Bernstein: Rogue Favre Dangerous, But Exploitable

Vikings QB At Odds With Childress, Still Taking Risks With His Throws

In an ironic twist last week, Brett Favre may have extended the coaching career of Brad Childress by ignoring him. The Vikings’ coach lived to work another week because of his own irrelevance.

Childress, already nearly fired after the unilateral decision to cut Randy Moss, was believed to be toast should the Vikings lose to Arizona. They trailed the Cardinals 24-10 with just 4:39 left to play.

It was then that Favre took advantage of their four-minute and two-minute systems to direct the offense without sideline interference — reading coverage and seeing the field, rallying his team to a tie with 27 seconds left after engineering drives of 40 and 77 yards. He then drove them far enough in overtime for a Ryan Longwell field goal to stave off his coach’s ouster.

Favre threw for a career-best 446 yards, his performance a powerful response to Childress’s public grumbling about Favre’s tendency to ignore the play in his headset.

That’s really the locker room divide, here. Favre was critical of the offense from the moment he arrived after his latest shameless, overdramatic unretirement, and the conflict with Childress has festered all season. It goes back to last year, in fact, as Yahoo’s Michael Silver wrote over a month ago:

“The growing tension between Favre and Childress, and the sense that the quarterback doesn’t have much respect for the coach as an offensive strategist, has been well-documented since last season. The aforementioned team sources say things have remained strained in recent weeks, with Childress questioning Favre for having altered some plays at the line of scrimmage and questioning his commitment to the team.”

Favre appears, now, to have won that battle. Enough teammates are thought to be aligning behind him to give him legitimacy in the huddle and at the line, and that cuts both ways for the Bears on Sunday.

“He still gives us opportunities,” Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said of his longtime opponent. “He takes chances, which you like as a defensive player. Sometimes he makes those chances pay off for them.”

Favre going it alone – and tuning out the natural conservatism of Childress (who rankled his players when he told reporters after the loss to the Packers “Sometimes it’s OK to punt the football”), ratchets up both the risks and rewards for the Bears.

Several times each game, Favre will make a pass he shouldn’t. It will be up to the Bears to determine if each of those contributes to Favre’s legend as a devil-may-care gunslinger, or as a reckless, selfish diva hijacking his team’s opportunity to win.

The hope is that Favre’s internal computer is not as reliable as in years past: his brain tells him to fire the ball, but the arm can’t get let it go soon enough, anymore, or with enough velocity to beat the safety to the spot.

Urlacher’s own instincts are formidable, and his area of coverage will be targeted. It is no coincidence that we have seen Favre look increasingly to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on the deep-middle seam route against zone coverage of late, since that’s a favorite throw of his (picture Mark Chmura, Bubba Franks and others).

It’s Favre’s show again, bringing with it some all-or-nothing possibilities. The Bears have first-hand experience on both sides of that equation, and now the stakes are as high as ever.

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Denver Smeghead

    In case said commenter doesn’t go back to yesterday’s blog entry:

    Mr. Justice: “Obviously you two individuals are morons.”

    And yet, I was DEFENDING you against bronzo.

    Obviously, making such an effort was a mistake on my part, considering you have the reading comprehension of a three year old.

    Mr. Justice, after you get done finding an actual adult to read the comments here to you, please let us know who the real moron is here, and WYC?

  • Denver Smeghead

    Childress needs to write Favre a very large check. After all, Favre is the only reason Childress got that extension, and Favre is the only reason Childress is still employed this season.

  • Chicago JB

    Your title made me chuckle. “Rogue Favre”… just gets me. Anyways, haven’t been this excited for a game since the Packers game on MNF. Let’s hope it’s a victory monday!

  • bronzo

    Wow sounds like I missed something yesterday after I left for the day. My ND reference to Mr. Justice had nothing to do with that poor kid dying. It was a reference to his arrogance and condecending attitude . Now he’s a tough guy.

    Smeg what did I do to offend you? I was just making some comments about sports and hypocricy in the NCAA and Heisman voting..

    as far as today’s blog …I hope Favre self destructs also..But I wouldn’t bet on it.


    I would love to see the likes of Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher & Lance Briggs beat up Brett Favre and make him eat the awful grass surface at Soldier Field. I would also love to see Jay Cutler and the disappointing Bears’ offense rack up a lot of points and a lot of yards in a statement-defining win over those dysfunctional Vikings on the Lakefront. As much as I would love to see the Bears deliver a knockout punch to those dysfunctional Vikes Sunday, why do I have this feeling that Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston & Tony “Goose” Siragusa will be calling a 27-17 Minnesota road win?

  • meesohawnee

    Smeg etc. i dont know why you all even bothered to defend yourself. If one has been on this board its not for little girls that get their panties all in a rough cause someone says something that doesnt fall into what they think.

    • BearsFanInHoustonTX

      just like when you call Dan on the show and don’t agree with him…like the calls from yesterday…

  • Denver Smeghead

    “Smeg what did I do to offend you?”

    You didn’t offend me, per se. But the comparison certainly left me scratching my head. In sports, there’s plenty of arrogance to go around, and it certainly isn’t limited to ND.

    “i dont know why you all even bothered to defend yourself”

    I think you missed the point entirely. I abhor stupidity, and completely misreading what somebody wrote, and then ranting about it, is stupid.

  • bigtime sucker

    when chilly was o coord of eagles, didn’t andy reid call the plays because he didn’t trust chilldress? so is it possible that favre is acting on advice given to him by his former qb coach reid? anywho, i too have butterflys in my belly when thinking about this game. so many good stories on both sides and it’s a rivarly that is based on W’S AND L’S as the give and take has been pretty topsy turvey. Unlike the packers which is based on old lore and big city vs small town stuff, this one is based on recent history that both teams have ruined the other teams seasons on multiple occasions. Will rice play and will he be effective? more to come

  • AT3374

    Bears..Ditka..Bears..Sauages..Ditka …

    If this is a close game and Vikes make tons of mistakes , Bears win

    The Bears REALLY need to come out and prove their 5-3 record is not a results of just fluke plays , and beating down the Vikes would go a long way in proving us doubters wrong . We have a wounded team , barely holding on . Put them out of their misery !!

    My MVP is Cutler since he has very little to work with at all on this offense , and yet he is still somewhat productive . Amazing

    • Bob Loblaw

      Minimum eightpeat!

      • SPAULDING!

        “RICK MEARS.”

  • BearsFanInHoustonTX

    The #4 show…boring….last I recall…11 men play on offense…and football is a team sport…The Vikings will self implode soon, it’s a slow death there just like Dallas.
    Yes, the Bears have there issues, no doubt, but this is a big game and a must need win…and I don’t care how they get it…just WIN IT! Win ugly…which is what Bernstein doesn’t like…but deal with it!

  • meesohawnee

    while i always respect Dan’s intelligence, perspective. .. In regards the the Tommy Ricketts subject. Just stick to sports Dan. Leave economics, corrupt wall street cronies and what happens to tax payer dollars to other people. Hes pulling this now while QE2 keeps the natives at bay for a bit. You the taxpayers sportsfan bailed out the bankers and they got over 100 billion in bonuses. So how much do you really think is going to be of benefit to the taxpayer in regards to Rickett’s plan? Socialized bailout. Private profits. Bend over Cub fans, taxpayers. real simple. I cant believe the arrogance of this guy.

  • bigtime sucker

    every year i think hub is off his rocker by simply telling the truth about what the bears have/don’t have on offense, and every year i find, it’s ME WHO IS OFF MY ROCKER, the man said we didn’t have receivers, and he is right, the man said we didn’t have oline and he is right, the numbers don’t lie, cutler needs playmakers. if vincent jackson is available at offseason, he sould be a bear, no questions asked and we should draft tackle in first round receiver in 2nd, corner in third and guard in 4th.

  • BearsFanInHoustonTX

    Read about the Astrodome down here….you want to read about a HUGE waste of tax payer money…for a EMPTY BUILDING. Reliant needs more parking, and this eye sore would be better GONE to make for more parking.

    Rickett’s should focus on what he said he will do as he stated in Undercover Boss….use the money they have…not others.

  • bigtime sucker

    i hope DA plays sunday, he BURNED antoine winfield last year

    • Bob Loblaw


  • bigtime sucker


    this is a warning to anybody who works in an office with “standard office music” playing in the background. 14 days until that trash get’s swapped for christmas music.

    can you guys believe it, 13 days until thanksgiving and it’s 73 degrees and sunny with no clouds!!! what a strange year, but i LOVE IT

    • Jon, Montgomery

      weather channel says late next week might bring snow showers!

      I wish chicagoans could hibernate so we could miss the winter.

  • bigtime sucker

    lack of activity today but if someone checks later, love this article!!!

  • puddin' head

    i’am not an economic expert however i feel no matter which way the wrigley remodeling thing goes…the financing…no one will notice any difference in their take home pay. on another subject how does one know when a player is playing like his hair is on fire as DB says…seems that player would be using his hands to beat out the flames and wouldn’t do very well at playing is that what he means ?

  • Jon, Montgomery

    I’m so glad to see the heat failing, and I don’t think Erik spoelstra is going to last much longer in Miami, old pat riles is coming down from the office to take over as head coach. I give spoelstra at the most 4 more losses before Christmas before Riley makes the move to make himself head coach.

    those dang Atlanta falcons! I still think Tampa has a good shot for a wild card spot. we’re going to lay a beatdown on Carolina Sunday.

    oh, my prediction for the bears game. Vikings 23-Bears 17.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    I’m not a huge college fan, but I’ll watch good games if they’re on. this weekend in CFB there are no good games. and I think if auburn loses. to bama in a couple weeks TCU will get in the title game over Boise state. and deservedly so, they beatdown Utah without any problem on the road, and even though I love Boise state. TCU deserves it more. and I do think Bama will come to play against auburn. i predict it’ll be a Oregon-TCU national title game.

    as for the basketball, I love watching the illini, I think their first real test is a tough game at Texas. then they have the dreaded team that knocked them out in the finals come to town, if they do beat Texas and NC, the illini will be getting some serious respect. I think they could win the big ten from what i’ve seen so far. I really like their team.

  • Sky KingL

    Okay Dan ,whatever you say,your still a elitist stein to me.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    on a very, very sad note.

    I heard the other night on the blackhawks broadcast from foley that mark zarang was out of the production that night because of health problems, and now B&B just broke the news that sadly, mark zarang has passed away due to complications from cancer.

    i’d never meet the man, but from what I’ve heard from score people, he was the best guy in the radio business at what he did. again from what I’ve heard he was a truly great man who always put others before himself.

    so if you get a spare moment, say a prayer for the zarang family, obviously they were robbed of a great guy by a deadly disease that I hope someday can be conquered by medicine. god bless the zarang family.

    • Denver Smeghead

      Just saw Biggs post that on Twitter, Jon. Very sad to hear that, and my condolences to the family.

  • puddin' head

    brett favre will play like his hairs on fire against the bears on sunday would be better if his hair caught APs uniform on fire

  • Truckerman45

    Da Bears proved they cannot play in Da Cold Or in Da Snow and it’s Monday Night Football……..God I wish Lombardi were alive …………All this hype ……..Vikings 17 Bears 12 Period ! ! see you in GREEN BAY ! !

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