I just received the first part of Brad Childress’ media session today at the owners meeting in Dana Point, Calif. Here are his answers on a few subjects.
On the quarterback situation:
“We are legitimately having a competition. Someone has to take the first step, the first snap. Tarvaris will probably do that. It doesn’t mean Sage won’t step up and earn it. I have to create a situation where both guys can be protected by the offensive line, get the benefit of play-calling with Adrian Peterson. I have to get them both in all situations. Is there a certain time for a decision to be made? In a perfect world, earlier than later, but then the question could be asked, ‘Did you really have a competition.’ Typically it will be decided deep in training camp.”
Childress declined to answer anything about Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, but when asked about anyone else competing, or coming in from the outside, he said: “J.D. Booty is also on the roster. It’s always interesting for me to see a guy that’s in his second year to see if he can make a move. He’s doing his homework, he’s changed his body around and is more familiar with the system. But if you’re handicapping this thing, those are the two (Jackson and Rosenfels) where the starter will be selected from.”
On the team’s inactivity in free agency:
“I thought we were very methodical in how we went about it. We re-signed some of our own guys. Some others piqued our interest. It wasn’t like we weren’t in there swinging with T.J. Houshmandzadeh. That would have been fairly significant money. We wanted to allocate it the right way and not be crazy about it. Last year we were very active. We signed Bernard Berrian. Call it what you want, the trade for Jared Allen. We had guys we looked (this year) at and targeted. Some were past our range as we decided whether there was value and is it worth it.”
On Matt Birk’s departure for Baltimore:
“The same sentiment was there like with Pat Williams a couple years ago when we got him done right before training camp. We could have started a year earlier but the fact is when someone wants to test the market you can’t fight with that, with someone wanting to do something new and different. At this point of his life that’s the spot where he was. He is going to come back to St. Paul after his career, but to get away from family and reach out and spread your wings a little bit, that’s something you can’t put a dollar figure on. I had no issues with Matt.”
On needs in the draft:
“We’re picking at 22 and 54 in the first two rounds and there will be good players there. We just have to get the best guys that will make an impact, no matter what position they play. Sometimes when you are evaluating and need a position, there is a tendency with, say, a second-round guy to push that guy up. You shouldn’t do that. You have to stay disciplined to your board. We’re in a position where we can improve at different positions with whoever we select.”
On possibly getting Antoine Winfield re-signed before he becomes a free agent:
“We’re having a pretty good dialogue with the agent right now. It’s ongoing and we’d like to get him done. With the uncertain future and the [collective bargaining agreement] the way it is, I’d like to have it done. It could be one year, it could be two, it could be three. But, again, we have a real good dialogue with [agent] Ashanti Webb right now.”
I’ll be back with more later. Also, it sounds like Childress said no decision has been made on whether to match the Bengals offer to restricted free agent fullback Naufahu Tahi. Childress also talked more about Houshmandzadeh visit and the conversations he had with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels.