One would think that Brett Favre wouldn't need to sharpen his skills and get ready for the regular season by playing in seemingly meaningless preseason games. After all, this season is Favre's 14th and he is a three-time MVP. Why would he need to shake off the rust?
Well, Favre admits that although he has been in the game for a while and has seen many different situations, there just is no substitute for live action.
"There is such a long layoff between the last preseason game and the first regular season game, and as far as practice, it's not like regular season," Favre said. "You share a lot of the reps, you don't see a lot of the same situations especially in the game. Veterans are no different than anyone else, they have to work their way back into it.
"I know there are different opinions between coaches and players, but I would think playing would help more than hurt."
Favre said it would be great if he could play more in August, but excuses aren't accepted when it comes to his performance.
"From a quarterback standpoint, mentally there is no excuse for not being very sharp," Favre said. "Physically, yeah you may be a little behind because you haven't been hit or had a great deal of hits.
"I think it is so important to go out and feel like you're on top of your game. I also think it's important to open the season like we are in midseason form. I think every player, regardless of position, would say they feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable after eight games than they did at the beginning of the season."
Despite the lack of playing time Favre has seen through preseason games, he feels good about how he has performed to this point.
"Right now, I feel like I am throwing the ball as well as I ever have," Favre explained. "It's hard to think back, but it seems like every year I say the same thing. I feel like I am throwing it sharp even though I haven't had a great deal of work.
"Considering we haven't been able to run the ball like we'd like to, we've been able to move the ball passing and that's encouraging. So, at this point, I feel as sharp as I have during recent years."
That's good news for Packers fans and bad news for the rest of the NFL.
Holmes Just May Be What The Packers Are Looking For
The Packers, like any team, know that pass rushers are very difficult to find. Although they have one of the game's best in Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, even he can't get the job done alone. With that in mind, the Packers signed Kenny Holmes on Wednesday afternoon.
Holmes, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end is now a Green Bay Packer after spending the previous seven seasons with Tennessee and the New York Giants. After inking his contract, he immediately joined the team for its afternoon workout. He said joining the Packers was an easy decision, although he did have help from a friend.
"The organization speaks for itself," Holmes said. "We have a contending team. That alone is enough, but I talked to Bubba (Franks) before I came. He told me what it is like here. He said the Packers - the front office, coaches and the players - are committed to winning. So here I am."
Holmes had knee surgery while he was with the Giants and missed the last month of the 2003 season. He warned people not to overlook him, however.
"My knee has been feeling great. I have spent the last five or six months on it and haven't had any trouble with it.
"I think I am a heck of a player and I have a lot of football left in me. I want to put it to good use. My role is to come in and rush the passer. This is a team that I can contribute to and whatever they need me to do, I'll do."
GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said the team will do what it takes to get better and thinks Holmes may just help his squad do that.
"He's someone who has had a history of rushing the quarterback fairly efficiently and we'll see if he can help us," Sherman said. "Any time we can take a shot and evaluate somebody and possibly upgrade our talent level, we'll take a shot at that opportunity and hopefully we'll be able to do that."
Sherman said that Holmes will play against Jacksonville, but only on a limited basis.
"Hopefully I can get him into the game for maybe 10 or 12 plays in a third down situation," Sherman said. "Not having been in camp, obviously I am not going to stress him too much. It will be warm down there, too. I just want to get him in the game and see how he can operate."
How Holmes operates could go a long way in deciding how the Packers pass rush operates, as well.
Favre Shows Thanks For Bubba
Much of the talk surrounding training camp has been on Favre's three favorite receivers in Donald Driver, Robert Ferguson and Javon Walker. The trio is having a good camp and certainly deserves a fair amount of attention for their talents. However, Favre thinks there's another component that often gets overlooked in the Packers offense.
"I think Bubba (Franks) has been as consistent a player on our football team as there is," Favre said. "It's deceiving sometimes because at skill positions, people look at stats more than anything. People say, 'Oh he didn't have as many touchdowns as the year before. So he had an off year.'
"That's not the case. He can't control who throws it to him or what play is called, but he's been there week in and week out."
Favre knows the Packers wouldn't be the same without his three-time Pro Bowl tight end.
"He's a lot like Chewy (Mark Chmura) and what gets overlooked a lot of times from the outside looking in is his blocking ability and what we can do with him in the run game," Favre explained.
"Without him, we are limited on some of the runs we can do. I know he would like to see more passes come his way, but he has been very consistent and done everything we've asked of him and then some."