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Monday's Notebook: Chilly's Groundbreaking Harvin-Moss Comparison

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The Adventures of Bus Cook

I must admit, I'm growing to like Bus Cook.  If you ask him anything about Favre, the conversation will inevitably turn to his client's riding lawnmower down in Hattiesburg -- because apparently, of the time Favre is away from the football field, 100% percent of it is spent mowing his lawn.  He must have the best front lawn in America, though his wife and kids likely haven't seen him in weeks.

Beyond constantly referencing Favre's affection for lawn care, though, I've also come to appreciate the clever wordplay Cook engages him whenever a reporter asks about the rumors of his client potentially coming out of retirement.  Take a look at some quotes Cook recently gave to the Hattiesburg American and you'll see how talented he is at using many words to essentially say "no comment."

"Have there been meetings (between Favre and the Vikings)? Are there any scheduled? To my knowledge, no," Cook said. "Right now, Brett's retired. He's out there cutting grass."

Addressing reports that Favre has been working out at Oak Grove High recently and that the 39-year-old wants to begin working with a personal trainer, Cook said he'd heard the reports.

"I don't know," he said. "I had heard he went and threw about ten balls to see how his arm felt, but I don't know if it's true or not. As far as I know, he's not working out with any trainers."

"He may look up next week and say, 'I want a job,'" Cook said. "But as of right now, he's retired. That's it."

It really is incredible to consider the lack of any solid information we have about the Favre saga.  Mark Wilf's quote, "Sure there is interest in Brett Favre," is literally the furthest either party has gone on-the-record to back up the constant barrage of rumors and reports that have relied on unnamed sources.  Needless to say, I don't believe a word Bus Cook says -- when it comes to putting Favre-comeback rumors to rest, the only person who has less credibility than Cook is Brett Favre himself.

Of course, the crappy part of all this is where it leaves T-Jack and Sage Rosenfels: In a complete state of uncertainty over what awaits them in the 2009 season (they're in for an uncomfortable return to the field when the team convenes for minicamp this Tuesday).  Rosenfels gave a "no comment" over the weekend to the Des Moines Register, but he's gotta be feeling terrible right now -- after thinking he'd be given a legitimate chance to start for a playoff contender, things are now very different.  I've never been a Rosenfels fan, was thoroughly underwhelmed when the trade went down, and this is obviously a business, but it's difficult not to feel sorry for the guy.

Alrighty -- there's your Brett Favre news-that's-not-really-news.  I've got some Harvin and Sid Rice talk after the jump...

Chilly Explores the Harvin-Moss Comparison

Grandpa Sports caught up with Chilly over the weekend and asked him about any comparisons that ought to be drawn between Percy Harvin and Randy Moss:

"They're different players," Childress said. "Randy is a tremendous player, vertical, up the field. Because of his length, he was able to go deep for balls. This guy [Harvin] has legitimately the same speed as Randy, obviously not the same stature. Probably a little more elusive. I wouldn't compare him, except they're receivers."

Man, quotes like that last one are why I love Brad Childress: "I wouldn't compare him, except they're receivers."  Why yes, Chilly, they are indeed both receivers.  You make a compelling point in stating that Harvin and Moss do, in fact, play the same position.  I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter

This has been an interesting topic to me ever since it became clear that Harvin was one of the three or four players being targeted by the Vikings in the first round.  At first glance, the major similarity between Harvin and Moss is obvious: Both are players who dropped to the Vikings in the early 20s and wouldn't have been available if they weren't hounded by character concerns.  It says good things about the organization that both guys ended up in purple, that the Vikings displayed a willingness to deal with any off-field issues that resulted from the picks as a tradeoff for getting top-ten talent in the lower tier of the first round, and that the front office brass was wooed enough by the athletic prowess of both guys to give them a chance when other teams were unwilling.

Ultimately, though, I do think Chilly's on target here: Harvin is not the next Randy Moss.  Harvin's the next Percy Harvin, perhaps, but not the next Moss.  I also don't think Percy's as big of a risk as some like to claim -- the efforts to discern any character concerns in this year's draft class were unprecedented, and there's no reason to believe that the Vikings didn't do sufficient homework on him.  He'll never be as good as Randy Moss was -- very, very few receivers ever will be -- nor should the Vikings aim to give him the ball in 40% of their passing plays (well, they probably shouldn't have aimed to give Randy the ball in 40% of their passing plays, either). 

Harvin can, however, be used in areas that Moss wasn't, most notably the rushing attack -- though questions remain on just how often he can be utilized in that respect, as there isn't an unlimited amount of carries to go around between him, Chester and Peterson.  So when you first look at Harvin, I think the Randy Moss comparison is a natural one to make, but Chilly's correct in stating that they're simply different players and that the comparison should be dropped.

Speaking of Percy...

Bizarre Charlie Walters Statement of the Day

The Bird Whisperer is putting Percy Harvin on notice: Show up to the Vikings minicamp this Tuesday...or else.

The Vikings' next minicamp is Tuesday at Winter Park. It's assumed that first-round draft pick Percy Harvin, who missed the first minicamp because of what the Vikings said was a viral infection, will attend the next one. Or there will be a lot of questions.

Ya know, that's what happens when the media spends months before the draft talking about your "character concerns" -- every move you make is put under the microscope.  Once and for all, Harvin missed the first minicamp for legitimate medical reasons.  When there's enough concern over your condition to test you for the freaking swine flu, I think we can afford you a pass for skipping the practices.

Rice's Knee Not 100% Yet?

Kevin Seifert points us to a bit of a concerning statement by Sidney Rice to Chip Scoggins of the Strib -- you'll recall that Rice suffered a knee injury in week two of last season, and apparently, his knee still isn't fully healthy:

It’s getting better. I can really tell that it’s getting better. I’m not 100 percent yet. But I’m running routes full speed and feeling pretty good. The coaches were watching me run the other day and they can tell I’m making progress with it. I’m not too far off from it. But I should be ready coming into training camp.

It's hard not to be worried about his knee being less than 100% at this point in the offseason, especially when you consider the devastating impact the injury made on his performance last season.  But we've still got a long way to go until training camp, much less Sunday, September 13th -- so this will probably end up being a false alarm, even though it rightly has some folks concerned.