Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, has become the first official coach from the team to witness potential starting quarterback Brett Favre throw passes a report said last night. While it was previously noted that the Vikings’ trainer, an Eric Sugarman, had made the trip to the lofty city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to witness Favre’s recovery from surgery on his throwing arm, it was news late Sunday night that Bevell had tagged along with him bringing Favre’s contact with the Minnesota coaching staff even closer. It also doesn’t hurt that Favre and Bevell are old pals while Mike Holmgren coached the Packers, so their past business association and friendship has allowed Favre to be open and honest about his recovery and Bevell to really let Favre in on what the Vikings are looking for in their starting quarterback for 2009 …
Brett Favre: Hey Darrell, good to see you buddy. You ready to watch the Greatest of All Time throw this ol’ pigskin around like I’m 36 again?
Darrell Bevell: Ha ha, hey Brett, good to see you too old friend. Sure let’s just start today by watching you chuck a couple of easy passes around. We’re working with some of these high school kids today, so why don’t you start with some easy passes for them, like a simple stop and go to that blond haired freak about eight yards on the right.
BF: Sure thing. (Favre grabs ball, cocks back his arm and fires a laser to the kid right between the numbers. The kids entire body convulses from the speed of the ball, knocking his head back JFK style. Remarkably, he reels in the ball, turns, and sprints towards the end zone, but really, just runs home.)
DB: Hm. (Writes in notebook.) Good zip on ball, accurate in the mid-range. Ok. Good start, Brett, but let’s move on to some other exercises.
BF: Alright buddy, I’m ready for a good workout to show you Minnesota fat cats just how good ol’ Bretty’s arm is holding up, even in this old age. You want to do an intense workout? Just let me roll these Wranglers up a bit. (Favre bends over and double rolls his Wranglers. Naturally, he remains shoeless.) Set. What do you want me to do? Drop a 60 yards bomb right over some kids shoulder on a fly pattern? Prove that I can hit that dangerous out pattern, about 10 yards that-a-way? Give it to me! I feel like a rookie again!
DB: Ha ha, well, I’m sure you can do all of those things. Let’s try something a bit more outside of the box here though. (Bevell looks around.) Here. Let’s grab this fat kid and have him spike the ball to you and then mimic some terrible down field blocking. Then, pretend that that spiky looking queer is pass-rushing you. We’ll just call him Aaron Kampman for now. And then this gazelle looking weirdo is going to do a simple stop and go pattern in the middle of the field, easy as pie, about five yards out.
BF: Ha! Are you kidding me? This is going to be a cake walk!
DB: Ha! You’re right, except we’re going to ask you to do a specific throw. See, with this gangly Kampman running at you, I want you to run right and when you see the receiver open, I want you to stop and do a jump pass.
DB: Yeah. That’s what we’re looking for in Minnesota, or at least one piece of what we’re looking for. We need our quarterback to be able to complete a jump pass. It’s a little wrinkle in our offense that is probably different from what you’re used to, but let’s give it a shot.
BF: Hm. Well, ok, here goes nothing. (Play develops. The queer looking Kampman runs at Favre like a zombie, the fat kid sticks out a stubby limb to try and trip him but ends up falling down, kind of. He mainly just rolls. The receiver runs a perfect route and sets himself for the pass. Favre scrambles right, still showing amazingly nimble feet, as “Kampman” closes in on him. Favre grinds to a halt, does a perfect jump step and launches the ball perfectly into the hands of the receiver. The gazelle man turns and runs and “Kampman” lets up.) Yes! Nailed it!
DB: Hm. Interesting … usually that play is not supposed to run like that …
BF: Huh? What do you mean?
DB: (Writing intently in his notebook.) Yes, very interesting … well, usually, when we run that play, it’s either intercepted or dropped by the receiver. I’ve never seen a jump pass work so effectively, especially right into the receiver’s hands. This is some good stuff. (Finishes writing.) Ok. Let’s do another one here. This will be slightly similar of a play with the blocking and rushing, but I want the receiver to run a drag route underneath, out a bit further, let’s say, oh, 12 yards deep. (Looks at kid playing receiver.) Think you can handle that shit stain? Good. Brett, I just want to see you throw this drag route under pressure, see if you can throw the ball to him in stride.
BF: Well, this isn’t much of a workout, but ok, let’s give this one a whirl as well. (Favre has ball hiked to him and begins a five step drop as the receiver hits his 12 yard mark and cuts left. Favre’s eyes follow the young man closely and as “Kampman” is closing in again, Favre releases a bullet, perfectly anticipating where the receiver will end up. The gazelle-man reaches out his hands and watches as the ball lightly falls into them without him ever having to break stride.) YES!
DB: (Bevell squints his eyes in slight bewilderment.) That isn’t how the play is supposed to be run …
BF: (Now breathing hard, since he is almost 40.) What? I don’t get it. I hit him perfectly. He didn’t even have to break stride. Look at that gangly doofus out there, he’s still running!
DB: Yes, yes, I see that it’s just that … every time I’ve called that play on third and 15 the ball ends up behind the receiver. Sometimes they catch it at the hip and remain three yards short of the first down, or the ball ends up so far behind the receiver that it’s intercepted again. Hm. This is an interesting day indeed. Ok, Brett, let’s do one more thing. I want to mimic me calling a play into you on the field and hear how you would repeat it to your huddle. Something simple, even. Let’s call “Fake 40 Punch Z-Around Left”. Got it? Call it to these little accidents and let me just hear your cadence.
BF: … uh, ok. (Favre gather kids around, shows great leadership by looking them all in the eyes and commanding their attention. He calls out the play loud and clear.) FAKE 40 PUNCH Z-AROUND LEFT, got it? BREAK! (Favre claps his hands and the kids get to their faux positions.) So, how was that?
DB: Well, Brett, I have to be honest with you. I came down here expecting to see an old man fluttering ducks 20 yards down the field. I thought you’d be weak in the knees and couldn’t handle out exquisite jump passes. I figured you’d have lost all of the zip on your arm and would miss streaking receivers by several yards. And I figured that your southern drawl would have come back hard to make you incomprehensible to your teammates, but even just now, these retarded kids understood you clearly when you called that play. Hell, I heard you all the way from back here.
BF: Great! So, should we start working out those contract deals and sending out the purple Favre jerseys?
DB: Well, Brett, we’re going to need to talk to Childress about this as well. My concern is that you did everything that we asked perfectly. Usually, none of those passes are completed and no one can understand a play call. Quite honestly, you’re the exact opposite of what we’re used to at the quarterback position, and that’s a bit frightening. I am going to have to double check with Brad to see if this is really the direction that we want to go, if we’re ready for this different style of quarterback play. I just don’t know if the team is ready for that. But we’ll be in touch. Keep working on those rehab assignments, ok? Thanks for your time.
BF: (Stands in silence. Calls to Deanna.) Deanna?! You’re not going to believe this!