December 05, 2011
With all the NFL quarterbacks going down to season-ending or long-term injuries, you had to know that it would happen. At some point, Brett Favre(notes), or a spokesperson by proxy, would rise up from his Mississippi compound and proclaim his nascent interest in yet another return to professional football. Favre's had more retirements and unretirements than The Who at this point (and we won't torture you with the timeline again), but according to ESPN Chicago, Favre would be receptive if the Chicago Bears called him to see about fixing up their quarterback position following Jay Cutler's(notes) thumb injury and the comic inefficiency of backup Caleb Hanie(notes).
Michael C. Wright has spoken to a source who believes that if the Bears contacted Favre about filling that position for the last four weeks of the regular season and possibly beyond, there could be a match. It's important to note that Wright reports no official interest from the Bears' side, so this could be yet another example of Favre and his camp getting his name out there again (Yes, it always works. We're suckers like that). Wright's report indicates that Favre might refuse to unretire this time, but that he's been working out and staying in shape.
If there were to be contact between team and player, it's unclear just how good a fit it would be. The Bears run a specific vertical system under offensive coordinator Mike Martz, while Favre has always run variations of the West Coast offense. The three-digit vertical involves a completely different language than does the WCO (imagine "337 Roll Right Z Comeback" versus "Far West Right Zoom 2 Jet 'X' Level" and multiply that by a few hundred plays), which would be a tough adjustment right away, even with someone as conversant with playbook language as Favre. He certainly has the arm to run Martz's offense, but the fit might be too forced.
Then, there's the matter of how Favre's new teammates would feel about it. On Monday morning's "Mike & Mike" show, Bears receiver Devin Hester(notes) said that he wasn't sure about the fit should Donovan McNabb(notes) audition for the position. McNabb is another potential quarterback on the open market after his release from the Minnesota Vikings.
"It's going to be tough right now to pick up a quarterback that hasn't played in the Mike Martz offense," Hester said. "This is a difficult offense to run, so as far as a quarterback who hasn't played in the offense, right now it's going to be a waste of time."
Would Favre present a different option? Hard to tell. Bears head coach Lovie Smith is one of the NFL's masters of hiding his hand during public inquiries, so his recent statement that the team isn't signing anyone to make the quarterback battle more interesting could be anywhere from 0 percent to 100 percent balderdash.
"That's our group. We're going to make improvements. We're not looking on the outside," Smith said after Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. "We don't have a quarterback tryout or anything like that."
We'll see. In any case, some small version of FavreWatch is back on, and I think I speak for most football writers and fans when I use this clip to express my feelings on the matter:
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