Favre Trying to "Fit In" with Vikings

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Thanks to 16 years in the same offensive system at Green Bay, Brett Favre already feels at home with the Minnesota Vikings playbook.

His familiarity with the teammates who are running those plays still has a way to go.

Favre has been in Minnesota for only 10 days, so he's still getting acquainted with his new Vikings teammates, something the 39-year-old quarterback believes will only take a matter of time.

"Obviously chemistry is maybe the most important factor in winning and losing. There's some work to do in that area," Favre said after practice on Thursday. "I've been here a little over a week, and that's the reason there's work to do. I think the locker room has been fine. I don't know what it was like before I got here. I wasn't here.

"I know every guy in that room wants to win, and we're going to do everything we can do to try to see that that happens."

Vikings coach Brad Childress picked up Favre from the airport on Aug. 18 after not seeing enough from incumbents Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels during training camp.

It's been a whirlwind since then for a three-time MVP who still doesn't know the names of all 78 teammates in purple. He has been staying late at team headquarters to study film and learn the tendencies of his new receivers. He's also getting to know the rest of the team to better put him in a position to be a leader once the season begins.

Favre called it "a work in progress." But he also says he is confident that he will fit in just fine in Minnesota.

"I'd be a fool to sit here and tell you I've won everyone over in the locker room, and that's not what I'm trying to do. I was brought in here to help this team win, not to make friends, even though I felt like that's an easy thing for me to do," he said. "I will continue to work on that part of it. I think my experience can only go so far on the field, but it can pay huge dividends off the field and in the locker room.

"You know what, you've got to be yourself, and I'm pretty content with my personality. I think it's able to fit in with just about everyone."

The signs have been promising so far, despite a generation gap between Favre and most of the players in the locker room. He will turn 40 in October and 56 of the 79 players on the roster on Thursday were under the age of 10 when he was drafted by the Falcons in 1991.

He has already received ringing endorsements from every significant veteran on the Vikings roster, including guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Adrian Peterson and defensive end Jared Allen.

"He's the type of guy that can keep a smile on your face, keep you laughing," Peterson said after Favre's first preseason appearance last Friday against the Kansas City Chiefs. "He's been doing this for 18 years, so I'm sure it's not hard for him to connect with guys."

Rookie receiver Percy Harvin called it "an honor" and "a blessing" to play with the future Hall of Famer while left tackle Bryant McKinnie said he had trouble believing his eyes on the first day of practice when Favre called the play in the huddle.

"Brett has fit in great. He's one of the guys," safety Madieu Williams said on Thursday. "Everybody has welcomed him with open arms. He's fit right in. He's been a great locker-room guy."

Now it's time to see what the old man has left on the field. He played in the preseason game last Friday night just three days after signing with the team and completed one pass for four yards in 4 attempts over two series.

The Vikings don't play again until Monday night at Houston, giving Favre a full week of practices to get a better feel for his teammates and work his body back into playing shape.

"The one thing we want to do is we want him to do things the way we've been doing it for the last couple of weeks, with all the guys in training camp," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Get him up to speed where they are. Then, once we get him to there, then we can start to evolve and do some other things we want to do."


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