Baker's Enjoying Favre's Early Heat


Through Sunday's early practice, Chris Baker had caught the most passes from Brett Favre — including the quarterback's first as a Jet on Saturday — so the situation begged the question: Are your hands sore?

"Not yet," said the tight end, "but he's still warming up. He's still getting back into the swing of things. I know he's got more fire coming so it should be interesting."

Peyton Manning isn't the only star quarterback known to possess a "laser rocket arm." Favre, with the velocity of his throws, has developed a reputation for leaving receivers' palms bruised and, sometimes, fingers broken.

"It's coming and it's coming real fast," Baker said, describing what a Favre pass looks like. "It's obviously a different ball than anyone I've played with before. I played with Vinny [Testaverde] and he had a pretty hard ball, but it's still different. It's a different spin."

Baker, who had a career-high 41 receptions last season, spent time after practice catching passes from the Jugs machine. And he stood just a few feet from the launching apparatus when he did it.

"I try to get as close as possible to it so it's coming a little bit faster," he said. "It's real equivalent to Brett."

There aren't many people or things that can accurately simulate Favre's arm, though. And when the Gunslinger hit Jerricho Cotchery for a 75-yard completion on a go route down the sideline Sunday, the estimated 4,000 fans weren't the only ones wowed.

"That was a heck of a throw, man," Baker said while shaking his head, as if still trying to wrap his mind around the ball traveling 65 yards from the line of scrimmage in the air. "It was just like a game out there, the way he just pumped it and threw it right in the hole before the safety could get over there. Heck of a throw."

Baker later went on excitedly about how Favre's arm could expand the offense and open up the field.

"Obviously, he can make any and everything, so anything is possible," he said. "Whatever they can draw up in the sand, he can do it. It makes it more challenging for the defense and makes it more fun for us on offense. It's more fun to get out there and run your routes when you know you're a viable option on every play."

The Packers tight ends were thrown to 95 times last season, resulting in 66 receptions, and Donald Lee had a breakout year. So is Baker vying to become No. 4's favorite target?

"Obviously it would be great to be one of his favorite guys, but we have some really reliable receivers and tight ends, guys that he'll be able to trust with the ball," Baker answered diplomatically. "I think it's going to be a combination, with everybody getting involved."

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