Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Banged up Favre questions own ability
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Brett Favre is banged up, his quarterback rating has plummeted and the New York Jets quarterback openly questioned his arm strength after his most recent game.
Cause for alarm? Not quite.
"I don't know what normal feels like," Favre said Wednesday. "As I tell people all the time, friends and family who say, 'Hey how do you feel?' I say, 'I can't complain,' considering this is 200-and-whatever [consecutive] games. I feel about like I'm closing in on 40, and I've been sacked or hit however many times.
"That's not to say at the start of training camp I felt like a million dollars. I'm still going. I think we did win the game the other day. I think that's the one stat that gets lost in all of this."
That's true, but Favre has looked far from spectacular the last three games, with one touchdown pass and four interceptions. His quarterback rating in that span hasn't been higher than 61.4, which it was for the Jets' 31-27 win over Buffalo on Sunday. All that has many wondering if the 39-year-old Favre's shoulder is wearing down.
"It feels OK," he said. "I haven't kept up with the passer rating, nor can you figure it out, but it has nothing to do with my shoulder."
After the victory, Favre talked about an exchange he had with quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll after he underthrew Jerricho Cotchery and was intercepted in the third quarter. "Maybe I don't have the arm I once had," he said after the game. "I don't know."
Favre felt better after looking at film of the play, saying he and left guard Alan Faneca got tangled up.
"I assumed on that play, without watching the film, that I underthrew him badly," Favre said. "In hindsight, it was underthrown and I actually either stepped on Alan or he stepped on me, he was [blocking] from the left side, his guy was blocked and I was looking to the right. I wasn't able to finish the throw."
Favre said he realized the scrutiny he'd face after he questioned his arm strength.
"I knew when I left that podium there, 'Oh, here we go, Old Favre,'" he said, grinning. "I was just being honest with you. There are a lot of throws that I can make that other guys can't make. That's one of them that I can make. There's no doubt about it."
Favre has been typically tightlipped about his future beyond this season, insisting he's only focused on the next two games: at Seattle and home against Miami.
"I'm expecting us to make the playoffs, as I hope the rest of our team is," he said. "It very well could be my last. It could be my last three games or last four games, I don't know. I think that every player, you're always an injury away. I have no idea, as most players don't, what direction a team would want to go in. This is 18 years. Sixteen have been nonstop.
"It's been a pretty good run, but it's not over yet."
Favre was asked if his decision to play again next year would be determined by how this season ends.
"I guess yes and no," he said. "Who would've thought that I'd be sitting here answering that question in front of you. If you would have asked me that last year before the (NFC) championship game, I would've said you need to quit drinking. Here I am. Who knows? We don't know what's going to happen. To predict or to assume is wrong.
"My sole focus is to try to beat the Seattle Seahawks. I know that's going to be difficult. I know what's possibly ahead for us, but I have no idea what's possibly ahead for me."
Despite the struggles, Favre was selected for the Pro Bowl for the 10th time Tuesday. While the selection has been criticized by some, given his NFL-leading 17 interceptions against 21 touchdowns, Favre is only concerned that the Jets are still tied for first place and control their playoff destiny.
"The bottom line is that we're in a position that we had hoped we'd be in," he said. "Miami can say the same thing and New England as well. It's a good position. I know a lot of these guys have not been in this position in quite a while here. It sure beats the alternative, I can tell you that."
If New York misses the playoffs after a such a highly publicized $140 million roster overhaul, many among the fans and media will consider bringing in Favre a mistake.
"I knew I still could play," he said. "Can I play at a level I did 12 years ago? I have no idea. Most people are going to say no and they may be right. I knew what I could bring to this team, more so than statistics alone. ...
"I'd love to lead the league in passer rating every year, but I'd much rather lead this team to the Super Bowl. I think I have that capability to be that type of a leader. Whether or not that gets done, I will do everything in my power to help this team win."
2008 Season Stats