FavreWatch: The 'value' of training camp

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Few of us liked the idea of Brett Favre showing up in Minnesota this summer more than three weeks after the rest of his teammates, having skipped the entirety of training camp. We assumed it would steepen his learning curve and make him vulnerable to the kind of muscle pulls and ill-timed soreness normally associated with players who miss camp.

But as we approach the dreaded Week 13 wall with Favre showing no signs of physical breakdown, it’s time to consider another possibility: Did Favre actually benefit from missing three additional weeks of wear and tear?

Speaking Wednesday at the Vikings’ practice facility, Favre acknowledged “there is something to that” and reiterated that training camp is more important for younger players.

“Do I think training camp is long?” he asked. “I think for older players it probably is, because you don’t play in every [preseason] game. But I really feel like it almost helped me as far as -- I’m not talking about my arm -- the rest [of his body]. Not that I get hit in training camp, and I may be wrong. … But the dropping back, running around, the physical and mental strain that [regular season] games have on you, I feel that. To think that I would have had three more weeks of camp, and this sounds like I’m lobbying for something, and that’s not true. ...”

Favre didn’t finish that thought, but he didn’t have to. It would be hard for anyone to argue that he missed out by skipping training camp. There’s no way to measure these things, but it’s worth considering that the decision has actually helped keep him fresher for longer this season.

Consider the chart below. Favre not only is on an MVP pace, but he should shatter every mark for longevity and performance associated with NFL quarterbacks. So for everyone asking whether Favre will play next season, I can say one thing: I’ll let you know on or around Aug. 20, 2010.