Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Favre has to practice to play
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre isn't the only one who will
have to adjust his game if he plays at Minnesota on Sunday night
despite his broken right thumb, as expected.
Offensive coordinator Tom Rossley will in all likelihood curtail
his calls that recently have put Favre in his comfort zone --
outside the pocket -- and the offensive linemen will have to keep
the pocket from collapsing around their injured quarterback.
Favre was hurt Oct. 19 at St. Louis when he struck left guard
Mike Wahle's shoulder pads while following through on his second
"The biggest thing is you don't want him to get hit," Rossley
said. "You want to protect him. Our line has done a good job of
that pretty much for the year. And I'm sure they'll all work that
much harder knowing that he's out there playing and they'll do
whatever they can to protect him.
"And we'll do what we can to not get him exposed."
But if Favre is going to start his 198th straight game, there's
some risk involved. He very well could bang the thumb again and
worsen the injury..
"That's just part of it. I mean, if he's going to play, he's
always going to be at risk of hitting it on someone," Rossley
said. "That would be the worst thing."
That's where his teammates come in.
"Our line just has to be a little firmer. They can't sink as
much. They've got to take them on at the line of scrimmage a little
more. And he's got to get a little better drop," Rossley said.
"He's got to get some separation from the center."
Rossley said he's sure Favre will heed all warnings.
"Those thoughts in your mind kind of make you play better
sometimes. Not just him but the people around him," Rossley said.
Right guard Marco Rivera said the key is to limit the hits on
"He's going to get hit this game," Rivera said. "I don't
think there's ever been a game where the quarterback didn't get
hit. We just have to play sound football. We have to pick up
whatever they bring at us. We have to play hard, and hopefully
he'll be fine."
Favre threw a few passes Wednesday and will ratchet up the
workload as the week goes on. On Thursday, "we'll probably up it a
little bit from what we did today," Rossley said. "Still not a
whole lot, just gradually do a little more. But he's got to
practice. He's got to get the feel of our plan. It's important to
him and to our receivers, to everybody to get into the timing of
^WHAT LOSS?@ The Packers are taking no solace from the Minnesota
Vikings' 29-17 loss at home to the New York Giants on Sunday, their
first loss since last Dec. 8 at Green Bay
The Vikings gave up a season-high 450 yards to the Giants, who
found a rhythm behind quarterback Kerry Collins and scored 13
points in the fourth quarter for the win, which prompted the
Vikings' outspoken owner to chew them out in the locker room
"They're a lot better than that," center Mike Flanagan said.
"There's six other games to show how much better they are than
that. I think they came out and just didn't have a good game.
"I guarantee you with the loss last week, getting ripped by
their owner, playing at home, it's us, they're going to come out
flying around," Flanagan said. "They always do. You almost don't
watch the Giants tape."
Guard Mike Wahle concurred: "You almost don't want to watch it
because they're so different."
But he was interested in watching the Packers' 30-25 loss to
Minnesota in the season opener at Lambeau Field.
"Looking at our game is going to do more good than look at film
of that (Giants) game," Wahle said.
As for the Vikings, owner Red McCombs apologized for his
post-game tirade in which he accused the players of humiliating the
"It's always a positive when your owner says that you've
humiliated him, isn't it," Vikings coach Mike Tice cracked in a
conference call with Wisconsin media on Wednesday. "I don't know
how else you could look at it. I went home and threw a party. I
wasn't pleased with the comments. But he's the owner of the team
and he has the right to evaluate our performance as he sees fit."
The Packers know that performance wasn't indicative of the
Vikings' true colors.
^CLOSED PRACTICE:@ Mike Sherman closed practice to the media
this week, in part to prevent the microscope coverage of Brett
Favre's every move but also to keep a cloak of secrecy on any
defensive adjustments the coaching staff might unveil Sunday.
"I don't want every time Brett twitches his thumb, you know,
it's on every newscast across the country," Sherman said. "Then
we did some things in the off week that we want to take a look at
that for whatever reason, we just want to keep it our own business
at this present time."
Sherman cranked up the sound system inside the Don Hutson Center
to prepare the Packers for the din of the Metrodome, although "you
really can't (replicate the noise), I'll be honest with you,"
^EXTRA POINTS:@ Brett Favre's 118 career victories is one shy of
Johnny Unitas for fourth all-time. ... Ahman Green is 135 yards shy
of 5,000 for his career. ... Green leads the league with 58 first
downs and is second in the NFC with 963 yards from scrimmage. ...
Randy Moss has topped 100 yards receiving seven times against Green
Bay, including 150 yards in the opener this year. The Vikings are
11-0 when Moss tallies 150 or more yards receiving. ... The Vikings
already have 17 interceptions after tallying eight in 2000 and 2001
and 16 in '02.