A penny's worth of football thoughts

Brett Favre could lead the Vikings to another NFC North title.

August 21, 2009, 10:25 AM

By: Tom Waddle

What was my radio partner thinking? Is Marc Silverman the only red-blooded, football-crazed man alive who truly believed Brett Favre was going to stay retired? Why? Because Favre said he was done? Hadn't he made that statement before? All right, enough with the questions. The obvious has occurred. Favre avoided the majority of training camp and is now a member of the Minnesota Vikings. He's not just a member. He's their starting quarterback. Come Friday night, he'll be under center for the first snap in Kansas City.

Some of you are tired of drama. I say, "Get over it." This is a story worth covering. A future Hall of Famer joins a team that is stacked on defense and has the best running back on the planet. Because of the better talent around him in Minneapolis, Favre has a greater chance to succeed with the Vikings than he did with the Jets. If Favre ditches the gunslinger mentality in lieu of a game manager approach, he will likely lead the Vikes to another NFC North title. Don't make too much of the "commotion" that may exist in the locker room due to Favre's late arrival and the preferential treatment that goes along with his stature. Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson have no resume nor do they have the right to feel slighted. If there's a veteran who thinks Favre doesn't give the Vikings the best chance to win, that guy doesn't have a very good feel for his own team.

Are the Vikings now the front runner in the NFC? Not necessarily. Favre has been more bad than good over the past four years. However, if used properly in this situation, he might just be the final piece to the Vikings' puzzle.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles shocked the NFL universe by signing Michael Vick. Surprisingly, the guy who lobbied the hardest for Vick was Donovan McNabb, the league's most underappreciated player in the past decade. There are many interesting possibilities with Vick in the Eagles' huddle, but one shouldn't take significant snaps under center. McNabb is the quarterback of this team. He gives the Eagles the best chance to return to the NFC title game for the sixth time during his tenure. You may wonder how the cruel and fickle Eagles fans, and coaching staff for that matter, will respond when McNabb struggles for the first time. If Andy Reid gave McNabb the hook for Kevin Kolb, how quickly will he be tempted to go to Vick if things go bad?

Finally, please stop the dissecting of everything Jay Cutler. He didn't play well in the Bears' game in Buffalo, plain and simple. But it was just 14 snaps, in his first preseason game with a new group of teammates. This group didn't include Greg Olsen or Matt Forte, so please, put the boo guns away for now. If we see the same struggles in September and October, then have at it and fire away. In the meantime, look to his three seasons in Denver if you want to make an evaluation of Jay Cutler, the quarterback. And for the love of everything good and pure, he wasn't throwing Devin Hester under the bus. He was stating the obvious! Devin is a "run under it" receiver, not a "go up and get it" receiver. He's no Brandon Marshall, as Cutler is quickly learning.

If you want to wring your hands, Bears fans, look to the secondary for a reason why. They didn't do anything to alleviate fears with their performance against the Bills. Granted, Charles Tillman, Zackary Bowman, and Danieal Manning were out, and this is a group that may struggle even at 100 percent. Now, more than ever, the Bears' D-Line needs to produce a pass rush if they wish to return to dominance. Another 28-sack season will spell doom for this Bears defense. God, I love football!


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