Posts Tagged ‘ Sage Rosenfels ’

The Schism in ‘Sota

Well, Brett Favre is at it again.

The new term “schism” is basically a divide that is more than two ways. As Favre arrived to Minnesota a mere 10 days ago, skipping training camp and then starting against the Kansas City Chiefs. The main question was: what about the current battle for the starting position between Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson?

Favre is a legend, his toughness, and his blue collar image endeared himself to many different people during his time in Green Bay. But the last two years of back and forth and in and out of retirement has really put a tarnish on this legacy. He made a great impact with the New York Jets, and got them to an 8-3 start until they lost four of five that caused them to miss the playoffs. The treatment that Favre received preferential came after the Jets sputtered out at the end of the season. The Vikings knew this risk they were taking, and took it anyway. One good thing from Favre was that Adrian Peterson, the teams’ best player, was lobbying very hard for Favre to come to Minnesota, and when you are the star of the team, and you have the support of that star, that can really be some pull since he has the biggest voice of the team.

But… did they forget that they brought in a quarterback, Sage Rosenfels, from the Houston Texans? Rosenfels has started in NFL games before, and felt that Minnesota was the best opportunity for him to start and he had the chance to obtain the starting job. All of the sudden, just like in Houston, Washington, and Miami, he’s back to being the backup upon Favre’s arrival. Sure you have to be professional about it, but he was gaining respect from his teammates very quickly, which was a huge plus for him.

And what about Tavaris Jackson? He has been the starter for the past couple of seasons, but had he been what Brad Childress envisioned, a kid with the similar talents and skills of Donovan McNabb, but he has struggled mightily over the past two seasons he has been in Minnesota. Had he been performing better, he could be in a better position where nobody would even be trying to take his job. The good thing for Jackson is that he has a good support system among his teammates, and that’s where possibly the biggest dissension among the team. Jackson really showed brilliance against the Chiefs in the preseason game.

One thing that has been learned from Favre’s season with the Jets a year ago is that when the Jets were winning and were 8-3, there was no negativity, but as they sputtered out and missed the playoffs, the grumbles came. The Vikings were already a contender WITHOUT Favre, and he could possibly get them over the top. As long as the there is no divide, and the Vikings win, things will be fine. If this season is another Jets’ repeat, expect the grumbles and groans to get louder.

And prepare for future “schisms” in ‘Sota next year.

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NFC North Preview- Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are complete. Well, almost complete.

This is a team that has a great running game, a good receiver and tight end, drafted a flashy playmaker that can electrify his team and the crowd, and have a strong offensive line. You put that with a defensive unit that has been one of the best defenses (especially on the run) in the NFL in recent years, and this team is simply one of the best, and they are also having a bitter taste in their mouths after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs.

On offense, the key thing that is missing is a quarterback. Taaris Jackson was supposed to be groomed into the Vikings’ version of Donovan McNabb with his mobility and strong arm. Instead he has not grasped the concept of the West Coast offense and has seen not as much action to earn the trust of his coaches and teammates. To give Jackson some motivation, the Vikings picked up Sage Rosenfels from the Houston Texans. Rosenfels has more experience with the offense, and was really primed and ready to the starter.

Unfortunately, for Rosenfels and Jackson. They will have a battle, but it will be for the second string team.

Brett Favre’s signing a few days ago changed the whole dynamic of the team. It’s bad for the two QBs who were going to have an opportunity and it was snatched from them, but Favre has so much familiarity with this system, and he will not be a detriment to this team like he was in New York with the Jets.

The Vikings have one of the best running back tandems in the NFL with Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, and they have a good deep ball receiver in Bernard Berrian. They were in need of a second receiver to get the QB more options than Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe at tight end. So the Vikings drafted former Florida WR Percy Harvin, who knows how to create plays and make things happen for his team.

Defensively, Minnesota has the best run defense, and has allowed the fewest yards on the ground in the NFL for three straight years. The architect of this defense, Leslie Frazier, is still in Minnesota, but some team will be hiring him next season, especially if the success continues. They have the strongest defensive line in their division, with the Williamses, Kevin and Pat (no relation) anchoring the D-line at DT. Add the speed and agility of Jared Allen. In the secondary, Antoine Winfield will look to have another breakout season which will result in a Pro Bowl.

The Vikings will repeat as champions of the NFC North, and even before Brett Favre, they were going to repeat as champions. The addition of Favre just could, possibly be the thing that gets them to the Super Bowl.

From Hero to Villain

For 16 seasons, he was the heart and soul of a proud NFL Franchise that was on its toughest leg.

For 16 seasons, he embodied what was the original vision of the First Super Bowl Champions and their legendary coach. His toughness, character, and blue-collar work ethic endeared him to the smallest market in the NFL.

For 16 seasons, Brett Favre embodied what it was to be a Green Bay Packer.

Now in a matter of two seasons, #4 has gone from the hero to the villain.

When Brett Favre signed with the Minnesota Vikings, it really symbolized the end of a lot of things. The end of the legacy in Green Bay, the end of a relationship between one of the legends of the Packers and its loyal fan base, the end of an era. The fact that Favre still has something left in the tank, and still wants to play is more than remarkable, the fact that he is going to the hated Minnesota Vikings is what is tough for Packer fans to swallow.

Of course those who don’t think Favre is the villain can say that the Packers were the cause of this ugly split between the two, and GM Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy drove Favre out when he said he was going to retire originally.Those are the fans who will forever appreciate the QB reviving the once-proud franchise and bringing them back to relevance. No matter what Brett does now, next year, or during his time in New York with the Jets, Green Bay made him who he was. He his synonymous with the Packers and will be in the Hall of Fame as a Green Bay Packer.

Those, however outside of Wisconsin are tired of the same drama that has gone on for the past year and a half or so: “I don’t want to come back, then wake up… I do”. I understand the love of the game, but other peoples’ lives are at risk. The Vikings were a first place team in the NFC North without Favre, but Sage Rosenfels was on his way to being a starter, and finally getting his opportunity, and Tavaris Jackson was trying to make his last stand to be the Vikings starter. Now Rosenfels is going to be the backup, and Jackson could be on his way out if he will be the third string quarterback.

Favre’s remarks at the press conference could be taken as condescending, and unappreciative of the Packers and the city that rooted for him for 16 years. Now that the Vikings and Packers will be playing twice a year, expect the entertainment between these two teams, and I want the true reaction of these Packer fans when Favre returns to Lambeau Field on Nov. 1st.

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