EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Some wiseacres have suggested Brett Favre's looming ankle surgery has given him the excuse he needs to skip Minnesota's training camp. But listening to Vikings coach Brad Childress speak Friday, it didn't sound like Favre needs a reason.
ChildressFavreChildress reiterated in stronger terms that he would support a late arrival for the second consecutive year. In 2009, Favre signed three days after the Vikings' first preseason game.
"I don't have a lot of illusions about the timing of the things," Childress said. "There was no manual back then, and he played at a high level. How much [work] does he need? He knows. I've got a ballpark idea of how much he needs, and obviously what he got last year was plenty."
So after a day that included multiple statements from Favre about his ankle, we're essentially back to where we started: The Vikings will continue to wait for an official word but are operating as if he will return. Childress said "I still don't know" for sure, but did compare the procedure Favre likely will undergo as a maintenance-minded "grease-oil-filter."
A couple other observations from Minnesota's rookie camp (with reports on all NFC North teams coming at some point this weekend):
Joe Webb is one big dude. The Vikings drafted Webb in the sixth round, hoping to convert him from quarterback to receiver. He was listed at 6-2 or 6-3 in many pre-draft analyses, but the Vikings have him at 6-foot-4 and he is every bit of it. I have no idea if he can play receiver in the NFL, but he sure looks the part.
Spoke briefly with tailback Toby Gerhart, whom the Vikings hope will fill the Chester Taylor role as a backup/third-down back. Gerhart seemed fully aware that his ability to pick up blitzes will play the biggest role in whether he wins that job. "You have to understand your scheme, who you have, who the line is blocking and who you are responsible for," Gerhart said. "Once you get the hang of that, it's picking up tendencies. There are a lot of subtleties you can see on film from safety rotations to alignment tendencies. Then you got to have to have the will and stick your head in there and protect the quarterback."