Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Vikings After Favre

So, is Brett Favre really retiring? Even if he says he is, he's gone so far beyond "the boy who cried wolf" that no one will seriously believe him until he watches an entire season from his sofa in Mississippi. I've already considered that there's no way he has the kind of season he had last year, so even if he does return, it's hard to believe he can take the Vikes back to the NFC Championship. But what if this news is real? What can the Vikings look forward to?

Scenario A: Tarvaris Jackson grows up
This, I think, is the most unlikely scenario. Vikings fans remember two years ago, when the Eagles were practically giving a playoff game away, and all T-Jack could do is throw the ball into the carpet like a toddler pitching lawn darts. But who knows? Maybe a year watching Favre and getting hungry for not only that kind of success on the field but the kind of "hooray, our savior has arrived" reception that Purple Nation gave Favre will enable him to take his game to a new level. He certainly has enough weapons at his disposal—but can he lead, and more important, can he make the big throws?

Scenario B: Vikings play smashmouth football
Last year, many experts thought Favre would be a play-it-safe game manager whose main job was to hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. Without Favre, that may be T-Jack's main role as QB. With middle linebacker E.J. Henderson coming back from injury, the defense gets tougher up the middle, freeing up Jared Allen to cause more havoc in the backfield. Combined with a running game consisting of AP, rookie Heisman finalist Toby Gerhart, and even T-Jack's speed, the Vikings could look a lot like the Baltimore Ravens. Hey, they won a Superbowl with Trent freaking Dilfer at QB.

Scenario C: Rookie QB Joe Webb gets thrown into the fire
I'm not saying Webb, who was drafted as a WR even though he set QB records at Alabama-Birmingham, will start the season. But if T-Jack starts the season 1-5 and Sage Rosenfels is still Sage Rosenfels, then why not see what the kid can do. Evidently he's shown the Vikings coaching staff enough in camp that they have him playing QB exclusively; he's not even working out as a WR anymore. Say what you want about Brad Childress, but he was Donovan McNabb's QB coach to start in Philadelphia, so I trust his expertise...at least in that area. On the other hand, he voted to draft T-Jack, so...

Scenario D: Vikings trade for an established veteran
The main problem with this scenario is that most of the QB shifting is done, and anyone who might be available—such as Brady Quinn, for instance—aren't really better options than what the Vikings already have. Michael Vick might be a possibility, but Zygi Wilf is big on player character, so that's unlikely, and that's about everyone. Crazy dream suggestion: lure Kurt Warner out of retirement.

So what's the most likely scenario? Probably a remarkable improvement in Favre's ankle followed by him starting his 20th NFL season wearing purple...I hope.

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