Transcript of QB Brett Favre's news conference before Wednesday's midday practice:
On QB Jay Cutler…
I know him a little bit. We have the same agent [Bus Cook]. I followed his career at Vanderbilt and the last few years in Denver probably a little more closely than I would have otherwise.
The guy can be pretty darn good. He has been good up to this point. He'll continue to get better. He has the right mentality. He has all the physical tools you need. He has a real strong arm and moves around well. Barring some injury, he'll have a great career.
On if he sees the comparison people make between Cutler and a younger Favre…
I can see the comparisons. He's probably a little more advanced as far as being in a passing offense when he came into the league than I was. From a physical standpoint I see us doing a lot of the same things at that age.
On his relationship with coordinator Brian Schottenheimer…
It would be obvious for me to sit here and say that everything is right where we want it to be because we have strung together some wins and, offensively speaking, we've played much better than we did early in the year. The key is that we continue to, from my end, from Schotty's end, really from an offensive standpoint in general, narrow it down not only in the passing game but runs that we hang our hat on, and stick with them. Then you change up formations and you do things like that.
Schotty and I, and [QBs coach Brian] Daboll, we spend a lot of time, "What do you like? Do you feel comfortable with this play? How do you feel in this situation?" Wherever you're playing, across the league, that's so important to have that communication. Eric [Mangini] talks about that. I'm sure every coach talks of communication, whether it be player-to-player, coach-to-player, coach-to-coach, being on the same page, what does a guy like, what does a guy run better, is this guy better in man-to-man coverage versus zone — try not to put a guy in an awkward position.
I'm getting more comfortable with what Schotty likes to call and what he feels comfortable with. I think he's real comfortable with what I like to run.
On published reports detailing doubts he had before signing with the Jets…
I don't want to make a big deal, because it's not. How could I not be questioning anything at that point based on what had happened prior to me coming here? I knew what I was up against. It's been well-documented. I knew the odds were definitely not in my favor, that the expectations would be very high. Could I match those expectations? That was a question I had to figure out. I'm still trying to figure it out along the way. I knew I wanted to play. The bottom line was, the only reason I was on that plane coming here was because I wanted to play, not because of anything else.
On how he feels now about his decision to play for the Jets…
I'm glad I came. I said that from day one. There are days I wake up, it's tougher to go through the daily rituals of football, but at the end of the day, through this three-, four-month period, I'm glad I made that decision.
On if his interceptions have decreased based on a shorter passing game...
I'm sure to a certain degree that's true. It's like completion percentage — the percentages are much higher throwing shorter than they are throwing deeper. The chances of you scoring decrease a little bit in percentages. If you throw 50-yard bombs, you're not going to complete as many but you have a better chance to score.
The key in all of this is the fact that our running game has really dominated, no different than our defense stopping the run. The fact we've been able to run the football at our discretion has made all the difference. For any quarterback, if you can run the football the way we're running it, you can dictate to defenses how they have to play you. Do they bring an extra guy in the box? If they do that, then a slant should be there, a go route or a back-shoulder throw.
We have the guys from our receiver corps standpoint that can catch the ball at the line of scrimmage and get 10 or 15. They did it the other day. If you're a defensive coordinator, you're scratching your head saying, "What do I do?" If we lined up and threw go routes all day long, it would be a lot easier to cover, as far as we roll coverage here, roll coverage there.
We're running the ball so well that you have to play one of two ways. You have to play to stop the run or you have to play to stop the pass. What teams do is, I call it a "tweener" defense. You walk the safety down late, show Cover-2. You'd better get down there early. That's our thought process. We're going to run it until you stop it, but we'll also mix in the quick passing game, screens and things like that. You can't just commit to the box, you have to commit to the receivers as well.
On if he has to be cautious with all the positive accolades being put on the Jets…
I don't have to be told anything. You're on top of the world one day and at the bottom the next. We struggled early in the year. I don't think it really affected anyone because look where we are now. I really don't think the success that we're having right now will affect us. I don't know what's going to happen in the next five games, but our preparation, guys will say the right things.
Eric hasn't come into a team meeting and said, "Guys, be careful what you say. Be careful how you handle yourself." When I don't hear that, it makes you a little bit leery that some of the younger guys will say something that they shouldn't say. Our guys haven't done that. Everyone practices. Everyone says the right things. Not that we don't hit bumps in the road, but it seems like a pretty focused team.
There are no guarantees, but from a preparation standpoint, just having the wherewithal to do and say the right things is pretty impressive up to this point.
On if the Jets' history of not having a lot of success is similar to Green Bay when he first arrived there…
It seems like today's game is different. I used to ask young guys in Green Bay the last few years, "Have you ever heard of Paul Hornung?" "No, I haven't heard of that name." Nothing surprises me.
We as players, the only thing we have to fight is ourselves. If we continue to do what we have been doing, and in the process get a little bit better, we'll be fine. What "fine" is, I have no idea, but up to this point it's been pretty good. We're 8-3. We could be better. We just need to stay the course.
I can understand from a fan standpoint, because I grew up a Saints fan and you almost cheered for them to lose after a while because you just knew it was going to happen. You didn't want to get your hopes up. So why not get a high draft pick next year? It was one of those "Wear a bag over your head." Changing that will take some time. There's only one way to change it, and that's win and continue to win and continue to win.
It wasn't long ago, the Giants last year, [Green Bay] played them early in the year, we beat them very soundly. They were ready to ship Eli [Manning] off and Coach [Tom] Coughlin and the rest of the guys. At the end of the year, there was a parade in [lower Manhattan]. I'm not saying that that's going to happen with us, but it's funny how things can change.
We're doing everything we can do. I hope in the end that that's enough, good enough. We have a good group of guys. We have a great group of coaches. This organization has been a blast to work with. The environment, it's a winning environment. It shows, up to this point. So we just continue to do what we're doing.
Our fans have been great. We've had some rough spots along the way. I'm not going to lie. At some point we may have another rough spot, but if we continue to stay the course, we'll be fine.
On if he has ever had a stretch in his career where he has had so many long sustained drives…
I'm sure I have. It's hard to remember. I've had a lot of drives in my career. It has been a little different, especially the way we started out this year. It just goes to show you what chemistry and meshing or coming together can do for you. That's from players and coaches.
We've established ourselves offensively, being able to — I don't want to say "do what we want to do," but it's hard to go 10 plays or use up 40 minutes. I'd love to do that every week, but more and more we're finding that we're able to do that.
One of our best assets right now is our patience offensively. I'm not just talking about me, I'm talking more about the guys around me. I want to get 50 yards right now, but we're OK getting 2, 0, 10. That's what it's all about. Holding onto the ball and eating up the clock. Forty minutes is outstanding. It's obviously keeping the other team from scoring as well.
On strengths of each offensive lineman…
Well, four No. 1 draft picks. All four [Damien Woody, Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca and D'Brickashaw Ferguson] of those guys are playing outstanding. Brandon Moore is the exception as far as a draft pick, but he's playing outstanding as well. I didn't play with these guys last year, but I see something. They practice every day. There's no substitute for practicing every day. The best offensive lines are the offensive lines that play not as five guys but play as one.
I've played with some very good centers over my career. Nick has the chance to be the best I've ever played with. Athletically speaking he's by far the most athletic. Frank Winters, who I played with, who was my roommate for 12, 13 years, is going to kill me for saying that, because he claims he's still the best athlete. Nick is very bright and has the right mentality. It starts with the center and it works its way outward. He has all the tools.
Faneca is one of those guys that every team wishes they had on their team. He never complains, is always running, blocking and doing something. I'm talking about in practice. He's always positive no matter what. He's a perfect fit for the side that Brick [D'Brickashaw]'s on, because I see a change in Brick.
I wasn't here last year, but just from the start of the year to now, it goes without saying that Brick is ultra-talented. Using that is the key. He's finding out day in and day out that he can be pretty darn good. Having a little spunk about you is not a bad thing. He got in a little scrap one day with Shaun Ellis. Everybody laughed. Most people were like, "Man, we haven't seen that side of Brick." Maybe Alan is rubbing off on him a little bit.
Brandon and Woody, the right side, they're all playing great. Woody's got the best feet I've ever seen. The guy's got tremendous feet and a great personality. They're fun to work with. Brandon is probably our best pure run blocker. He's hard to move. He can move people.
They've all had their share of scraps this year on the field, things that people don't see where they're not going to take anything from anyone else. That's where it starts. They've been a blast to work with. I hope that the feeling is mutual. That's where it all starts, up front.
On why the league scoring average this year is on a record pace…
I really don't know. That's what people want to see. They try to protect the quarterbacks and things like that, but that's not going to spike the scoring that much. I don't know the exact answer to that, but you're starting to see more exotic offenses — Wildcat, more empty, spread-them-out type, what you're seeing in college, more or less.
Then it becomes a matchup issue. Can we match up versus their guys? It's hit or miss in those formations. Up to this point, I guess it's been more hit.