Childress’ remark about Favre was a joke

With the scrutiny on Brad Childress at an all-time high, it

appears the Minnesota Vikings coach can’t even kid about Brett

Favre anymore without causing a stir.

When Childress mentioned that Favre needed a hug in his postgame

news conference following Minnesota’s overtime win over Arizona on

Sunday, he was making a joke and not taking a shot at the

quarterback who led the amazing comeback.

After the Vikings rallied from 14 points down in the fourth

quarter to beat the Cardinals 27-24 in overtime, Childress was

asked if he wanted any assurances from owner Zygi Wilf that he

would keep his job through the season.

”No, I’m not going to stand here like Brett Favre and tell you,

compassionate, I need a hug,” Childress said. ”I’m all

right.”

Taken out of context, it would appear that Childress was jabbing

his 41-year-old quarterback just minutes after Favre threw for a

career-high 446 yards and led two touchdown drives in the final

five minutes of regulation to push the game into overtime.

Analysts on NBC’s pregame show criticized Childress for making

the remark and several national media outlets and blogs jumped on

it, using it as more evidence of the frayed relationship between

the coach and the quarterback.

What those folks didn’t realize, however, was that Childress was

jokingly referring to Favre’s answer to a question on

Wednesday.

While questions about Childress’ job were swirling following his

abrupt release of receiver Randy Moss, Favre was asked at his

weekly press conference if Childress was a ”compassionate”

coach.

”Is he compassionate as in give us a hug or something?” Favre

asked with a wry grin. ”Boy, I sure could use one, too. But he

hasn’t given me one.”

Favre chuckled after the answer, drawing laughter from a throng

of reporters in one of the few light-hearted moments during a

challenging week at team headquarters.

Childress and Favre have both acknowledged that they don’t

always see eye-to-eye on the game plan, the playcalling or the

direction of the offense. The two have butted heads in the past,

and Childress raised eyebrows earlier this season for his public

criticism of Favre following a three-interception performance at

Green Bay.

”Do I always get along with my head coach, quarterbacks coach,

offensive coordinator? No,” Favre said after leading his 46th

come-from-behind victory. ”Do I always agree with the plays that

were called? No. Why should that factor in to me wanting to be the

best player I can be?

”Whether Brad is the head coach or not, that should never

change the way you approach it.”

Childress also clashed with receiver Percy Harvin on Friday over

some medical tests that Childress wanted done on Harvin’s left

ankle. The two cleared the air before the game, but that only added

to doubts about Childress’ job status.

Wilf declined to address Childress’ job security before or after

the game. But the owner was jubilant with his team after the

victory, commending their collective heart and effort to overcome

such a big deficit.

”I can definitely disagree with some of his decisions, and I’m

sure he disagrees with some of the things that I do,” said running

back Adrian Peterson, who had 144 total yards and two touchdowns.

”But you’ve got to be able to overlook that, know that it’s a

business. You’ve got to consider that and know that ultimately at

the end you’ve got to still have the same goal in mind.”