Thursday, July 30, 2009
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Moving in, moving on: Without Favre, Vikes arrive

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[July 30, 2009]  MANKATO, Minn. (AP) -- Once again, Brett Favre ran away from a Minnesota rush. Now the Vikings are trying to revive their support for the quarterbacks who were set to fight for the job in the first place.

The majority of players and coaches were on their way Wednesday evening to the Minnesota State University campus in Mankato, the team's home for training camp for the last 43 years.

Now that Favre has decided to remain retired, the attention has turned to Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels and how they'll react to the assumed end of the Vikings' high-profile pursuit of the NFL's all-time leading passer.

"As players, we were always happy about the quarterbacks we had," said linebacker Ben Leber. "But the prospect of bringing Brett in was really exciting. We still have confidence in Tarvaris and Sage. So we'll move on."

Teammates, including running back Adrian Peterson, openly expressed interest in playing with Favre and recently sent him encouraging messages when he was trying to make up his mind.

"It doesn't make sense to worry about things that are out of my control," Peterson said in an interview posted on the team's Web site. "My entire focus this offseason has been to recharge my body and prepare myself for the 2009 season. I am confident in every player we have on our roster and I believe our front office has done everything in its power to keep improving our team. Now, as players, it's our job to go out there and defend our division championship, get back to the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl."

In his statement after Favre broke the news to him, coach Brad Childress' word choice -- "with this behind us, we look forward" -- suggested the Vikings won't consider revisiting the possibility once the season is under way should Favre change his mind again.

Still, in an interview posted on Sports Illustrated's Web site, Favre added another subtle twist to this endlessly open-ended story: "I truly, truly believe it's over. But if someone calls Nov. 1, who knows?"

Speaking to The Associated Press in Mississippi, Favre's agent, Bus Cook, said he believes the soon-to-be-40-year-old made the right decision. Asked about Favre's insinuation he could be convinced to play come midseason, Cook said he hadn't discussed that with his friend and client.

"I don't know that he would be," Cook said. "I don't think that he's categorically said ... that if the world falls and they need a quarterback that I wouldn't go, but he's not looking for that to happen either."

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Cook reiterated Favre's earlier assertion that the health of his ankles and knees and other potential aches and pains, not the strength of his once-rocket right arm, was the reason for his reluctance.

"He's really tried and worked hard, but every day his body was telling him, 'Look, you've still got the arm. It's the rest of me that's telling you to rethink your situation,'" Cook said. "He said, 'Look, I don't want to go through it no more. Right now I'm just not of a mindset to go up there and go through this and that. I don't want to get to the middle of the season and look around and wonder what I've gotten myself into here."

In an earlier interview with the AP, before Favre made up his mind, Childress called the distraction and potential negative effect on Jackson and Rosenfels "overrated."

He added: "We're going to be a good football team, either way."

[Associated Press; By DAVE CAMPBELL]

Associated Press writer Chris Talbott in Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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