On Saturday night at the Meadowlands, Brett Favre will see the New York Giants for the first time since last season's NFC Championship Game. Favre, who was intercepted by CB Corey Webster on his final pass of 2008, doesn't have redemption on his mind.
"Obviously it's a new year. A lot of things have changed," he said after this afternoon's training camp practice. "It's a preseason game for us. I'm not thinking about the past. They're the team to beat in this league. We're just trying to get better this week."
Webster's pick in Green Bay territory set up the Giants' game-winning field goal as Big Blue advanced to the Super Bowl and eventually took home the Lombardi Trophy. More than five years ago, Favre also had the misfortune of throwing a pick on his final pass of the season.
It was the '03 NFC Divisional Game in Philadelphia and the Eagles and the Packers were locked up at 17-all in overtime. Favre thought WR Javon Walker was going deep, but the wideout broke off his route and a long pass was easily fielded by S Brian Dawkins. The Birds took advantage with a game-winning field goal.
"It's happened to me twice in my career. Believe me, it's disappointing," he said of those playoff turnovers. "Wanting to come back for one play to me is obviously the wrong reasons to come back, wanting to come back to prove someone wrong or wanting to come back for what happened this off-season. The only reason I came back is I wanted to play, simple as that."
Favre again experienced both ups and downs this afternoon at practice. In the final period, which featured a hurryup situation, he was picked off by Darrelle Revis and the second-year corner had clear sailing to the end zone. But Favre came back and led a scoring drive, culminating on a 54-yard field goal from Mike Nugent.
"Once again in the two minute drill today we made some real good plays. A lot of signals were given today. Some things that I had recommended maybe we try we've put in during the weeks and really just talked about them," he said. "We never really came out and executed them and we kind of turned it loose today.
"We did good on a couple. We didn't do quite as well on other ones. The good thing is it was practice. We can go back and look at it on film and make the corrections. I don't think we're even close yet."
Football is in Favre's blood. He is the son of the late Irvin Favre and his father coached him at Hancock North Central High School in Mississippi. Favre was asked what his father would have thought about his interesting off-season experience.
"He was pretty straightforward. He would have wanted me to play all along. I'm sure it would have been in Green Bay, but he'd probably be out here at practice every day raising hell with me — what I could be doing better," Favre said. "He would've wanted me to play until my legs fell off. That was just the way he was."
A Jet almost two weeks now, Favre has embraced head coach Eric Mangini and his new coaching staff.
"Our communication has been great," he said. "I said there's no substitute for game-like situations: two-minute drills, red-zone situations and third-down situations. You can't do them all in one day, but we're trying to throw those in."
After playing a quarter against the Redskins, Favre wouldn't mind playing four quarters against the Giants. He knows that's not going to happen, but he'll welcome every snap he gets.
"With every preseason game I've played in, I'd love to play the whole game," he said. "If I'm going to come out here and practice, I'd love to play in the whole game. That's just my mentality. Will that happen? No. We're going to be smart about it."
The Jets will open their regular season against the Dolphins in Miami on Sept. 7. The Green & White's new quarterback sees talent around him and believes his team has the opportunity to go places.
"If we can get that chemistry and play well together, this team has a good chance. Our receiver talent here is a lot like what I played with in Green Bay — young, quick guys," he said. "Each one of them offers something different than the next, but we have four or five guys who can easily make big plays at any time. I like it."
After the past few hectic months, Favre just doesn't think too much about the NFC Championship Game. He's moved on and he's happy to be a New York Jet.