Courtesy Jets PR Department
Transcript of Jets QB Brett Favre’s news conference before Wednesday’s midday practice:
On if his shoulder is affecting his passer rating…
The good one or bad one? [laugter] It feels OK. I haven’t kept up with the passer rating, nor can you figure it out, but it has nothing to do with my shoulder.
On if his body feels the way it normally does at this point in the season…
First of all, I don’t know what normal feels likes. It feels, 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 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. Week in and week out, when David [Tratner, director of media relations] and Bruce [Speight, senior director of media relations] and those guys try to pass out stats afterwards, I say, “The only one that matters is wins and losses.”
On playing big games in December…
We’re obviously in a position that we had hoped to be at the start of the year. We’ve had some runs here where we’ve played extremely well, slipped up two games and got a lucky break the other day, if you want to call it that. I think we made that break. I think our defense did it.
The bottom line is that we’re in a position that we had hoped we’d be in, 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.
There have only been a few times in my career where at this point in the season we knew we were out. I’d much rather take this position. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but our approach has been very good. We know what’s at stake. How we handle that remains to be seen. We do control our own destiny. The only game that matters is this game, and it will be tough. We’ll see what happens. It’s a nice position to be in.
On if he looks at these games differently since they may be his last…
Yes and no. What I mean by that is, there are not 16 games left. To be quite honest, from the start of the season, and this is going back last year and maybe even the year before, I really took every game in. As you approach the latter part of the season I think every player looks at it maybe a little differently than the start. You feel this pressure, or whatever.
I’ve taken them all in. I really have. I am well aware of the fact that there are two games left. I’m expecting us to make the playoffs, as I hope the rest of our team is. 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 non-stop. It’s been a pretty good run, but it’s not over yet. I know for a fact that when I wake up and come to practice, as hard as it may be sometimes, and when I wake up and go play in a game, I’m pretty darn thankful that I’m still able to do that. I don’t ever want to look back — and I’m one of the few guys who has gotten to the position where I can say that there have been times where maybe I took things for granted in this game throughout my career.
I can honestly say that when it’s over this year, last year, I got everything out of it that I wanted to. I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that I have appreciated every game in recent memory, and I’m just kind of one of those that soaks it all in.
On if his decision to play again next year will be affected by how the season ends…
I guess yes and no, again. 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 [smiles]. Here I am. Who knows?
I think that’s pretty positive that 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.
On if critics will question bringing Favre to the Jets if they do not make the playoffs…
I have no idea. That’s why you guys [the media] do what you do. I have no idea. All I know is the Jets took a chance. I took a chance. One guy, I know this for a fact, doesn’t make or break a team. I think that’s proof of this team. I knew when I talked to Mike Tannenbaum and Eric [Mangini] before I made a commitment that they were not hinging their season on me. They had already made a lot of acquisitions. I knew full well that once I signed here that that didn’t put us in the Super Bowl. I’m not naïve enough to think that.
There are some people out there that thought, or there are two ways to look at it, they thought, “What in the hell are the Jets doing?” or “We’re going to the Super Bowl, I’m getting my Super Bowl tickets.” Two different ways to look at it. As I told Mike numerous times, from his position, why not take a chance? Whether you get Brett or not, why not take a chance? If you don’t try, who will know?
Really, that was my approach, too. I knew I still could play. 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 knew I was willing to do that. I knew I was willing to lead the way I’ve always led. I think that’s something you can’t measure. I truly believe that, with all my heart. 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. I knew when I made that commitment to sign with the Jets that I was committed to being that type of leader. Once again, I think that’s the one thing that you can’t measure.
On what Mike Holmgren has meant to his career…
I can honestly say that I would not be here today if it were not for Mike Holmgren. He and I worked together a long time ago, but the things that he taught me really hit me a little bit later, how much of a perfectionist that he was and how hard he was on me. That’s the way that I study and prepare today.
To him, everything had to be perfect in order to win. He put me in a position to succeed. He allowed me to play, or use my abilities the best way possible, to not only catapult me but to help our team win. He was an unbelievable playcaller. He was a great motivator. I would not be here today. I probably would’ve been written off a long time ago.
On the second interception vs. Buffalo…
I think we as players should always take a lot of the blame and never point fingers or anything like that. That’s the way I am. I assumed on that play, without watching the film, that I underthrew him badly. In hindsight, it was underthrown and I actually either stepped on Alan [Faneca] or he stepped on me. He was [blocking] from the left side, his guy was blocked and I was looking to the right. I was not able to finish the throw. I felt like I got bumped on the play, but I had to watch the film.
I didn’t want to sit there and say I bumped into someone. If you go in and you talk to [Brian] Daboll or Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer], they probably would say, “You probably should have just dumped it off.” They’re probably right, but Jerricho [Cotchery] did actually run by [Terrence] McGee. There was a chance, but if you play the percentages then dump it off because I did have to take the extra hitch to let Jerricho get by him because he [McGee] did play off.
I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, I don’t throw the ball as far as I used to. But if I have to throw the ball 83 yards in a game, it’s the last play of the game and we’re throwing a Hail Mary to win, we have problems anyway. But that’s a throw I can make.
On if it felt better when he reviewed the film and saw he was bumped on the play…
It did. I knew when I left that podium there, “Oh, here we go, ‘Old Favre’.” 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. The second half of that game last week, offensively, was not very productive. The first half, I thought, was very productive. There are reasons for that.
Did I dramatically change in the second half? No. Did my arm strength waver in the second half? No. Sometimes when you watch the film, it’s never quite as good or as bad as it seems, or what you thought may not be the case. That’s what happened on that particular play.
On if he’s confident that the Jets will be in the playoffs…
I think that I have to be honest and tell you that I’m really confident, as I should be. I would hope that if you polled every one of the players in that locker room, they would say the same. I think confidence is one of the keys to success. We should be confident, but not overconfident. If we can play the way that we have played in a lot of our games this year, you would say, “Yes, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be.” We have had a couple games where you go “ehh.” If we play like that, I don’t know.
I like our team. I think we have proven, for the most part this year, that we can be a very good team. Given the stakes, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be, or be confident. We still have to go play.