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Vikings coach Childress 'more than content' with QBs Jackson, Rosenfels

MANKATO, Minn. -- Once again, Brett Favre ran away from a Minnesota Vikings rush.

Brad Childress insists the chase is over.

The Vikings coach said Wednesday night that he's "more than content" with a competition between Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels for the starting quarterback job the team tried so hard to give to Favre, only to find out the NFL's all-time leading passer had decided to remain retired.

"He's gone his way, and we've gone our way," Childress said of Favre after meeting with both Jackson and Rosenfels earlier in the day.

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Childress described his quarterbacks' demeanor as excited, proudly noting that Jackson was the first player to report to the residence hall on the Minnesota State University campus, where the Vikings have held training camp for 43 years.

Rosenfels was grateful for some resolution, but he said he wasn't "at all" insulted by his teammates' overt interest in acquiring Favre.

"This is the NFL," Rosenfels said, as players trickled into the parking lot with pillows and luggage in tow. "I'm a pro. They're pros. I think these guys are going to have the utmost confidence in me, and I have a lot of confidence in them. It's time to go to work."

Jackson wasn't available for comment, but Rosenfels offered a good word for both of them in defiance of the widespread belief the Vikings are still missing the quarterback they need for that elusive Super Bowl victory.

"Everyone has their opinion," Rosenfels said. "I have my opinion. I feel like the quarterbacks are going to play really, really well this year."

Asked whether the Vikings would revisit the possibility should Favre change his mind again, Childress repeated his "more than content" stance about the current quarterbacks.

The coach then was pressed to definitively rule out another dalliance with Favre.

"There's not a chance, from my standpoint. I'm going forward with the guys we have, and we'll have a great competition," Childress said, using a similar line to deny interest in pursuing the recently reinstated Michael Vick.

Now the Vikings are trying to revive their support for the guys who were supposed to fight for the job in the first place and denying any doubts about their ability.

Left guard Steve Hutchinson and defensive end Jared Allen were among the Vikings players who checked in with Favre in recent weeks, but both of them claimed they weren't recruiting.

"It's just funny how one of a million texts comes out as we're trying to lobby for him," Hutchinson said. "It had nothing to do with that."

Allen characterized the communication simply as team leaders assessing the situation.

"It's been blown up to we were trying to coax him in and begging him to come, and that's not the case," Allen said as Childress rode by in a golf cart and teased him to cut his shaggy hair.

Allen also insisted that the team didn't need to do any damage control.

"I'll tell them right now: We have their back," Allen said of Jackson and Rosenfels. "One of them's going to be our quarterback, you know, and we're cool with that."

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. 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 right arm -- was the reason for the quarterback's reluctance to play.

"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 mind-set 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 had made up his mind, Childress called the distraction and potential negative effect on Jackson and Rosenfels "overrated." Childress added: "We're going to be a good football team, either way."

On Wednesday, Childress defended the perceived risk of such a high-profile pursuit: "I owe it to this organization and I owe it to this football team to bring in the best possible players that I can bring in here."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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