One week before training camp opens, Childress is still waiting to hear if Favre will join the Vikings as their quarterback. With Favre still working out in Mississippi and reports coming daily on his intended announcement date, the health of his arm and even his state of mind, Childress said he really doesn't know what the quarterback will decide to do.
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"I don't have any allusions as to whether it's 'I'm in' or 'I'm out,'" Childress told The Associated Press on Thursday. "You guys would probably say it's not a matter of if, it's when. But I've always said he's not going to do it unless he can do it at the level he wants to be able to do it at. We'll see."
With such a potentially season-changing decision still hanging in the balance, one would think the coach would be on pins and needles waiting for an answer from Favre. Will the Vikings have a three-time NFL MVP under center next season or need to decide between unproven veterans Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson?
But during a 30-minute interview, Childress appeared relaxed, at ease and somewhat bemused by the hysteria surrounding Favre's second dalliance with unretirement.
"We'll be a good football team either way," Childress said.
Jackson and Rosenfels both have inconsistent resumes, leading many to say the Vikings are just a quarterback away from being a legitimate contender in the wide-open NFC.
There is plenty of incentive for Favre, who spent 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers as public enemy No. 1 with the NFC North rival Vikings. After an acrimonious split with the Packers, joining the Vikings would give Favre two chances to exact direct revenge on Green Bay for moving ahead with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and trading him to the Jets. But Favre had surgery in May to alleviate a torn biceps tendon and is still trying to decide if that famous rocket arm of his, which will turn 40 in October, can withstand a 19th NFL season.
All the will-he-or-won't-he drama has created a circus-like atmosphere around Childress, who prides himself on what he calls a "flat-line" temperament. He said he isn't concerned about the story being a distraction to his players or the coaches and said he's fully prepared to open camp with or without Favre.
When asked if the uncertainty is hard on the players, Childress said he thought that was "overrated."
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"Let's be honest. One position it's hard on," he said, referring to the quarterbacks. "Is it any harder on them than it is on the receivers when you drafted Percy Harvin?"
It would be hard to imagine that it is not.
While Harvin's arrival from Florida has brought some attention to the Vikings' receiving corps, Favre is an altogether different animal. Whatever he does, or doesn't do, on a daily basis constitutes news these days. Jackson and Rosenfels were hounded through offseason workouts by questions about Favre's possible arrival and still don't know their standing on the team seven days before they report for camp.
That, Childress says, is "the nature of the beast." Be it at the conclusion of the season in February, shortly before the draft in April or a week before training camp in July, the roster will continue to be evaluated and moves will be contemplated.
"Things are fluid," the coach said. "We look at (our roster) every day. That doesn't change now."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press