Defensive end Ray Edwards was extremely direct during an appearance on ESPN this week, saying that if Brett Favre comes to the Vikings the quarterback should dress at a locker with the rest of his teammates and not in a separate room.
Favre had his own area to dress last season when he was playing for the Jets, just as he did during his days in Green Bay. “We just don’t want him to bring his prima donna attitude to our team, because I feel that will break a team apart,” Edwards said.
But Vikings coach Brad Childress expressed no concern with what type of teammate Favre would be, should the quarterback end his retirement to play for the Vikings this season.
“I talked to [former Vikings fullback] Tony Richardson, who was his teammate at the Jets, and he had nothing but great things to say about him,” Childress said Friday afternoon on KFAN Radio. “Did I get into did he have a separate locker? It’s hard for me to see that and, of course, I know how Winter Park is set up. I think he’ll be a great locker room guy. He’s probably one of the better practical jokers out there over the course of 16 years [in Green Bay] and he’s not afraid to give it to anybody. I think he’ll be a tremendous teammate as well.”
The locker room at Winter Park was expanded a few years back and gives players far more room than they used to have. But it still wouldn’t be considered huge by NFL standards. There is an area off the locker room that equipment manager Dennis Ryan and his staff use. Guys like Matt Birk and Steve Hutchinson would often duck into the room to watch television or play games and there’s always a chance Favre could try and use part of that area to dress.
Covering Favre for two seasons with the Packers, my sense was he had his own area because he didn’t want to deal with the media during access periods. Favre did have a locker in the main room with the Packers and Jets but in Green Bay, at least, the media rarely saw him at that spot.
If memory serves, when Favre first joined the Packers and took over as their starter, he actually had his locker placed among the offensive linemen. It’s interesting that there has been cricitism of Favre as far as being a teammate because for many years his popularity was never questioned.
“I think what that is is that’s a guy that plays with passion,” Childress said when asked why people liked Favre. “To a degree he wears his emotions on his sleeve. You really don’t really like quarterbacks that ride a roller coaster. Obviously, his standard was usually pretty good. Could he get wild? Could he throw some interceptions? Sure he could. But he plays the game with enthusiasm and with excitement and there is kind of a boyishness even though he’s approaching 40 years old.”
As far as Edwards’ statements, Childress said: “I did happen to see that and Ray kind of led himself off the bridge. If you watched it. He started I guess letting that lip flap a little bit and he’s the guy that brought it up. I think it was all in jest. Defensive linemen by nature hate usually hate quarterbacks and that’s OK.”