Listening to KFAN this morning and they had Zygi Wilf, Sidney Rice and Shank on. They were in Austin MN doing some community outreach with kids. Paul Allen was with them and they called in a couple segments.
The interesting thing about it was they asked Sidney what the big difference was from the last two years that has helped him come on so strong. I'll try to quote him from memory:
The big difference is Brett Favre. I think of him as a coach and a player. Last year, you wouldn't see me going home with a laptop to study the other team's coverages. That was the first thing Brett did when he got here. We started watching film together and looking at the coverages we're going to be facing. We text each other all the time. He's always asking, "have you seen this, have you seen that?" I've learned as much from him as I have from anyone in the last two years.
Two things strike me about this.
One, you mean no one on the coaching staff was following up with Sidney last year and making sure he was putting time in his playbook (laptop) looking at opposing coverages?! It was leaked to the media when Daunte turned in his playbook they checked the time logs and he hadn't even looked at any of the plays during his offseason rehab. Laptop playbooks were something Brian Billick started back when he was with the Vikings and took to a whole new level when he went to coach the Ravens. Now all teams use them and can track player time on them. Billick was famous for riding players that weren't putting enough time in their playbooks. Apparently, our coaches are not so good at following up on that.
Two, I've heard a lot of people talk about Favre as a coach in comments here, but from what I'd heard about his time with the Jets and Pack I wasn't sure that made any sense. He may have been better then I'd heard with the Pack, but it sounds like he's taking it up a notch in the mentoring realm knowing this is probably his last shot at a title. Between what other players are saying and listening to the way he talks to his teammates (NFL video) on the field it really seems like coaching would be a great role for him to transition into if he wants to stay near the game instead of perpetually mowing his lawn in Mississippi when his playing days are over.
Although he may need to get over his spanking fixation if he wants his players to take him seriously a few years down the road.