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Favre Full of Optimism


When it comes to the 2004 season, quarterback Brett Favre is expecting nothing less than the best from the Green Bay Packers.

A 10th trip to the playoffs in his 13th season in Green and Gold?

Not good enough.

Maybe a third NFC North division title in as many years?

That won't do it, either.

"To me, it's either Super Bowl or bust," Favre said in his Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Coming off a season where he led the NFL with 32 touchdown passes and saw running back Ahman Green obliterate a 40-year old club rushing record with 1,883 yards on the ground, the 14-year veteran has set the bar high for the current crop of Packers.

"I know there are some other teams out there saying the same thing, and that's fine," Favre continued. "Carolina is going to be very tough this year. I think Philly will be good. There's going to be some very competitive teams, but I don't see why we don't fit right in there at the top."

Favre sees the Packers as a team that will see the best each opponent has to offer, week in and week out.

"We're not going to sneak up on anybody," he said. "When we play teams, we're going to get their best. I think it's been that way over the last 10 years, so we have to be at our best or we'll get beat. If we play the way we're capable of, I think we have a legitimate shot."

The passer senses that the Packers offense is capable of reaching heights not seen in his first four years under GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman and offensive coordinator Tom Rossley, and that's saying something. Piling up 5,798 yards, the 2003 team was the second-most productive in Club history.

"For the first time in my career, we have a very explosive running game," Favre said. "The sky's the limit for us. I think we've only scratched the surface of what we're doing here. Mike and I have talked about all kinds of things we can do on top of what we did last year, not only in the run game but in the passing game as well."

Favre acknowledged that the Packers became a running team last season, and he sees that as an aspect to the offense that he can use to his advantage. He knows that having such a potent running attack will open more opportunities through the air.

"It's like Dallas, in those years when they beat us and won the Super Bowl three out of four years," he said, eluding to the championship Cowboys teams of the '90s. "Aikman didn't throw many passes, but when he threw them, they were productive. Everyone knew Emmitt (Smith) was getting the ball and they still couldn't stop them. When they did throw, everyone's mind was focused on the running game and you got a lot of one-on-one matchups. That's what we're going to see."

Favre expects what everyone is going to see is this Packers team take the next step and be on the road to Jacksonville for February's Super Bowl XXXIX. He sounds like he's ready to get started on the journey.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't do it," he said. "There's no reason why we shouldn't feel like we have a legitimate shot at it, now we have to go do it."

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