason to keep himself as the center of attention. He has now become the guy I love to root against.

Posted by: AsstGM | September 21, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

i will agree Favre play has been poor but to say he is the problem far beyond that. I look at the Miami game 1st drive drove down when instead taking on points he childress decided to go for it. And i could go on and on about his playing callign and decision making. Favre is part of the reason there 0-2 but blame goes all around. Sidney Rice is not there , harvin has been on and off so far . Not every thing is clicking right now, but to rid Favre off is a bad decision there still a good football team with injuries right now they have 14 games left the season is not over. Better to have problems now then later on.

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | September 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

i will agree Favre play has been poor but to say he is the problem far beyond that. I look at the Miami game 1st drive drove down when instead taking on points he childress decided to go for it. And i could go on and on about his playing callign and decision making. Favre is part of the reason there 0-2 but blame goes all around. Sidney Rice is not there , harvin has been on and off so far . Not every thing is clicking right now, but to rid Favre off is a bad decision there still a good football team with injuries right now they have 14 games left the season is not over. Better to have problems now then later on.

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | September 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It never fails, when a quarterback like FAVRE has a bad start to the season, people like LAVAR ARRINGTON have the buzzards circling overhead and the hyenas dragging down the gazelle (favre) Yes, he's had a slow start, but he will have a strong finish, so ARRINGTON, why don't you concentrate on real problems like #92 of the REDSKINS!!

Posted by: rammitmike | September 21, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

While I agree for the most part with your comments, I feel you commenting on another player and one that exceded expectations in a long career is foolish. Maybe you should write about how it took you 46 games (3 seasons) to acquire 16 sacks and 4 ff as the second overall selection and someone like Clay Mathews has 16 sacks and 1 ff in 15. Maybe you did not prepare well and were as lazy as they claimed back then. Explains your underwhelming and shortened career. So try not and throw stones at a future hall of famer even if he is wrong.

Posted by: slateridge_photography | September 25, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

What a load of bovine feces! This years beginning is no different from last year. Brett didn't report to training camp etc. then either and they did fine. It is simply an 'off' time. People are expecting too much from Brett. He will settle down and the Vikes will be fine. Sick of the Favre Haters though. He came back because the team WANTED him. I doubt they are regretting it yet.

Posted by: tindal38 | September 26, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

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