Transcript of QB Brett Favre's news conference with reporters before Wednesday's midday practice:
On saying his ankle would be sore…
I did [smiles]? I don't know if it was a long trip or what, getting back at 8 in the morning. Yeah, it felt sore like I thought it would.
On how his ankle feels today…
It feels better. We'll talk tomorrow [smiles].
On if it will limit him in practice…
Time will tell. I've been down this road before, not only with an ankle injury but with a lot of injuries. I respect Eric [Mangini]. He wants us to refer those questions to him. I understand that. I'm doing everything I can to get ready. How it will affect me during the course of the week or Sunday remains to be seen.
On the last time he didn't practice throughout the week but played on Sunday…
I don't know if I did last year or not. I can't remember. I missed the first three weeks of training camp, which is obviously different for me. Being that I need the work, today as well as any other day mentally has to be the most important thing. It's a short week. We're cramming a lot of stuff in. I'm not really concerned about the lack of or how much practice. I'm going to try to do some things today and see. But it's more mentally, that's what's most important.
On if he'll play no matter what…
That's what I'm here for. No one wants to be injured. I feel like we did some good things in the game the other night. We obviously lost. [There are] a lot of things to clean up. I love to play. I didn't come here, first of all, to lose. I didn't come in here to get hurt and sit and watch. That's why I played every game. I could have sat out numerous games and no one would ever have questioned the fact that I was hurt. I wouldn't let it get that far.
On the importance of his streak of 256 consecutive starts...
I don't want to make a big deal about the streak and say it's the only reason I would play. I've said that in the past. It's important to me if I really want to play and really feel like I can help the team win. It's important for me to play. That's the way I've always felt.
I would hope I would never go into a game and play to continue a streak even though I felt like I would hamper the team with this injury or a broken thumb or whatever. My philosophy has always been if you feel like you can play and not hinder the team one bit, then try at least. Why not try? I think I owe that to not only my teammates but to myself. That's the way I've always looked at it.
I think the injuries that I've been faced with may keep the next guy out. For example, I go back to the broken thumb. Most guys would not even attempt to play with a broken thumb. Especially a quarterback, just because of what it might do, how bad they may look and how much it would hurt the team. I felt like I could play because I played the previous game with it, even though I didn't know. So I was willing to take that risk.
In all those cases, I was willing to take that risk with the thought in mind that I wouldn't hurt the team. Who was going to argue if I said I was going to play, just because I had done it so many times. After the fact, "Maybe we should have sat him." I don't want that ever to come into play. I love to play, and that's what I'm here for. I feel like I can give this team a very good chance to win. Until I'm told otherwise, I'm going to do it.
On if he's still motivated and focused despite having two losses…
Very much so. What's entered into my mind — which I think, right or wrong, it is what it is — is the feelings that maybe the fans or the people associated with this team or who have some interest in this team may have lost: "Well, they're 1-2, here we go again." My hope is that that's not the case.
I'm disappointed we're 1-2. I've been 1-2 before. I actually went 4-12 before. I've been in some early stretches during the course of a season or through my career where we didn't start off the way we had hoped. I like the way our guys have handled the last two weeks, even through the losses and the character they've shown.
The bottom line is winning. How we get to that remains to be seen. Eric stressed this the other day before and after the game — I think it's so true — that once this team starts believing, all 53 guys start believing that it can be done, then it will be. When there's doubt creeping in from wherever, and you see flashes of how good we can be, as we have, then it's going to be the way it has been. Until we believe that "Hey, we're pretty darn good, we're going to go out and we're not going to be beat," we'll be much better off.
There's no doubt from my end. I'll continue to do what I've done from day one, from the day I first stepped onto a field. If that's not good enough, then it's not good enough. It's been good enough up to this point. I've won way more games than I've lost. I don't anticipate that changing. I don't anticipate the way I prepare, the way I practice and the way I carry myself as a teammate to change.
I would hope that the rest of us do the same. I really believe we have the guys that will do that. It's just a matter of when we believe as one, which I totally agree, that we have that edge about us. As long as we do what we're supposed to do and play at a high level, we'll be fine.
On if he's on the same page as the wide receivers…
We had 30-something completions. Something's working. We didn't have a lot of points, at least not as many as San Diego. I gave them seven on interceptions and threw another pick that gave them a short field — they scored on it. They stripped the ball from TJ [Thomas Jones] and they go in.
We're putting our defense in a tough spot. I don't think that has anything to do with newness. I think we have to at some point write that off. My wife said when I got home that all the commentators kept talking about was "There's no way Brett can get this offense down in 30 days." You know, you have to let it go. You have to let it go.
We had enough ammo. I thought our game plan was a very good game plan. San Diego changed their defense completely for that game. I give them credit — they executed it well. We had plenty of opportunities. The bottom line is we gave them too many points, or gave them too many chances to score points from our end, offensively.
Make no mistake about it, their offense, you don't need to give them a short field. They're explosive. They're going to score 30 points on whoever they play. We don't need to give them 14. We're still trying to work some things out, sure. I don't think that had anything to do with that game the other night.
On turning 39 soon and Arizona QB Kurt Warner being 37…
He's a young guy [laughter]. How many games has he played in? That's what I look at.
Kurt was in camp with us. I don't remember the year. It was a long time ago. He was just a guy. Obviously, he's a lot different now. The guy has played phenomenal. I've played against him numerous times. I have a lot of respect for him. I didn't know much about him at the time. There are a lot of guys that come and go that just for whatever reason have never panned out. He's one of those guys that when he got the opportunity, he made the most of it. That's an understatement.
I do remember, I don't know if Kurt remembers, when [Steve] Mariucci was our quarterback coach. He asked him to go in on a particular play. It was camp. He said, "No, I'm not going in." He wasn't ready. In fact, when Steve was here a couple of weeks ago, we were doing an interview, laughing about that and how far he has come. He's not afraid to go in now.
On if the Chargers didn't play as hard the second half…
When we went to our empty package, they actually blitzed just as much. They finally backed out of their blitz when I hit LC [Laveranues Coles] on a quick slant. He ran down to about the 5, which was a blitz-beater. We were just talking about it in our meetings. That kind of backed them off.
I talked to [Chargers coordinator] Ted Cottrell after the game and told him, "Great game plan, you changed it up and you executed it well." Any coordinator is going to be reluctant to change completely for a game in one week just because somebody is going to screw it up. They blitzed us. They showed us a lot of different looks. Really, they stayed with it until the end. With that empty package, the only time we ever practiced that or talked about it was the night before. We walked through like four plays in the hotel. When I talk about there's a silver lining and something to build off of, it's that.
Our guys are really smart. We were able to go out and function and put a bind on our offensive line. I think we had 31 snaps of empty in the second half. Last year we ran a lot of empty stuff in Green Bay, but we never had 31 snaps in one half. Your offensive line, they can only block five. We were able to hit hot reads. We were not 100 percent on it, but we were able to hit hot reads, we were able to signal, we were able to make plays and guys were able to line up. I think that's something to build off of.
Do we want to go 60 snaps in a game of empty? Who knows. We have the guys to do it. I think we also have a very effective running game. How we mix the two I think is going to be crucial because I think we saw something that we can do. We had to do it by default, but we kind of had a plan we would go to it at some point. We just went to it earlier. I thought it was pretty productive.
On if he was throwing off of his back foot after his ankle injury…
On how throwing off of his back foot will affect his performance…
The good thing is my mechanics were never good. You're saying that and I'm kind of laughing, thinking, "You mean I actually threw off of a foot?" Normally I throw with both feet off the ground [laughter].
There is a method to the madness to the way I throw or I wouldn't be here today. It affected me some. I thought in the second half I threw the ball pretty well. Now, we didn't really throw any deep balls. We really didn't throw any deep balls throughout the whole game. It remains to be seen how that would affect me with a deep ball. I'm not really concerned about it.
On the difficulty of getting all 53 guys to believe after two losses…
We didn't play all that well against Miami. It was a win. It's funny how wins make you overlook some of the things that you see in losses. They're magnified so much more and like you said, injuries and whatever. I'm not going to disagree as far as have we taken a step backwards. As bad as the game may have seemed the other night with those self-inflicted wounds, which if they continue, you lose. If we would have had a few more of those against Miami, we would have lost. It came down to the last play.
In my case, in this locker room and in the coaches' case, I know it's different for you guys, but we have to look past that and find the silver lining, which could be one of many things. The most important thing and the key ingredient to all this is if we eliminate turnovers or bad plays in the red zone, sacks and just negative plays, then I like our chances.
The little things, the self-inflicted wounds — you'll hear it from every team, you'll hear it from every coach, every professional team, whatever sport it is — they will kill you no matter how well you play. I'm here to tell you that that's the case for us. It's not a lack of effort. It's not a lack of the right game plan, wrong game plan or whatever it is. You throw picks, you fumble, you have negative yardage, missed assignments and it's going to beat you every time.
On playing Arizona…
Hopefully not in our case, but this may be an underestimated team across the league, at least from a fan standpoint and maybe even from the media. You don't know much about them. If you watch the film like we watched this morning, they're pretty good. We know their offense can score points. We talked about Kurt. They have two fabulous receivers, maybe the best duo in football. Defensively, they have a lot of no-name guys, so to speak.
When you look at the film and stop it, when the guy is getting tackled, there are 11 guys around the ballcarrier. Even the best defenses in the league don't do that. Either they're 11 great character guys with high energy, or their coaches preach that and they make them all come to the ball, or a combination of both. They're active. They get after the quarterback, a lot like San Diego did to us the other night. They changed their philosophy a little bit and they just turned it loose. They turn it loose every game.
Once again, we have to eliminate mistakes, first of all because if we don't make any mistakes and the game just unfolds the way it normally would without those mistakes, I like our chances. That's about as simple as I can put it.