Transcript of Brett Favre's weekly news conference before Tuesday's midday practice:
On the differences between the upcoming game against the Patriots and playing them in Week 2…
Both teams are 6-3 and a lot has happened since then for both sides. The bottom line is we have both put ourselves in a position to take over first place. As I said Sunday, there's still a lot of football left after this game. You can't, for both teams, put all your eggs in one basket. It's an important game.
We feel better about our team right now, but I don't want to say we didn't feel good about our team the second week. I think we're still trying to find our identity, for the most part, but with each week, I feel like we're getting better and better. Until we beat these guys, or until anyone beats these guys and knocks them off from the top, then they're always going to be the team to beat. We know that. That was the case in the second week.
With all of the injuries they've faced, they've managed, as they always have, to play well and still be at the top. That has been their trademark. They lost AD [Adalius Thomas] this past week — a big addition to them last year. I know Bill [Belichick] is probably saying, "We just plug another guy in and keep going." Up to this point, they've done that.
It's a big opportunity for us, obviously. I think every one of our guys are aware of that. Short week — no overscheming, no overthinking. It just comes down to execution.
On if he can compare this rivalry to the rivalries while at Green Bay…
It feels different, obviously, because it's not [Green Bay]. I played 16 years straight in Minnesota, in the Metrodome, and Soldier Field. We had the one exception when we played in Champaign [Ill. vs. the Bears]. That I can't wipe away. I've played in Foxboro before. I've played in both stadiums up there.
The bottom line is it's still football. I know exactly what this game means and the weight it carries. I'm well aware of what New England has done over the past decade or so. Once again, it just comes down to football. I'm well aware of what this game means.
On if Adalius Thomas' injury allows the Jets to be more aggressive…
I don't think it really changes our game plan, to be totally honest with you. Once again, whether AD was to play or not, we really have one day to prepare. The thing about New England is in some ways they're simple in what they do. They allow their players, who are very smart guys, to do what they do.
I think the one thing for sure that AD would bring to that is that he's a bigger D-lineman/linebacker type of player. He rushes the passer well, but he's good in coverage and he's very good against the run. That's hard to replace, but the bottom line is that we have to block them. We still have to run the ball. You don't want to be in third-and-10 situations the whole game because that plays right into their advantage. I don't foresee us really changing much because Adalius is out.
I think he beats you, in my opinion, with simplicity. I'm not telling you anything you don't know. You go into the offensive and defensive meeting rooms, the special teams rooms, and we have all these computers and schemes and the playbook is thick. You go into a game like this, even though we've scaled back with 200 passes, and you end up running 30 or 40 passes, and of those you repeat 10 of them.
Whereas when you look at his defense, not that he doesn't give you different looks, but it's pretty simple. They play four-across. They'll give you an occasional three-look and some man-to-man, but rarely do they blitz. They do a good job of disguising. The reason they do a good job of disguising is, first of all, they have very smart, instinctive and experienced players who can help the young guys along.
It's really simple. It's based off of a couple of things. If we lined up in I-formation the whole game, and our changeup would be to split the halfback out or fullback out occasionally and we ran plays off of that, it would be pretty simple because you know where your starting point is going to be every time. That's it, for the most part, without being in their meeting rooms or being around Bill. They have to beat us at our own game. We know what we're going to do. It's just going to come down to us doing it better than you.
If they outexecute us, then so be it. If they're just better athletes, if they block us and we're not able to tackle, then we lose the game. Those are the things that not only will lose games for you but will win games if you're able to do the little things well — make reads, throw the ball accurately, throw it on time, catch the ball, block, and figure out who to block. The same goes for defense. That's what they've done well for a long time.
On the different schemes in the AFC East compared to the NFL Central…
It's a 3-4 scheme. We didn't see a whole lot of 3-4 schemes in Green Bay. The NFC, traditionally, is not a 3-4 conference. We face the 3-4 every day in practice. It does present problems, as does any defense if you don't block it or you don't execute correctly.
They have the guys to play it, as we do. Their front five is the strength of their team, for the most part. They're stout and good run defenders. They get very good bullrushes. [Mike] Vrabel and [Tedy] Bruschi, it goes without saying. Everyone wants to keep saying they're older guys. They always show up and play, and play very well. They're instinctive. They're always around the ball. They line guys up correctly. They're built for the 3-4.
On his progress 10 weeks into the season…
I think I'm up to date, for the most part, on what they're doing. We're not that complicated, either. We do a lot of stuff, but it's not that complicated. You look at us last week, we ran the football and it was a lot of the same runs. We ran it very well. It just came down to blocking.
The offensive line, for the most part, has the most difficult job against the 3-4 in determining who's the rush guy and who's the drop guy. From a passing game standpoint, it can present some problems to me. It all comes down to how many are coming and how many we can block. If we have six-man protection and they're bringing five, we just have to figure out which five are coming.
For the most part, you know three of the six that they potentially can run. You know those three that are coming. You might have to give the ball up quick. You don't always guess right, but I feel pretty comfortable within it.
On any extra pressure playing the Patriots and if this is the reason the Jets traded for him…
I haven't really thought about it. That may be true. Then again, it may not be. That may have been why we brought Kris Jenkins in. Let's put it off on Kris [laughter].
On if he likes the progress of the offense…
We're 6-3. I think we can be better than 6-3. I think we will be better with each week. I think there are a lot of things, offensively, that we as individuals or as a unit can do better. At times you see, like last week with our run game, the potential there. I think you can see against Arizona how we can be in the passing game.
If we can put that together, on a consistent basis, not that you are going to rush for 200 and throw six touchdowns every week, but it shows how potentially threatening we can be from a run-game and a pass-game standpoint.
I am pleased. I'll be the first to tell you that mastering any offense or chemistry in one year is very difficult. The positive thing about this team, or the encouraging thing, is that there are a lot of veteran guys. That makes it easier. You can put the most talented athletes across the league, but put young guys on a 53-man roster to form a team and they can very easily go 0-16, even though they can outrun guys, even though they can outblock.
Trying to come together as one is a very difficult thing to do. I find that each week we're doing that. That's what we have to do. Will we get it all down by the last game? I don't think you ever completely get that comfortable within an offense or a defense or a team. You're always striving for that perfection. I see us doing that week in and week out.
On rookie TE Dustin Keller…
He had a great game last week. One of the things I told him after the game in the locker room, I said, "I wish I would have had you a few years back." Who knows, he may have one catch for 20 yards this week, I have no idea, but he's going to have a lot more of what he did last week than he will of the one-catch weeks.
On what makes Keller so talented…
First of all, his speed. He's what I call a "tweener." He's like [Antonio] Gates, where he can line up at wide receiver but he also can line up at tight end and block. The problem that that presents to other teams is "What type of matchup do we want to put up against him? Do we want to bring in a nickel, do we want to bring in a dime, do we want to bring in lesser of an athlete and play him man-to-man, and then potentially have him beat us deep like he did the other day?" Also, the blocking threat.
We can line him up at X, we can line him up at Z, we can line him up at Y, which is traditionally where he's going to line up. You can put him in the backfield. But you don't want to overload him. He'll tell you he's got it all down and he'll be ready. The thing is, five years from now, he'll look back and say, "I thought I had it." We want to ease him into it and allow him do what he does best right now, not have him overthink. We know he can run a go-route, we know he can run a slant, we know he can block. Let's just let him do that and not overthink. The sky's the limit for the guy.
On if he has ever lobbied for coaches to simplify their approach…
All the time. I think that's part of the relationship between an experienced player and coaches. I don't see how you can ever be successful if there's not a working relationship where, for example, Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] or Eric [Mangini] asked me what I like, how I foresee the game going, what I would like to call, or vice versa.
We have plays, but I like to get a feel, as we were just doing — Schotty was like, "How do you see the game going and what do you see us maybe leaning more towards?" He's trying to get a feel for me. I'm trying to get a feel for him. He knows who I am. He knows my history in Green Bay, but he doesn't know me from a playcalling standpoint.
I feel the same way. I feel like we're getting better each week. The one thing I think from a player standpoint is you don't ever see players trying to be too complicated. Not that coaches want to be complicated, but they see things different than a player. I think if you give one guy — I'll use an example with Dustin — you give him a couple things to think about, but you don't limit what he does best, and that's being an athlete. If he can run straight down the field faster than any linebacker, get that matchup somehow. Don't overscheme it. That's what I try to do.
Our relationship, Schotty and I, and really all of the offensive coaches, has been great. They've allowed me to have some input for some of the things I feel comfortable with. We try to simplify it from a motion-shifts-and-formation standpoint. I like to know where they're lining up. I don't want to overscheme myself, more or less. I think players, in general, lobby for that. That's part of being a coach, I guess. You're always trying to overscheme. I wouldn't be a coach, I can tell you right now [smiles]. I like my free time way too much.
On his effectiveness playing with tight ends…
I'm only guessing, but over my career I've seen more Cover-2 than I have maybe other stuff, whether it be man, single-safety, three, off coverage here but roll coverage there. When you get two-deep coverages, the tight end, like the one with Dustin, he was right down the middle. They had doubled Jerricho [Cotchery] and LC [Laveranues Coles] on that play. We did a little pump fake and faked the draw, the 'backer bit just a little bit.
Dustin — we all saw it, there was no one within 30 yards of him. That doesn't happen if there's a safety in the middle of the field. It's based more off of who they're trying to double, take away the quick slants and things like that. When you do that, you roll coverage up. Now the tight end has to win.