As the Minnesota Vikings prepare to launch training camp in the bustling metropolis of Mankato this weekend, they still don't have their starting quarterback.
While Brett Favre takes spins around his property on his trusty tractor, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels will see increased practice reps.
(That's why Brett's staying away. He's trying to help the Vikings prepare for what will happen in 11 years when he retires.)
Favre's absence is a talked-about topic. It was last year, and then it was again when he showed up on his white horse in mid-August. While we wait for what is almost certainly going to be another late arrival, people are discussing Favre's ability to stay away.
As I wrote after minicamp, the Vikings are certainly treating Favre differently than they are Adrian Peterson. While it may have put head coach Brad Childress in a bit of a pickle after his public rebuke of Peterson for his decision to skip minicamp, it makes sense on many levels.
Jared Allen did an interview with Ed Werder of ESPN, and after some of the standard Jared Allen fare, Werder asked him about the Favre/Peterson stuff.
Allen was quick to say Favre has put in 21 years, and his situation is a lot different than Peterson's. While Allen admitted Peterson is a superstar, it's clear he feels Favre deserves a little more rope because of his age, experience, and contributions to the game.
He also brought up a really good point. He told Werder that, as a defensive player, it doesn't matter to him who is taking the quarterback reps during camp.
"I can't him anyway," Allen said.
Well, duh. I suppose they all look the same from a distance in those stupid red jerseys, eh?
Allen added that he was cool with whatever, as long as the quarterback showed up for games.
It's an interesting point. Allen has always struck as a bit of an odd duck, but if his stance is similar to his teammates, you can easily see why Favre is feeling no pressure to show up for camp.
As for the offensive players, well they made it work last year, when no one allegedly knew what was going to happen until it happened. Even if they knew, it wasn't like any of them had spent extensive time playing with Favre before. Brett showed up, and everything went amazingly well from the start.
This time, the team -- outside of a couple minor new faces -- has a full season of playing with Favre, and it's hard to believe they would have any struggles making this work, no matter when he shows up.
I'm still betting on Aug. 16-18 or so. That puts him on track to play in two preseason games before the Vikings open the regular season in New Orleans Sept. 9.