There’s quite a few intriguing matchups in the National Football League this weekend. One of those is between the undefeated Minnesota Vikings and the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s plenty of interesting aspects of the game, but you can count on the announcing crew on Sunday to talk about the clash of the two quarterbacks – Brett Favre and Ben Roethlisberger.
We all know what Favre has been able to do on the field at 40 years of age so far this season. Big Ben meanwhile has quietly pieced together an outstanding start to 2009, leading the league in passing yards through 6 weeks. Vikings head coach Brad Childress joined 970 The Fox in Pittsburgh to talk about the amazing Adrian Peterson, what’s surprised him about Brett Favre and what he sees in the Pittsburgh Steelers so far this year.
On what it’s like working with All World running back Adrian Peterson:
“Well, aside from the physical skills that you see, great person, great human being, great worker. You know, he doesn’t have any diva qualities. He’s a grinder. He comes in and works hard to take care of his body. For an NFL running back, it’s hard to come back and practice on Wednesday. He practices every Wednesday, he doesn’t stand around with his hands in his sweatpants. And he enjoys the competition – he’s always got a smile on his face. And great, great, great competitor – he doesn’t care if we’re throwing it 60 times or running it 60 times. He’s got his own kind of slashing style – he runs violently and explosively and has top end speed to be able to run away if you do give him something.”
On how he was able to insulate the Vikings from all the media hoopla surrounding Brett Favre’s return:
“I don’t know if they were insulated because it seemed like there was a blow-by-blow that went on. They all had some different comments about it but we were able to talk about it as a team before Brett got here, when we went to camp, and then after he got here. And it’s a good group of guys and they deal with what they need to deal with and that’s being successful. All I try to do is orient them and provide a good place for them to work.”
On what has surprised him the most about Brett Favre so far:
“He’s probably a harder worker, you know having worked with him day to day. He is a gym rat type guy, he is a guy that spends time at his craft – with all the things you need to be good at. Whether it’s his strength training or his watching tape, spending time getting to know the opponent, as much as anything he’s spent time getting up to speed with this system, but more importantly with our players and what specific skills they have. So he’s a guy who works at it and any of the issues of well he’s a game manager, he’s only going to have to do that, you know as a quarterback you touch the ball 60 times a game, you’re going to have something to do with the outcome.”
On facing Mike Tomlin this coming weekend, the former defensive coordinator of the Vikings that Childress worked with previously:
“Well you like to compete against guys that you know. Somebody’s got to win and somebody’s got to lose. And for me it’s been Steve Spagnuolo who we worked with in Philadelphia, and then John Harbaugh this past weekend and now Mike who was our defensive coordinator here. But those are the kind of things you like. You like to bang heads with guys our staff have familiarity with, that the players have familiarity with. And my experience is you always want to do good against somebody you have some familiarity with.”