Eric Mangini's Week One Mantra: Aren't You The Guy Who Got Me Fired?
By Jeff Falconio
Those crafty NFL schedule makers have done it again. As if opening weekend didn't need any more flare, the Browns-Vikings matchup is now front and center. The last time we saw Brett Favre and Eric Mangini together Favre looked like he was counting the minutes to his flight back to Mississippi. Mangini could only shake his head and mouth the words "what were you thinking?"
Favre of course was released by the New York Jets, then retired and has now once again un-retired. Mangini was let go as coach of the Jets after their late season collapse but has resurfaced as the head man in Cleveland. How ironic that the Browns will host the Favre-led Vikings in week one.
This does not change my opinion at all about the Vikings. As far as I'm concerned, Minnesota still has unresolved issues at quarterback. Yes, Favre is an upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, but by how much? Favre is more accurate than Jackson but not nearly as mobile. Favre has a stronger arm than Rosenfels but throws more interceptions. I'm not convinced Favre can get through the season and still be effective.
But he's a three time MVP!!!, people will shout. Saying Favre is a three time MVP is like saying Eddie George is the most powerful back in the NFL. There was a time when Favre was the best player in the NFL. It was 12 years ago. Not anymore. But it's the same system as Green Bay!!!, people will shout. Terrific, except Favre has to once again re-acquaint himself with a new set of receivers. Furthermore, since Favre conveniently skipped over all offseason and training camp activities, he's behind the curve. It took four weeks for Favre to find a groove last year. I'm not convinced Favre is the difference maker if for no other reason than that was exactly what people were saying last year about the Jets. With Favre the Jets are instant Super Bowl contenders!! Should we go ask Mangini how that all worked out?
Favre is the third best quarterback in the NFC North and that's only because we haven't seen enough of Detroit's Matthew Stafford. Yeah he's better than what Minnesota has, but so are 30 other quarterbacks in the NFL. I'm not convinced Favre elevates the Vikings any more than the 30 aforementioned guys better than the Jackson/Rosenfels duo. I'm not convinced of anything until Favre is out there trying to beat the coach who lost his job because of him.