Quarterback Brett Favre is well aware the Green Bay Packers' offense in 2006 is a work in progress, and he sees three key ways that progress will take place.
In his third and final preseason news conference Wednesday, Favre said some of the mistakes the offense is making are correctible after watching the film of Monday night's loss at Cincinnati.
But he also said some of the offensive progress will come from players getting a better feel for the system, and from Favre himself developing a rapport with other receivers similar to what he has with Donald Driver.
"We've got a lot of work to do, there's no question about that," Favre said. "We've got a long ways to go and a short time to do it."
The offense's inconsistency during the preseason - one productive outing against Atlanta sandwiched between struggles at San Diego and Cincinnati - was somewhat expected with so many young players taking on prominent roles and other players returning from injuries.
And while they've all seen their mistakes on film and know how to correct them, they're also working on feeling more natural within the system and reacting to plays as they develop.
To Favre, that's how the offense will start making more plays. It's not necessarily how they're drawn up but what presents itself after the snap.
"You hope in time you get a feel for not just the play being called, but what they're trying to get out of it," Favre said. "It may be a strong-side run but the intentions may be for it to cut back.
"That's correctible, but sometimes it's just feel. I think more than anything that's something we have to get to, what works for us and the guys that are in there."
Favre also said he needs to better learn the strengths of the different members of the receiving corps so he'll recognize situations they can thrive in, much like he does with Driver.
Favre used the example of the fourth-and-10 play in the second quarter at Cincinnati, when he hit Driver on a crossing route that turned into a 35-yard gain and set up a touchdown.
On the film, Favre saw both outside receivers were open on hook routes, yet he chose to go to Driver, who was covered more tightly. But because Driver's strength is to get open over the middle, Favre instinctively felt that was his best chance to make a play.
"That's a route I trust him on and that's what he does," Favre said. "With Greg (Jennings) and even Fergy (Robert Ferguson) and Rod Gardner and some of the other guys, I really don't know what they do that well. Is there one particular thing they do better than the next? I feel comfortable with Donald in certain situations.
"There's that trust factor. You just have to build that with guys."
Favre doesn't have much more time to build it before the 2006 opener, and he said if he plays on Friday against Tennessee in the preseason finale, he probably won't play much. And he noted any progress thus far will be tested right away with the season opener against the Bears, who field one of the league's most talented and most aggressive defenses.
How long it will take for the offense to develop the necessary comfort and consistency is anyone's guess, including Favre's. He said the team needs leaders in addition to himself, and it will take time for others to establish themselves enough to step forward in take-charge roles.
In the meantime, Favre isn't going to make any predictions. He simply plans to be ready for, well, just about anything.
"It may not go great, or maybe we get on a hot streak, but the only thing I can do is lead this team, be as prepared as possible and play as hard as I can," Favre said.
"It's not easy, but I enjoy doing it. Do I enjoy losing? No. But I enjoy the challenge of competing every week. I'd love to think we're going to the Super Bowl, but we have to worry about winning a game first."
Media availability:Favre said on Wednesday that he plans to speak with reporters after games during the regular season and will address the full local media contingent every other week leading up to games. That's a reduction from the weekly events Favre has held prior to games in the past, but he's hoping that by having fewer formal news conferences they will become less repetitive and assume a fresher, more upbeat atmosphere.
"I would prefer not to talk at all. We usually rehash the same stuff," Favre said.
"Now it seems like every time something is brought up it's negative. 'You guys may not be that good this year. Are you well aware of that? Are you going to be around next year?' I know you guys have to ask the questions and that's fine, but I have to answer them too."
Assistant director of public relations Zak Gilbert said that while Favre's decision may be unpopular with the local media, it's not intended to slight the fans, and it won't.
"Fans won't notice a major change," Gilbert said. "After games, they'll still see his quotes in the local papers and see his face on TV. And he'll still be available during the week, just not as often as the first 15 years of his career. He's also doing several national interviews, he did three in Cincinnati. You can't say this decision will greatly affect the fans.
"I'm glad that he's still willing to do press conferences, and that he's in Green Bay right now and not Hattiesburg, Miss."