NFL Notebook: Solid start for Favre
The NFL notebook …
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Brett Favre was having fun again.
His tearful retirement and tumultuous offseason were tucked away in his memory. Favre was back where he’s always been happiest: in the huddle with thousands of cheers providing a perfect soundtrack.
“It’s like starting all over again,” the New York Jets’ new quarterback said. “I had some feelings that I haven’t felt in 17 years.”
After throwing a touchdown pass to cap his second series against Washington in his Jets debut Saturday night, Favre urged coach Eric Mangini to let him play some more.
“He said, ‘Let me think about it,”‘ Favre said. “As he turned away, he turned back and said, ‘I thought about it.”‘
Sorry, Brett. You’ll have to wait until next Saturday against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.
“This is one of those times where everything seemed to be clicking,” Favre said. “We’d like to have scored on the first drive. All in all, it was good. I was OK with it.”
Favre was solid in his brief Jets debut after a week of cramming to learn his new playbook. Just 10 days after being acquired from Green Bay, Favre finished 5-of-6 for 48 yards and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Keller in a 13-10 loss to the Redskins.
“It worked out better than I thought it would, not that I thought it would go badly,” he said.
Saying it felt “a little weird” wearing a Jets uniform, Favre was on the field for 14 plays and Mangini said the three-time MVP had between 30 and 40 plays to work with.
“I thought I threw the ball well and moved around OK,” Favre said. “Ten days ago, I was doing yard work.”
ASHBURN, Va. ó With the preseason more than half over, it’s become quite clear that there is no need to read between the lines when listening to Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn evaluate a game. He tells it like it is and isn’t afraid to needle anybody, but does so with such an upbeat attitude that even the players getting picked on are probably chuckling along.
Take quarterback Colt Brennan, the sixth round pick from Hawaii who threw the winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s 13-10 victory over the New York Jets. Brennan has put up impressive numbers in two of three games ó helping the Redskins to a 3-0 start ó and some of the faithful are ready to anoint him as The Next Great Thing.
Zorn’s message on Sunday: Get real. Delivered in much nicer words, of course, and accompanied by a smile.
“I just don’t want to splash the water on him yet, you know what I mean?” Zorn said. “Here’s the thing: He’s had great vision, he’s made some heads-up plays, and we’ve had success. I really like all that. Maybe I want more, but I want better technique. I want him to use the kind of techniques that are going to take him further down the road. Remember we were talking differently last week after the Buffalo game: ‘Oh, Colt came down to Earth.’ Well, now he’s in outer space again.”
Translation: Brennan, destined to spend the season as the third-string quarterback, is a raw rookie who would probably be pummeled to bits if he were to play against a good starting defense.
“From my standpoint, I think he’s doing OK,” Zorn said. “He’s having fun, but there’s a lot more distance that he has to go. He shouldn’t be strutting his stuff.”
ATLANTA ó Rookie Matt Ryan and fellow quarterbacks Chris Redman and D.J. Shockley combined for three interceptions and one lost fumble in the Atlanta Falcons’ 16-9 preseason loss Saturday to Indianapolis.
Running back Michael Turner had two long gains on Atlanta’s first two possessions for a combined 115 yards. But neither resulted in a touchdown and the ground game averaged just 2.3 yards on its remaining 22 carries.
The Falcons, who were the NFL’s fourth-worst scoring offense last season, went 0-for-5 on trips inside the Colts’ 20-yard line.
BALTIMORE ó Every time Troy Smith or Kyle Boller gets the opportunity to move ahead in the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback competition, he takes one step back.
Neither player has distinguished himself after two games, and things got particularly ugly Saturday night in a 23-15 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Given the chance to start after playing a relief role in the opener against New England, Smith went 3-for-5 for 25 yards and an interception ó a dismal 33.3 quarterback rating. At least he ran for 35 yards and guided the Ravens on their lone scoring drive of the night, although that 73-yard march was really the product of a 42-yard run by rookie Ray Rice.
Entering in the second half, Boller completed eight of 12 passes for a paltry 40 yards and threw an interception. He has three turnovers in two games, helping negate the huge edge in experience he holds over Smith, now in his second season since winning the Heisman Trophy at Ohio State.