Sunday, August 30, 2009
Favre looks to bounce back vs. Texans
HOUSTON -- Brett Favre had just three days to prepare for his first start this preseason. This one should be a better indicator of how the comeback from his second retirement is going.
Favre is expected to play the entire first half when the Minnesota Vikings face the Houston Texans in an exhibition game on Monday night.
The 39-year-old quarterback completed just one pass for 4 yards over two series in his Minnesota debut Aug. 22, but was happy he didn't have any major errors after such little time to prepare.
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"That was not a great start to the year last week, but yet what did you expect," he said. "Believe me, I was 1-for-4, but I would have loved to be 4-for-4 with four touchdowns and walk off and say, 'It's great.'"
Favre has had some time to adjust to the Vikings now, but knows results aren't as key as getting used to his new team.
"It's the things that people don't see that to me are the most important," he said. "No one wants to see the ball on the ground, calling plays wrong, going the wrong way. Things like that. The other stuff will come. Maybe it all comes this week, I don't know."
While the spotlight is on Favre, the Texans are more concerned about Adrian Peterson as they hope to rebound from a disappointing performance in a 38-14 loss to the Saints on Aug. 22.
"We've got to step it up," defensive end Antonio Smith said. "We can't let them get out there and rush the ball over 100 yards. I think that's our goal. We can't let them just run through our defense like we did last week."
Houston coach Gary Kubiak said several starting jobs are up for grabs, but he's more interested in seeing how his team bounces back after what happened against New Orleans.
"I think it's response more than anything for our football team, because we were really having a great camp, progressing along, feeling pretty good about what we were doing and then -- boom. You get a dose of reality," he said. "I want to see us respond to that."
The last time these teams met, Matt Schaub was knocked out of the game after two low hits by Minnesota's Jared Allen. Schaub missed 4½ games with a knee injury and Allen was fined $50,000 for his actions.
Allen missed Minnesota's last preseason game because of a sprained ankle, but is scheduled to play this week.
Both players insist there's no bad blood between them from what happened last year.
"It's in the past," Schaub said. "I'm moving on. It's a new year."
"I was cool with him already. Hopefully they don't try nothing cheap down there," he added with a laugh.
Houston's offensive linemen aren't as quick to let the incident go. Left tackle Duane Brown said seeing the hit on tape makes him "sick to his stomach" because he believes he could have prevented it.
"From the beginning of the game, he had a little bit to say about me, with me being a rookie out there," Brown said of Allen. "You pair that up with the fact he put a lick on my quarterback that put him out of the game, of course, I feel I need some revenge."
Another subplot in this game is the return of quarterback Sage Rosenfels, who was traded to the Vikings this offseason with hopes of finally becoming a starter. Rosenfels spent three years as Houston's backup and started five games in each of the last two seasons when Schaub was injured.
Now he's competing with Tarvaris Jackson to be Favre's backup. Rosenfels was solid in Minnesota's first preseason game against Indianapolis, but sat out last week with a sprained ankle. He's expected to return this week, but it's unclear when or how much he'll play Monday.
"It's going to be neat," Rosenfels said. "We had a great group of guys on offense. We really jelled and got along great together. I think that was a lot of the reason we had pretty good success offensively there. It's going to be different being on the other sideline. I spent three great years of my life working and fighting with those guys."