Favre claims he was less prepared than Cassel
In September 1992, during a Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, football's Wally Pipp gave way to a prospect few knew anything about.
Don Majkowski, the Pro Bowl quarterback, suffered an ankle injury. Although he would play several more games for them, his Green Bay Packers career was through. Brett Favre trotted off the sideline and took over.
Favre, now of the New York Jets, will play against another relative unknown making his first NFL start because the leading man got hurt. Matt Cassel will start Sunday at the Meadowlands in place of injured New England Patriots QB Tom Brady.
Cassel completed 13 of 18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's victory over the Chiefs, his most extensive game action since high school.
"I don't think I'm in a position to give Matt Cassel that much advice," Favre said Wednesday. "I think he's fallen in the footsteps of somebody who's been pretty damn good. And he obviously handled himself well the other day.
"He's probably going to tell you guys he's ready, he's worked for this opportunity, and that's all true. I think he'll do fine."
After all, Favre noted how well it worked out for him after leaving Southern Mississippi and getting traded away by the Atlanta Falcons.
But Packers general manager Ron Wolf saw something in Favre. Somebody in the Patriots front office presumably sees something in Cassel to have drafted him without starting a single college game at quarterback and keeping him around Foxborough a fourth season.
"I think of every guy who's ever had his first start, and there was no person that I could think of who was ever more raw than me," Favre said. "I mean, I'd never really played in a passing offense. I was always in an option-style offense and was asked to do things that normal starting quarterbacks in this league were never asked to do. So I was really learning on the run.
"I had a lot of talent, but was very raw. I didn't know how to use it. To me, if a guy was double covered or triple covered it didn't matter. I could throw it through them. The precision part of my game didn't come until later, when I started reading defenses and looking at it from a different perspective, and a lot of it had to do with [Packers head coach] Mike Holmgren.
"But I think Matt Cassel is ready to accept this role. I think he did great the other day, and I don't see any reason why he doesn't continue to play well."