The Minnesota Vikings have done a good job of keeping under wraps any internal disagreements that might have arisen during the courtship of Brett Favre and, more recently, the question of whether Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels should be the team’s starting quarterback.
But there’s an intriguing dynamic at play that could put coach Brad Childress and V.P. of player personnel Rick Spielman at odds.
Jackson was drafted in 2006 by the so-called “triangle of authority” that featured Childress, V.P. of football operations Rob Brzezinski, and former player personnel exec Fran Foley. In a haze of actual and/or apparent resume exaggeration, Foley was promptly fired after the 2006 draft, and Spielman thereafter joined the team.
So it’s no surprise that Spielman eventually pursued Rosenfels, whom Spielman acquired via trade in 2002 while working for the Dolphins.
“This is my second time being around Sage, and he’s been a very,
extremely talented backup-type quarterback,” Spielman told Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He has an
opportunity to come in here and compete with Tarvaris, and we feel very fortunate to have two type quarterbacks like that. . . .
“He’s kind of shown, when he’s had the opportunity, that he can go out
there and perform,” Spielman added. “He’s made a lot of calls. I
remember last year in our game [against the Texans], when Schaub went
down and he came in and went [21-for-29]. He did throw an interception,
but he threw two touchdown passes and showed that he has the ability to
make some good decisions, can move the football team and is a very
smart football player and is quite familiar with the West Coast system.”
In other words, Spielman might be pulling for Rosenfels, and Childress might be pulling for Jackson. Though neither Spielman nor Childress has said or done anything to suggest that they disagree in this regard, the reality is that the outcome of the quarterback battle, which undoubtedly won’t be fully resolved until at least the first month of the season has unfolded, could go a long way toward determining whether and to what extent Spielman goes to bat for Childress if/when owner Zygi Wilf solicits opinions regarding whether a new coach should be hired.
Though Spielman says that the decision regarding “who’s going to give us the best chance to win” rests with Childress, the reality could be that Spielman will be more likely to support the coach behind closed doors if Childress gives Rosenfels his long-awaited crack at being a starting quarterback.