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Brett Favre Press Conference

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Courtesy NY Jets PR Department

Transcript of QB Brett Favre‘s news conference before Wednesday’s midday practice:

On his reaction to Coach Mangini saying he wants Favre back next year …

We haven’t really discussed it. My focus is Miami. The little bit that we have talked about was that more or less we’ll talk about it once the season’s over, which, in fairness to the rest of the team, is the best way to handle it.

On if he will come back next year …

I came into the season, as I’ve said numerous times this year, with the thought of taking it week by week. It’s a different situation. But I’m 39 years old. This is 18 years for me. It’s a totally new situation. Obviously, the odds were not only against me, but against this team from the start. There were high expectations. I wanted to focus solely on this year. There’s no way I could focus on next year or would focus on next year. I didn’t think I’d be here to begin with after everything that had taken place during the off-season. There’s still one game left.

Do I see myself playing here next year? I didn’t see myself playing here this time last year. There are some things that the team probably needs to think about as far as next year’s concerned and some things that I need to think about and we need to discuss amongst ourselves. It’s way premature to think about that when we have the Dolphins coming in. I have no idea.

I know some things need to fall into place for us to make it. Most importantly, we need to win this football game. We obviously have struggled here lately. They brought me in here to lead this team and win football games, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I don’t want to focus on what’s going to happen next year. This very well could be my last game. I’m aware of that. I’d like to make it a memorable one.

On how his retirement after last season changed his perspective on this season …

I do soak it all in. Win or lose, however the season plays out, I think back to last year, that whole year for me, it was obviously a great year. I would have liked for it to have been a little bit better. But I remember every moment. I remember every game. I remember the guys I played with and different places we played.

I think as a young player, you think about a lot of different things. Being your last game, you really don’t think about, or your last season. You grow to appreciate the game itself and how quickly it goes by, because it does. No different than you think back to high school, grade school. I always use that as an example: “Man, can I ever get out of here? Move out of this town, go to college, get away from my parents?” You get away and you go, “This wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it was.”

Well, here it is 18 years later. It’s been a great career. This year was a gamble, I guess you could say a risk, whatever you want to call it. I can honestly say I’m thankful I was given the opportunity here. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been good and bad at times as far as our season has gone, but I’m glad I came. I made the right decision. Hopefully we win this football game and see what happens. I’m sure a lot of people are not saying good things about us, but it’s been fun fighting with these guys.

Whatever happens after this, happens. But I think I’m way more aware of the situation I’m in, the surroundings, appreciating it. It’s hard to play 18 years. Most of the time they run you off way before that. So I’m thankful for the opportunity not only this year but the ones I’ve had. I just try to enjoy it. If you ask most of those guys in the room, they would tell you I enjoy it as much as anyone. It’s not fabricated. I’m hoping this one goes in our favor. I don’t ever want to look back and think, ‘What if I would have just did this or that?’ I can honestly say I don’t think I would ever look back and say that.

On if he will feel “butterflies” this game the way he felt before the first game…

I really feel that before every game. I think that’s a good thing. The game never gets old although we do [smiles]. That’s why the game itself is loved by a lot of people. You never know. You never know. Here I am as a New York Jet. You never know. To withstand all the things I’ve had to go through throughout my career to me is impressive. Before every game I get those butterflies. I get nervous. I get excited. It becomes tougher as you get older to go through the weekly stuff, but the game has never gotten old to me. This game will be no different. I’m well aware it could be my last game, but I’m going to go out, play as hard as I can and prepare as well as I can. That’s all you can do.

On if he has a timetable in making a decision about next year…

Mike Tannenbaum and I, and I’m sure Eric, we may talk about it some this week, just more or less set a time. If we’re not in the playoffs, we’ll talk about it the first part of next week. Mike has said to me numerous times, ‘whenever the season is over, take a little time. We’ll talk about it.’ Unless I just go in there today and say that’s it — which is not going to happen. I don’t want to go through what happened last year, for me and for everyone else. Physically that has something to do with it, as well. I played every game since ’92. That’s not to say that some things don’t bother me. That will play a part in this decision, as well.

On speculation that he feels fatigued…

Well, fatigue, I wouldn’t disagree [smiles].

On his arm …

It feels OK, it does. There’s some throws I personally think I can make, but at times I haven’t. I still think there’s some throws I make that other guys, maybe their arm strength is not as strong, but I’m talking about me specifically. I don’t run like some quarterbacks do, but some quarterbacks don’t throw like I do. It’s all basically my expectations of myself and what I can do. I attribute some of that to age. I think the pending physical that every player goes through after the last game will shed some light on some things, but we’ll see.

On if he or Chad Pennington needs to justify his value to his new team…

I don’t think I need to justify anything. I don’t think Chad needs to as well. I don’t know Chad that well personally. I played against him numerous times. I don’t know the stats and all those things, and not that that really matters. The most important thing is winning and losing.

I would bet, if you ask the Miami Dolphins, they’re thrilled to death that they have Chad Pennington. He’s done an outstanding job for them, he really has. He’s worthy of everything that’s being said about him. Great pickup for them. Probably a big difference in their season, as well as [Bill] Parcells, their head coach [Tony Sparano] and some other players. It goes without staying the type of leader he has been for them and for this team. I haven’t found one person in this building that has said one thing negative about Chad Pennington.

It’s not about me and Chad Pennington, although that is what basically plays out most of the time, especially when we’re playing against them, the fact that they’re where they are and we have kind of fallen to where we are. The only thing I can say is I’m glad I got an opportunity here. I hope from a leadership standpoint I’m everything and then some that they wanted me to be. I can assure you the Dolphins will say the same thing.

There are two different styles of play between the two of us, but you can say that about guys across this league wherever, at whatever position. It just so happens it played out that way: I’m here and he’s there. I’d like to think it’s been a good pick for both teams. Both teams are obviously better than they were last year. That’s not because of Brett Favre and it’s not because of Chad Pennington, but I do think we’ve helped out some.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. I said this before I played in the first game, I don’t think I’d ever beaten him. If you want to say that quarterbacks get wins and losses, which I still think is unfair, I finally got one against him. In that game, he played exceptionally well also. I hold him in the highest regards. I think a lot of him. People in that [Jets locker] room think a lot of him, but it’s the Dolphins versus the Jets. I don’t feel like I have to justify anything, nor does he.

On the “theater” of the Jets playing the Dolphins in the season finale …

I don’t make the schedule, I don’t make the trades. I just know that Chad probably would love to get this one for a lot of reasons most importantly where their team will end up. The fact that it will be, ‘Hey, Chad, beat your old team.’ I’m aware of all that stuff. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention. I really don’t. I guess it does make for a good script. It is what it is.

On sounding like he is leaning toward not coming back next season …

I’m disappointed, as everyone else in this building is disappointed. The opportunities that were presented to us, we couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. I’m disappointed because we didn’t capitalize on that, as our fans are, and as everyone else is. That’s what you’re seeing right now. We’ll have practice today. I’ll go out there and try to be the leader I’ve been from day one, from the first game I played in [in 1992] against Cincinnati. That’s all I can do.

When the game is over Sunday, we’ll know more. We’ll just go from there. I’m not going to sit up here and be happy-go-lucky. … I’m just being honest with you. I’m disappointed, like everyone else.

On if ending on a bad note might effect his decision …

I could be playing for 10 more years and end on a bad note. I have no idea. Last year was about as bad as it could end. As wonderful as last season was, it was disappointing the way we ended. Every year there’s only one team that can walk away and say it ended pretty good. There’s only one team. I know that for a fact, because I was fortunate enough to get a Super Bowl ring in ’96, early in my career. I thought, “This is not that hard.” Kind of like [Dan] Marino. He goes his [second] year: “I’ll be back.” He never went back.

I don’t want to be chasing ghosts. I feel like at certain times during this year, I thought, “Hey, we might be back there.” I could be sitting here telling you five years from now, “Hey, we’ll get back. You’ll be dragging me on the field, but we’ll get back.” [smiles]

As I said last year and the year before, I think it’s been a wonderful career. Believe me. You name it, I’ve got it, good and bad. I got every good record and I’ve got every bad record. Individual honors, they’ve come my way. Believe me, for a kid from Southern Mississippi who wanted to dress out in a pro football uniform and dreamed of playing for the Saints, it’s been a pretty good run. Whether I walk away today, three years ago, I can’t look back and say, “Boy, that’s one thing I wanted to do.” It’s been outstanding. So one play, one season is not going to make a difference.

On the Jets still having a chance to make the playoffs …

We do. I’m trying to tell you guys that, too. We have to get ready for the Miami Dolphins. I’m sure you sat in their press conferences last year for the Giants, you had written those guys off, just like everyone else had. I use those guys as an example. We played them early in the year and we beat them pretty soundly. I didn’t even think playoffs [for them] were in my mind. I said, “This team’s done.” They were outstanding at the end of the year.

Now, we could play outstanding this week and not get in. We have no one to blame but ourselves. I know that. The guys in the building know that, but we do have a chance. We’re doing ourselves an injustice if we don’t go play this game and play the only way we can, and that’s to win the football game. If we don’t make it, then everyone can say whatever. They’re saying it now, but we have to win this football game.

On if he thinks there is something physically wrong with him …

I’m sure if we MRI’d enough, we’d probably find something [smiles]. During the course of the year, there were numerous times where I had been asked about my shoulder. It had been hit a couple times. I don’t know. Just knowing my body, there may be something, but there’s no test yet to reveal anything. I’m able to go out. I practiced yesterday. I know you don’t stay around for the whole practice, but I threw the ball. I felt pretty good yesterday, considering it was a Tuesday.

I have had my moments. I think it will reveal one way or another if there is something wrong. I don’t want to make a big deal of it. I don’t want to make excuses because I feel like I can make every throw.

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