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Saturday's Notebook: Childress Calls T-Jack 'One of Hardest Working Guys'

Chilly Comes to T-Jack's Defense

This was buried in the Strib's report about Antoine Winfield's absence from the Vikings' mandatory minicamp, but if you've been tracking the story of Pat Williams calling out Tarvaris Jackson for a perceived insufficient work ethic, it was pretty interesting to see Brad Childress come to T-Jack's defense in a news conference on Friday:

Tarvaris Jackson is one of hardest working guys you are going to find in this 85-man roster right now. Just in terms of the time he spends here, the time he spends in the books, with the wide receivers, in the weight room, strength and conditioning. There’s very few people that work as hard as he does in the offseason.

I have no way of verifying whether or not Jackson's a hard-worker, but despite the fact that Childress has never been Tarvaris' harshest critic, I see little reason to doubt what he told the media on Friday afternoon.  Things were pretty split here during the last few days when it came to whether or not people felt Pat's comments were justified -- I thought they were justifiable because they served as a swift kick in the pants to someone with a lot of work ahead of him, but let's be clear: This is the first peep we've heard out of Winter Park questioning T-Jack's work ethic.

Chilly noted that Fat Pat felt “poorly” about this controversy, so this storyline obviously won't be resurfacing.  I think Pat felt poorly about this largely because his comments were misinterpreted.  Yeah, you could look at his comments and pick out the "You have to put in more time than what he’s doing" sentence as a specific criticism, but you could say that about a number of players.  I guess I viewed his thoughts as advice rather than criticism, but hey, I could be wrong.

After the jump, an interesting development in the Pat and Kevin court battles...

Want to Play? Pay Up!

Guess we had no idea how close Pat and Kevin Williams, along with three New Orleans Saints players, came to reaching a settlement with the league that would have involved a hefty fine and the scrapping of their suspensions.  Here's the report from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports:

The five players facing penalties in the StarCaps case nearly had a deal to avoid any suspensions, according to four sources with knowledge of the discussions.

During settlement talks as recent as May 22, sources said the league was willing to set aside the four-game suspensions for Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister, Will Smith, Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, but were asking the players to pay a "six-figure" fine instead. In addition, the union requested that appeals of suspensions no longer be heard by commissioner Roger Goodell or someone in the league office, according to three of the four aforementioned sources.

Conversely, the league didn’t want to give up that right because it considered the issue to be an important element of upcoming talks over a new collective bargaining agreement.

What a shame...even though Pat and Kevin are said to have a strong case against the league in state court, how nice would it have been to get this thing over with?  Granted, a six-figure fine is hardly the slap on the wrist that most league-issued fines are, but if that's what it takes to get on the field, you don't have a choice.  You pony up.  Too bad the settlement fell through, as it could have lightened the list of "unknowns" for the Vikings.

Remember When...

Remember when Peter King wrote on Memorial Day that Brett Favre would need to make a decision by the weekend?  Glad that one panned out.

And Finally...

Beware the dangers of Facebook...Falcons' offensive tackle Quinn Ojinnaka was arrested after he fought with his wife over a female friend of his on Facebook...Shutdown Corner ranked Collinsworth, Esiason and Jaworski as the three best NFL television commentators around...wait, no Bill Maas? my opinion, Collinsworth is the best in the business without question...Eric Mangini engages in a "sophisticated form of hazing" by putting Browns rookies on a 10-hour bus trip to work at his football camp...