Home > coaching, football, Sports > Brett Favre, primadonna or…

Brett Favre, primadonna or…

December 23, 2009

I’m much too biased against Brett Favre to really delve into this question, but his tiff with Vikings coach Brad Childress about whether he can call plays/ change plays at the line on a regular basis does bring up questions about how the modern NFL game is played. In the past – as in the 1960s – QBs were expected to make calls on the field, which makes sense. With some coach guidance, most of the major team sports require the on-field talent to do some, if not all, of the decision-making when one player has the ball in their hand.

Baseball, of course, has its micro-managers, but the veteran pitchers are expected to have a sense of what to call or what they can throw when pitching. In soccer and basketball, there is less of a single decision-maker, though point guards often are entrusted to see that the team gets into their sets and can call a different play, especially on the professional level.

An NFL QB’s job, though, involves them on the field with a different and limited vantage point. Should that change the level of coach’s control? Should the ability of a 40-year old Hall of Fame QB – who has, by the way, had some egregiously bad passing games in his career – come into question?

Again, I am too biased to talk about Brett Favre’s beef, but it does bring up the question of how the game is played.

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Categories: coaching, football, Sports
  1. January 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    This is a valid dialogue to open. I can’t help but wonder how Tavaris Jackson would have been treated, had he questioned Childress’ authority last season.

    I wouldn’t say that an NFL QB’s vantage point is inherently more limited than an NBA PG’s though. What’s your reasoning behind this?

    I will say that the on-field rationalizing of this particular 40-year-old Hall of Fame QB should be questioned though, given the horrendous decisions he’s capable of making and that you alluded to.

    (Full disclosure: I hate Brett Favre)

    • picodulce
      January 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      My thinking’s this w/r/t PGs vs QBs: in basketball, there are 9 other moving pieces, 4 of them are yours. All can be finishers on offense, all have a role on defense. In football, there are linemen and “skill players” (I think linemen have skill to, but that’s not this discussion). So a QB has to worry about his protection and ALSO see players who may be 30 yards on one side of him and 30 yards in front of him – that’s a lot of field to see, more than one can take in at a glance. So I think an NFL QB could make more informed decisions if he has an out-of-body experience, or if he was above the play.

      I don’t think Brett thinks he makes particularly bad decisions; every QB has to have some myopia and forgetfulness. It was hard to peel Dan Marino off the field even when he was a reduced QB, as well.

      • January 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm

        About the 9 pieces versus 21: I see where you’re coming from and agree with you.

        I don’t think Favre thinks his decisions are bad also. Clearly, he’s made more good ones than bad during his career. But that myopia is exactly why a sole playcaller’s ability to bypass a coaching staff’s calls.

        I can’t believe I just said that, as I usually side with the player in these situations.

  2. January 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Edit to my post, as I’m trying to limit my hyperbole and vehemence: “I very much dislike Brett Favre.”

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