Quarterback Brett Favre has no simple answer for where he feels the No. 1 offense is right now, coming off four consecutive three-and-outs to start the preseason in Pittsburgh.
But as he's said many times before, Favre reiterated Tuesday during a post-practice press conference that progress will come as he develops more chemistry with all the young skill players around him, and that's simply going to take some time.
"We have to find and build chemistry every day and each week, and find what plays work and fit the guys that we have running them," Favre said.
Favre explained that the process doesn't solely involve him but the offense as a whole, from the position coaches learning the young players' strengths to Head Coach Mike McCarthy calling plays they can best succeed at.
Right now in training camp, three of the top four skill position players - running back Brandon Jackson and receivers Greg Jennings and James Jones - have a combined one season in the NFL. Their upside is seemingly unlimited, but they're also far from polished players, and Pittsburgh's veteran defense showed the problems it can pose against an offense still feeling its way and having done little game-planning against a 3-4 scheme during training camp.
"I was as frustrated when I came out as I think I've ever been in preseason," Favre said, after taking nine snaps and gaining just 12 yards in the first quarter last Saturday night. "I just expect more not only from myself but from the offense in general. It wasn't so much what they did -- I give them credit -- but what we did, or didn't do."
One thing Favre could do is take more chances offensively, like he's been known to do at times, but he said he's been weighing the risk-reward analysis against the fact that defense is the Packers' strongest phase right now. It's a difficult balance between focusing on sound decision-making while not getting too conservative and relying solely on the defense to win.
"I've tried to approach this camp that way," Favre said. "Take a chance downfield if you've got it, if it's a legitimate chance, (but) be able to check it down. In some ways I've tried to coach these guys along as far as checkdowns."
Favre feels his decision-making in camp has been sound thus far, and he re-stated his confidence in the young and developing interior of the offensive line.
Guards Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz and center Scott Wells are all in their second years as starters at their respective positions between veteran tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton, and Favre said ultimately what may forge the offense's identity is what those five up front become best at as a group, whether it be cut-blocking, running screen passes, or straight-up pass protection.
"I think they're going to set the tempo," Favre said. "They may not realize it yet, but once again, I've seen it with the guys in the past, and how we just kind of developed into this pretty darn good offense, and it starts with those guys up front."
The line having played together for a full season already, while still being so young on the interior, indicates improvement can come more rapidly and noticeably there than elsewhere on the offense.
"I hope they don't get the second-year blues, or whatever you want to call it, and continue to get better," Favre said. "From a coaching standpoint, they've got two great coaches (James Campen and Jerry Fontenot) who are not that far removed from playing, that they can relate to, and it all starts with them.
"That's the one place on our offense you can point to and say that's where they should be better, and this year and next year, barring some injury, can really be as good as any in the league."