Transcript - Brett Favre Conference Call With Vikings Media - Sept. 26


Q: You guys have been playing well; what has been the key to that?

A: Like I just told our media, it has been three games and two of them were good. The first one was awful. I'd like to say that there is some big secret we have going on here; if you watch our game last week, it was nothing fancy about it. It was get the ball into your guys' hands. We're obviously struggling running the ball so we're having to throw the ball and get it out quick and kind of just let our guys make some plays, and that's the difference. Our guys are making those plays right now.

Q: You have some kind of record that you are going for, is that true?

A: I have no idea. (laughing)

Q: You have talked about not worrying about that stuff and just worrying about winning...?

A: That's true, that's true. I'd much rather win. Reliability, durability, and winning, the other things come with that. I've played a long time. Fortunately for me I've been involved in a lot of wins. Because of that I've been able to play year in and year out. All of the individual statistics, they go with that. I think one day as I look back, I mean I appreciate everything that I have accomplished. Believe me, I'm aware of all of that, but I'm still playing, I'm still trying to help this team win and I'm focusing more on that as I always have and less on these other things.

Q: Do you care if people consider you one of the best quarterbacks ever or does that even matter to you?

A: I think it matters a lot. I think we all want good things said about us, regardless of what we do. We all think highly of ourselves I think. In fact, we probably all have an over inflated opinion of ourselves. But I'll say this, in my career, I've played the way I've wanted to and more importantly, the only way I've known how to play it. At times it has been wonderful if you're watching and at other times maybe not as exciting. Do I consider myself one of the best? I think if you base it off of individually, statistical, whatever, yes, I would rank up there. I think when you look at from a winning standpoint, (I've) been involved in a lot of wins. I think it's great to be compared with the best, sure. I grew up playing this game a little old country kid in south Mississippi and I had high dreams and hopes and aspirations, but what kid doesn't? For me, they'll all come true. Yeah, I think that means something. It's not what carries me; it's not what drives me.

Q: How different is your arm strength from your MVP seasons?

A: I think my arm strength has remained the same. My arm feels great. It felt great last year, it felt great the year before that; that's never been the concern for me. Everyone wants to say, 'Oh, Brett Favre is playing so much differently now. He is playing like he is 27.' I don't know exactly what that means except they are saying it from a statistical comparison to 10 years ago. That's all I can say because most people haven't seen play aside from highlights or whatever. They go, "Oh man, that reminds me of the old Brett.' The old Brett was here three weeks ago against Philly. I haven't made that dramatic of a change in three weeks. My arm strength is fine. I think I move around OK. I think I always moved around OK; maybe in my earlier years I moved around a little bit better. I think more importantly, or most importantly, I'm getting the ball to the guys that can move around and make plays. I'd like to take a lot of credit for that last touchdown pass; I gave him a catchable ball but Greg Jennings did the rest. There was nothing magical about that play.

Q: Are you making better decisions since Mike McCarthy came around or is it just that the players around you are better?

A: I think he has made an emphasis on being a little more conservative, but as I told our media just now, even in the Philly game, offensively we were horrible. But we were either leading in the game or we were tied the whole game, so as bad as it was I never felt like we were under enough pressure to make a big dramatic play. We were behind the other day against San Diego but we still were either a touchdown or a field goal away from winning the game with plenty of time. We had a little over two minutes. But for the most part, the whole game we were either leading, tied, or three or seven points behind. Against the Giants, I think the only time we were behind was we were down 10-7 at one point in the game, second quarter or whatever. The rest of the game we were up, so I think from a quarterback standpoint, from a play-calling standpoint, you approach a game as it unfolds differently by being up as opposed to being down. And depending on how far down you are, what kind of plays you call? If you're in the fourth quarter and you're down by 12 points or 14 points or 16, 17 points, you've got to start doing something. You have to start taking some chances or kind of roll the dice on the calls that you are making. So God forbid if we fall behind in this game and it's the fourth quarter and we're down by 17 points, people might be saying different things. If I throw checkdowns the rest of the game and we still lose, people are going to say, 'Boy, he didn't take no chances. Boy, he is playing smart,' but hell, that ain't no good. So I think up to this point, I think I am making good decisions. I think if we're leading every game, there is no need to take chances. Now there is going to be balls that get tipped, there is going to be a bad decision from time to time, there is going to be a guy that fumbles. It happens in every season and every game, and that's just the way the game works. I think my focus and our team's focus has been OK, we're either up, we're tied, we're in this ballgame and until something drastic happens, play it close to the vest.

Q: The Vikings have a young quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson, who has looked overwhelmed at times. How long did it take you before you were comfortable as an NFL quarterback?

A: I don't know if I can an exact time on it. I'm still learning the game; I don't think you ever master the game.

{sportsad300}Q: When did you at least feel comfortable?

A: You know what; I think it is overwhelming the first couple of years. It's hard. He's only two years into it, or a year and three games. I think from watching him last year I think he's going to be fine. Given that he plays a while, I think with each game, at the end of my second year, halfway through the season as I think back, I started feeling...I think what happens is you feel more at ease. The offense, you're always learning, you're continuing to learn. Every defense you play is different. From that standpoint, it's always changing, but where you feel comfortable is with your teammates, with your surroundings, where you stand on the team. OK, now I know that I am the guy and the fans know it, the team, the media, that part of it just becomes second nature. You're not always looking over your shoulder and you're not worried about this and about that. That for me kind of came somewhere in my second, halfway through my second season, which was my third in the NFL.

Q: Are you a lot more football smart than you were during your MVP seasons? Has the mental part improved as maybe the physical part slipped a little bit?

A: I'll say this; mentally I think I've become much, much smarter of a quarterback, and I'm not so sure at times that's a good thing and here is why. Early in my career I studied hard; now I am going to be honest with you I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking at. When I was studying defenses I was told I had to watch film, watch film at night, watch film during the day. Well, I would never tell anyone but I found all I did was watch the offense against the defense I was playing against. I was just watching their plays, but Sundays I played pretty good. I couldn't tell you every blitz that was coming and I couldn't tell you every protection change I was supposed to make. Half the time I was wrong, but 90 percent of the time I made a good play and got away with it. I think so much of this game is instincts and reaction. I can't speak for every guy, but I think every position, every player that gets to this league for the most part, got here because of his natural ability to handle instinctual reactions and things like that. Hey, you may not know who to block but block someone. Just react. For me, that's the way I kind of played. Now I find that I think a lot, I see a lot of things more clearly, but at times it takes away from my reaction. Once again, I don't think I move around quite as good as I used to. Maybe being smarter, thinking more into it, takes away from hey, sometimes just let it go, just play. You're not going to block every guy. You can't make every protection change, you can't do this, and you can't change every route. You've just got to play; you've just got to go with it. It's kind of a tug of war for me. I want to be a smarter player and being the leader of this team, being the most experienced, I need to play that way but at some point what got me here is just making plays. I still think I need to do that.

Q: What are your thoughts when you come into a place like the Metrodome, kind of a cheesy place, from a classic place like Lambeau Field?

A: You can call it a cheesy Dome. It's been pretty damn tough against us, pardon my French. It's a tough place for us to play. It is bad memories for me. We've won some games there recently; we've had some chances to win other games, but it's been a difficult place to play. They've always played tough against us. They've played tough against me. I consider it one of the greatest challenges I face every year. The year we won the Super Bowl, we lost there. Even in good seasons, it has been a bad memory for us, so every time I go there, I can't say I'm overly excited about it, but I consider it a great challenge. It's one of those things I think after you retire and you look back, you think a lot of things, but you'll think of that place as much as any other place I've played. That's probably been the toughest place by far in my career to play.

Q: We've heard Ragnar is one of your favorite guys?

A: Oh yeah, yeah. You know what, I had a chance to meet him and I was surprised that he's from Wisconsin. I hated him at first. I think he works in school? God, what a great...he looks real. Yeah, you know what, a couple of years ago we won the game. It was a great win; I think it was a Christmas Eve game. After the game he came over and he said, 'Hey, I admire you and respect you. I'm a Vikings fan but I like watching you play.' One of those things; it was nice. It was. He does a heck of a job for them.

Q: Are those early struggles at the Metrodome still pretty vivid in your mind?

A: Absolutely. You can't forget those, and Darrell Bevell and (Darren) Sharper and (Ryan) Longwell and Fergie (Robert Ferguson), they remember them too. They were on our side for some of those, and they know what we went through over there. I'm sure that Coach Chilly (Childress) is probably telling those guys, 'They don't like playing here. They haven't had much success here. Let's make it tough on them.' And Darrell is probably sitting there going, 'Right. I've sat in there with Brett in those meetings; we know. It's a tough place to play.' We've got to play well to win over there, and playing well doesn't guarantee anything. Yeah, it's vivid in my mind, sure.

Q: Would that make it more any special to get the touchdown record here if you can't get it at home?

A: No. You know what, it really doesn't matter. Yeah, I'd love to do it here at home, but because it's Minnesota or if it was Chicago or whatever, it really doesn't factor in. The only thing I want to do is win this game. If we have to run five in, which I don't see happening, that would be awesome. If I have to throw five, that would be awesome. If we win and I don't throw any, that would be great. I just want to win the game.

Q: Will you be around long enough to break Jim Marshall's record for consecutive games?

A: How far do I have to go?

Q: You've got 241 games.

A: Does that count playoff games?

Q: No, that is just regular season.

A: Why don't they count...I don't understand that. The most important games are the postseason and they don't count them. I don't know; I'll get back to you (laughter).

Q: I think Marshall has more playoff games.

A: Does he? I've got 20-something I think. Let's check that out and I'll get back to you on Sunday.

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