Favre: ‘I didn’t want to say, ‘What if?”

New Vikings QB Brett Favre finished his opening press conference at the team’s Winter Park headquarters just a few minutes ago, and here are a few highlights and notable items from his answers to reporters.

Favre followed Vikings coach Brad Childress, who gave a brief statement, and as he took the podium, began with this: “Questions?”

  • Favre wouldn’t answer whether he will play in Friday’s preseason game against the Chiefs, but he admitted he is “behind the 8-ball” in terms of preparation and learning the tendencies of his teammates, despite the fact he is familiar with the Vikings’ offense and verbage of the play-calling. “There’s no substitute for game situations,” Favre said.
  • Favre confirmed an earlier report Tuesday that he has a tear in his rotator cuff. He said he found out about the tear from an MRI exam in “May or June,” after his surgery to fix a torn bicep tendon. Between the time he declined to join the Vikings several weeks ago and a conversation with Childress yesterday, Favre said he was reassured by Dr. James Andrews that the tear wouldn’t be an issue. Those circumstances left Favre feeling like he had another chance. “I felt like if they were willing to take that chance, I was, too,” Favre said. “… My arm has felt — I shouldn’t say 100 percent — but pretty good. Good enough to make the throws I wnat to make.”
  • As for the tear in his rotator cuff, Favre said he was told by Dr. Andrews that he wouldn’t have been able to play this season if he underwent surgery to repair it. He also was told that it appears he has been playing with the injury for some time. “That scared me,” Favre admitted. “Being a QB or a pitcher, 39 years old, just coming off surgery for something totally different, to say I was reluctant was an understatement. I didn’t want to go through what I did last year.”
  • Favre believes his transition to the Vikings will be “much easier” compared to his transition to the Jets last season.
  • Favre was asked about the reception he received from his new Vikings teammates: “You still have to earn the respect from this team. What you’ve done in the past is great, but it means nothing here. I like to play a certain way, carry myself a certain way, but you don’t do that the first day. … You have to earn the respect of these guys, and that’s what I intend to do.”
  • Favre was asked to respond to criticism about his wavering on whether or not to come out of retirement: “Don’t watch. You know? Like my old roommate and center, Frank Winters, in Green Bay said — he’s from Hoboken (N.J.) and has a funny way of putting things — he said, ‘Dude, it’s America. It happens all the time.’ It is what it is.”
  • Favre had this to say about expectations: “My expectations are high. This is a good football team. I’m not going to make predictions, but I didn’t come here to lose. We can be as good as we want to be. … It’s no secret. This team is a good football team. They really are.”
  • On the courtship with the Vikings, Favre said he didn’t reach out to the team. “At times, I was hoping I didn’t make the wrong decision. But I knew I had to live with it. But when Brad [Childress] called yesterday, I knew that was it. It was now or never.”
  • Favre on what he brings to the Vikings: “They have a really good football team here. A very good running game. I felt like from my standpoint, I could offer some experience and leadership. I have to admit, through this whole process, and after I said no before, at times I was OK with it, but at times [I wasn’t]. I think that’s the competitive fire in me. As a player, regardless of sport, you have to feel like you can make a difference. And I feel like I can.”
  • On his decision to return, Favre said he felt like his teammates know “I’m in it for the right reasons.” As for those who question his motivation, Favre said, “I know there’s people out there taking sides and whatever. This is not about revenge, believe me.”
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