AFC East: Favre retires 2010

Jets not misty-eyed over Brett Favre

August, 3, 2010
8/03/10
6:21
PM ET
On the ESPNNewYork.com blog, Rich Cimini posted an insightful take of Brett Favre's season with the New York Jets.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday morning Favre informed the Minnesota Vikings front office he would retire. Cimini shared the bulletin with one unnamed Jets veteran who rolled his eyes.

[+] EnlargeBrett Favre
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesBrett Favre passed for 22 touchdowns as well as 22 interceptions in his one season with the Jets.
Favre retired from the Jets once, too.

"That's [bull], stringing them along this far," the player replied.

Cimni writes:
A couple of players genuinely like Favre, guys like Kellen Clemens and Dustin Keller, but most of them have tried to expunge the legendary quarterback from their memory banks. At the team's training complex in Florham Park, N.J., it's like he never played for the Jets, with a nary of photo or mention of him in the trophy cases or on the walls.

Owner Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum still speak reverently of Favre, but the same feeling doesn't exist around the locker room. No doubt, some players were thinking "Boy Who Cried Wolf" when they heard the latest out of Minneapolis.

Favre looked like a hero for the Jets, stoking Super Bowl dreams with an entertaining 8-3 start. Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano recalled a vintage Favre play on opening day, avoiding a sack to heave a miraculous fourth-down touchdown pass that proved the difference.

Dogged by a nagging arm injury, Favre's magic disappeared down the homestretch. The Jets went from fashionable Super Bowl picks to out of the playoffs under a heap of interceptions. They went 1-4 in their final five games. In that span, Favre threw two touchdown passes and nine interceptions to finish with a league-leading 22 picks.

Rex Ryan arrived as Jets head coach the season after Favre left. He hopes they don't cross paths when the Jets are scheduled to host the Vikings in October.

"If he's not playing in Week 5, I'll be happy as heck," Ryan said. "If he's playing in Week 5, I'll be scared ... maybe not scared, but close to being scared.

"The guy's a tremendous player. Obviously, you love seeing great players play. I hope, if he's healthy, he still plays. He makes the game exciting to watch."

Sparano would like Favre to be a memory

August, 3, 2010
8/03/10
12:53
PM ET
Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano has gotten singed his share of times by Brett Favre.

But Sparano is not necessarily buying Tuesday's hot rumor that Brett Favre will retire.

"Well, I'll believe it when the season starts and he's on that couch somewhere out there," Sparano said "All I know is we're going to Minnesota in Week 2. So I hope he's ... We'll see."

Sparano spent five years as a Dallas Cowboys assistant, crossing paths with Favre several times. Favre's season with the New York Jets coincided with Sparano's rookie year with the Dolphins.

"Facing him with the Jets, facing him in Dallas, facing him in a lot of places I've been," Sparano said, "there were times where with Brett you kind of felt like it was seven-on-seven out there and nobody was on the other side.

"The throws he made, some of the plays he made ... I remember in Dallas, us having him in the grasp a few different times. He spun out one time, spun around, kind of had him again. We thought he was down. Next thing you know he flips this thing up and he makes a big play on us.

"Then we see this thing down here [at Sun Life Stadium] in the first game that I coached [for the Dolphins], in my first at bat, and this thing goes up in the air and ends up coming down into somebody's hands."

The last play Sparano referenced came in his head-coaching debut, Favre's first game for the Jets in 2008.

Jets kicker Mike Nugent was sidelined with a leg injury, forcing the Jets to go for it on fourth-and-13 from the Dolphins' 22-yard line in the second quarter. Favre escaped what appeared to be a certain sack and threw a high, arcing desperation lob toward the end zone. Chansi Stuckey came down with the ball just inside the goal line for a touchdown. The Jets went on to win 20-14.

The Dolphins went on to win the AFC East, clinching it with a victory over the Jets in the regular-season finale. But prior to that, when the Dolphins were clawing their way toward the finish line, I asked Sparano if he still thought about Favre's play.

"That wakes me up some nights when I'm trying to sleep," Sparano admitted.

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