Outside of Brett Favre himself, there’s no better -– or closer –- authority on matters involving No. 4 than NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci.
Favre’s former quarterback coach and confidant hasn’t spoken with him since Friday, but he was able to shed some light –- and give some insight –- into where Favre sits in the whole situation.
Before we get into that, here’s the latest on the reported visit Wednesday by Vikings coach Brad Childress -– as of Wednesday afternoon, it appears that Childress has yet to make the trip to Mississippi. At this point, even that’s up for interpretation.
As for Favre, Mariucci is among those who believe that it’s going to take a recruiting job by the Vikings to lure the 18-year veteran out of retirement. When you consider the elements for a comeback, though, they’re all there. Not only are the Vikings a playoff team, Favre is familiar with their West Coast offense and has a close relationship with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. There’s no learning curve involved, and he would have the entire offseason to prepare, unlike last season.
The first part of the equation in any discussion about a possible Favre return, though, is his torn bicep tendon. As of Friday, Favre told Mariucci he had not even picked up a football.
“The first thing he would need to do, if he’s going to consider coming back, is to pick up a ball and test his arm for awhile, maybe for a week or two, to see if it’s going to fatigue on him or if that bicep tendon is going to bother him like it did last year,” Mariucci said. “He really doesn’t want to have surgery.”
If his arm isn’t right, it’s likely that none of this would happen.
Mariucci did not ask Favre if he would be willing to have surgery in order to play. Considering Favre opted not to have surgery during the season, or after the season, undergoing any type of procedure to play one more season feels like a reach. Mariucci indicated that Favre didn’t seem like he felt he would require surgery, though, and that he’s not bothered by the injury in everyday life.
“I know he prefers not to have surgery,” Mariucci said. “My guess is if anyone, including the Vikings, is interested in having Brett, their doctors will have to get involved.”
It really shouldn’t surprise anyone the Vikings called Favre after his release by the Jets. It’s understandable. It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that Favre is listening, either.
“He didn’t tell me that he would definitely do this if he was healthy,” Mariucci said. “Even if his arm was healthy, he wasn’t sure that he would do it. He hasn’t trained and he hasn’t thrown, which really isn’t that unusual. Because at this time of year, he has been resting a little bit longer in the offseason. Keep in mind that last year he didn’t start throwing at the high school until school was out in June.”
Mariucci did say that Favre has asked for his advice. Here’s what he offered:
“One, your arm has to be healthy, because last year it looked to be like it wore out toward the end. It got tired. Two, if you’re going to do this, you have to give it your all during this offseason to get in great shape and get into minicamps and be there in training camp and practice with that team and get yourself ready to win.
“No shortcuts. Just do like you always do.”
If there is an offer by the Vikings, it has to be attractive to Favre, or at least very difficult for a competitor like Favre to say no to.
“If those things are in place, I say go for it,” Mariucci said. “If he is healthy enough and he has a chance to do this again, then why not? Why not? Play some football. Tape your ankles and play some football.”