Archive for the ‘NFC North’ Category

Childress growing frustrated with Favre?

July 16, 2009

Sorry for the short break from Packer coverage – though I must say, Packer world has been dull lately. Anyway, I hate to quote another anonymous source, but another anonymous source passed on some quality info to me today: apparently, Childress said Favre is on the Vikings if Favre wants to play there. But this source also indicated Childress expressed frustration about trying to prepare for the season without the QB position firmly determined.

I still believe Favre has already signed with the Vikings and that he really is just waiting to announce it. The part of me that still has respect at least for what Favre did to help the Packers win, wants to point out that it’s possible that the timing of Steve McNair’s sad death came right around the time Favre planned to announce his return. Favre and McNair were somewhat close so Favre may have decided to postpone his announcement until things settled a bit. On the other hand, the bigger part of me that is really just ticked at Favre, wonders if the delay is due to Favre wanting to make sure his announcement comes at a time when it will capture the maximum amount of attention. (Actually, Favre saying he’ll decide by July 30th would support the idea that Favre just wants to wait until closer to the time that fans tune back into the NFL – the start of training camp).

Vikes’ brass messing with crack?

July 6, 2009

While many NFL fans/bloggers/media-types (including Packergeeks) have focused on Favre/Vikings news, I am growing more and more interested in another Viking story – the holdout by Antoine Winfield. I read recently (forgive me, I can’t recall the source), that Winfield is simply asking to be paid as a top 10 NFL cornerback. If this is even close to being true, the Vikes must be on crack for not having this figured out yet. In my opinion, Winfield is one of the top 2 or 3 corners in the NFL right now behind Asomugha and maybe Charles Woodson. Despite his shorter stature, he plays big, he hits hard, he is a stellar open-field tackler, has tremendous instincts and often draws the most talented WR from the opposing team. I realize he is 32 years old, but he can still play at a very high level. I would be surprised if Vikings’ management didn’t give a little in these negotiations soon – a Vikings’ defense without Winfield would be a lot easier for opposing offenses to attack.

“Vikesrule” has this to say…what do you think Packergeek readers?

June 26, 2009

Vikesrule Says: June 25, 2009 at 9:08 pm – I can’t wait to watch Favre charge out on to Lambeau in purple!! What a beautiful slap in the face to you toothless one sport town losers!! And how funny would it be if Favre wins not just one but two super bowls in a Vikings uniform. He’ll retire a Viking if that happens. Then we can start talking about Green Blah as the Viking “farm team” Thanks for the player development!!!! #

Vikesrule Says: June 25, 2009 at 9:18 pm – 56Coop: You sound like you just ate some sour grapes. A little afraid he might actually produce big time with a legit offense? Hunting better in Wisconsin??? Who cares!! The fact that you clowns wear your blaze orange and cammo to games frames you up as the stereotypical knuckle dragging neanderthals that everyone thinks you are. And yeah, a guy with money like Favre is going to buy a hunting outpost home in MN?? Whatever!! And afraid to step in Wisconsin. OOOOO!! What is someone going to do, mug the guy?? Yeah I suppose a townie cheeshead would do just that!!

My response? Thanks for getting our blood moving Vikesrule and as always, despite the lameness of your comments, your comments are welcome here.

  • First of all, “one sport town losers“? We’ve won more championships in that one sport than Minnesota has in all of its pro sports.
  • Second, nice stadium.
  • Third, nice history of choking in big games.
  • Fourth, I think blaze orange is far less offensive football fan attire than a carefully assembled $400 “outfit” with $200 Italian leather shoes (Vikesrule rolling his eyes right now saying “what a clueless loser, who spends only $200 on shoes anymore?”).
  • Fifth, nice loyalty – Vikings fans don’t even reach the level of being appropriately considered “fair-weather fans” because even when things are going well, there are fan loyalty issues. Just last year, the Vikes needed to rely on some dude to buy up a bunch of tickets at the last minute to avoid a blackout…FOR A PLAYOFF GAME!!! On the other hand, Packer fans are truly loyal fans who are excited about our team whether we’re playing well or not . We always sell out our games and the only time the word “blackout” enters our minds is when we see a Vikings “fan” laying on the floor after having 3 beers (actually, really just 2 beers because he opens up a new one once the old one starts “getting a little warm”).
  • Sixth, um, again, nice stadium.

Favre deal already done?

June 9, 2009

Two interesting developments in the Favre situation:

  1. Two months ago, his family apparently reserved a bunch of hotel rooms in Green Bay around the time that the Pack would be playing the Vikings (Nov 1).
  2. A trusted Packergeeks source shared with me this morning some  info from a source within the Vikings organization. Apparently,  as of early this morning, the only delay in the Favre signing is due to a few minor contract details. So, it’s just understood now by the team that Favre will be a Viking soon – an announcement is expected Weds or Thurs once the deal is finalized. (This same source also reported that rumors about Favre’s arm not being OK are false – and that Favre is reporting that his arm hasn’t felt this good in years).

I’ll say it again. Favre going to the Vikings pisses me off. The fact that he’s putting his own need for revenge against Ted Thompson above years of support from Packer fans makes me sick.

The other concern I have about this, as I’ve said before, is that if he’s healthy, I think Favre will make the Vikings very, very good. I know many Packer fans are acting like they wouldn’t be worried because they think Favre is now over the hill/no good anymore etc. But it’s just a whole different situation when you have the best RB in the NFL on your team as well as a solid, solid defense. Even with Childress being Childress, I’ll say it now, if Favre really does play for the Vikes, I bet they go 12-4.

Favre to have surgery

May 18, 2009

Thanks to 56Coop for pointing this story out. Looking like things are lining up indeed for Favre to join the Vikings.

Chicago thoughts on Capers

May 15, 2009

Interesting article here from Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. Pompei essentially argues that of all the off-season activity in the NFC North, the Packers hiring of Dom Capers may have the biggest impact. I think he may be right – and of course, I really hope he’s right.

In January, I argued that the Pack ought to move to a 3-4 defense. I’ve felt this way for a while now primarily because it’s been quite a while since a Packers defense has been really good several years in a row (and we’ve played a 4-3 now for years). I think there are several advantages to moving to a 3-4 – and I’ll throw it out there again, so does LeRoy Butler (who remains a close follower of the team). One big advantage, as Capers notes in this article, is that there are only a few NFC teams right now playing a 3-4. So, for most weeks, NFC teams will be preparing for 4-3 defenses, which may make having to prepare for our unique/hybrid 3-4 a bit more challenging – especially in its first year when opponents won’t have the luxury of hours of tape and a sense for our defensive tendencies.

As Pompei also writes, Packer fans should take some comfort in the fact that Capers has had solid success in helping 4-3 defenses transition to 3-4 defenses. My guess is that at least part of that success is attributable to his willingness to be flexible. As he notes in the article, forcing your existing players into a certain scheme is not the way to go about this. Instead, he and the staff need to flex some and figure out ways for the existing personnel to contribute their strengths to a 3-4 scheme that is not rigid.

That said, one thing I do wonder about is how flexible he will be with Harris and Woodson. His quote in the article (indicating that it’s easier to learn zone coverage after playing man-to-man than the other way around) suggests to me that he actually is planning to play Harris and Woodson a lot in zone coverage. Maybe Harris and Woodson will do fine with that – they are gifted, instinctual players. But I’d be a bit concerned about pushing them too far away from something they are uniquely good at – bump and run man-to-man coverage.

We’ll see in the end – but I am beginning to think we’ll see a very active defense that will rotate a good number of players in and out keeping everyone fresh. My guess is that it won’t take long for this defense to come together and be quite effective (especially if Raji can adapt well enough to start at DE within the first few games). I can envision a few coverage lapses due to uncertain communication in the first few games, but I also can see that Capers will make sure that gets cleaned up (vs. the previous defenses led by Sanders who had communication issues right through to game 16 of last year). I also believe that Capers will prove he is capable at making adjustments on the fly (far more capable as a D-Coordinator than he was as a head coach).

Alex Marvez with more on Favre

May 4, 2009

Alex Marvez has a nice brief article here outlining the suspicious behavior of Favre and others. Particularly curious is profootballtalk’s apparent evidence that an unidentified plane flew from Minneapolis to Favre’s hometown the day after he was released. Here is the full article:

ALL SIGNS POINT TO FAVRE RETURNING

Here we go again.

We all knew Brett Favre’s self-described “itch” to play football again would eventually return following his retirement. For the second time in two years, it appears he’s ready to scratch.

There were simply too many signs that emerged last week pointing to a Favre comeback:

  • Favre was granted his release request by the New York Jets rather than remaining on the team’s reserve/retired list. He issued a statement claiming “nothing has changed” and “at this time, I am retired and have no intention of returning to football.” So why ask for your release? Plus, with his history of retirement flip-flopping, the use of “at this time” is particularly intriguing.
  • Minnesota — the team that Favre wanted to play for in 2008 — is open to the possibility of signing him. Vikings coach Brad Childress said the team would discuss the subject after last weekend’s minicamp. Vikings owner Zigi Wilf, who months ago said his club would have no interest in signing Favre, instead issued a “no comment” about the topic Saturday when asked by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Favre has recently spoken with Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a good friend from their days together in Green Bay.
  • The Pioneer Press reported that Favre has hired a personal trainer (tending to his farm apparently isn’t providing enough manual labor).
  • Profootballtalk.com reported an unidentified plane flew from Minneapolis to Favre’s hometown of Hattiesburg, Miss. the day after his release.
  • New Orleans safety Darren Sharper, a former Packers teammate, told the NFL’s web site that he believes Favre will try to play another season “because he’s such a competitor and he still loves football.”
  • More interesting Viking/Favre behavior

    May 4, 2009

    Read here from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I’m not sure what is meant exactly by this statement, but I find it very curious:

    If Favre is to become the Vikings’ quarterback for 2009, and it still appears he will, a deal is expected to be done within the next three weeks. The Vikings’ mandatory minicamp for players is May 29-31.

    By adding “and it still appears he will”, I wonder what info this author has that leads him to being somewhat certain Favre signing with the Vikes is likely.

    Favre to Vikings really possible?

    May 2, 2009

    Recently Vikings’ owner Zigi Wilf indicated he was not interested in pursuing the new free agent Brett Favre. So I find Brad Childress’ comments here at the very least, curious. Specifically, when asked if the team has discussed the possibility of going after Favre, Childress said:

    “We haven’t. It doesn’t mean we won’t,” Childress said. “We talk about everything, from what’s going on in the United States on the front page today. … So, yeah, I’m sure we’ll talk about that.”

    While Childress attempted to make this a general, non-statement, I don’t think he succeeded. I’m not sure why he’d say “it doesn’t mean we won’t ” or “I’m sure we’ll talk about that” if this were something that they weren’t considering. CindyV and Trav have both wondered if Favre may end up in Minnesota based on some of these recent comments by the Vikes and also on the fact that Favre asked to be released. I must say that I didn’t think the whole Favre-to-Vikings story had legs initially, but these Childress comments make me wonder.

    I’ve said this before, but I would be profoundly disappointed if Favre ended up on the Vikings. Not only do I think he’d be good there (yes, believe it or not, better than Tarvaris), but I also don’t think Packer fans could forgive him. Imagine, Favre being announced at Lambeau wearing a heinous purple uniform to a chorus of boos. It would be really, really sad.

    Plax to Bears or Vikes…or, gulp, the Lions???

    April 7, 2009

    I’m starting to read articles (here and here) that tie the Bears and Vikes to possible interest in the newest free agent Plaxico Burress. Yes, he’s a headache off the field and a total moron – but he’s a major headache on the field too…just ask Al Harris. Both Chicago and Minnesota could use a quality WR. And even though he’ll likely have to head to jail for a bit, I’m pretty confident Plax will come back and be very good once again. I would rate both the Vikes and Bears as having WR groups at or near the bottom of the NFL. Both teams could seriously improve their offenses by signing Plax and if one of them makes this move, I would be concerned as a Packer fan.

    But the team I haven’t seen mentioned in any of this Plax talk that could perhaps benefit the most would be Detroit. In a league where creating match-up problems for defenses has become the name of the offensive game, imagine a secondary having to line up across from Calvin Johnson and Plaxico Burress. I don’t care if Duante Culpepper’s mom were QB, that would make for a long day.


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