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Thread: article: Jets want the Gambler to get them on a roll- Boland

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    Thumbs up article: Jets want the Gambler to get them on a roll- Boland

    Jets want gambler Favre to get them on a rollBY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com
    September 4, 2008
    1 2 next The play Brett Favre said captured exactly who he is as a quarterback came in the Jets' third preseason game, against the Giants Aug. 23.

    On third-and-11 from the Giants' 49-yard line, Favre dropped back, pumped once and fired deep down the right sideline, hitting Jerricho Cotchery in stride for a touchdown.

    The score was negated by an illegal-formation penalty on tight end Bubba Franks, but Favre said recently that it was Exhibit A of his risk/reward philosophy of quarterbacking.

    Basically, it came down to the Giants were playing exactly the wrong kind of defense to stop the pass Favre threw.



    "They're playing cover 2, a perfect play to stop seam routes," Favre said. "And I told Jerricho leaving the huddle: 'Whatever you do, slip the guy and go right down the boundary, just don't stop.' "

    Favre became more enthusiastic as he continued to describe how things unfolded.

    "And I never looked over there," he said. "I just looked that way, kind of pumped, and came back. And I knew I trusted my arm enough that I make the throw and he catches it or else no one else catches it. And kind of banking on [the Giants] knowing their defense and thinking, 'OK, we're in cover 2, he's not going to take a shot.' "

    Taking a shot.

    There's an old saying that everyone loves a gambler until he loses, and Favre's inside story about that pass fits the theme of the Jets' season. There is no question that general manager Mike Tannenbaum, in pulling off the last-minute deal to get Favre on the night of Aug. 6, went all-in on a player who might play only one season with the Jets.

    But in the here and now, the Jets clearly upgraded at the most important position, the only one not addressed in their offseason spending spree of about $140 million. Chad Pennington, who will oppose Favre in Sunday's opener in Miami, by default was winning the training camp competition with third-year quarterback Kellen Clemens. Pennington's roots with the team he led to the playoffs three times in eight seasons ran deep, but Favre's resume proved too tempting for Tannenbaum to pass on.

    Favre, besides his three MVP awards, brought the NFL record book with him from Green Bay. Among his all-time records: completions (5,377), attempts (8,758), yards (61,655), touchdowns (442) and, yes, interceptions (288).

    But based on the reactions of fans and players, starting with Favre's debut at practice Aug. 9 - in front of a record crowd of 10,500 who turned Hofstra into circus grounds for a day - all are more than willing to live with the mistakes of Bad Brett. That's because the Good Brett presents too many delicious possibilities that were inconceivable before for the offense.

    A play of that kind officially changed the sound track of training camp to "Ooooo" and "Ahhhh" on Favre's second day of practice, when he threw a ball that Pennington, Clemens - and most quarterbacks in the NFL, for that matter - only dream of throwing.

    During an 11-on-11 drill, Favre took a short drop, pumped once and unloaded a 75-yard TD pass to Cotchery down the sideline. The ball traveled 65 yards, dropped over Cotchery's inside shoulder between two defenders and elicited such a reaction that it was difficult to tell who were more awed - the fans or the players.

    "Oh, man, that was a heck of a throw," tight end Chris Baker said that day. "It looked like a game out there the way he just pumped it and threw it right in the hole before the safety could get over there. That was a heck of a throw."

    Safety Kerry Rhodes, who picked off Favre twice during training camp, also shook his head after the Aug. 10 practice.

    "He pumped and threw a 60-yard bomb on a rope between two defenders," Rhodes said. "That's something a lot of quarterbacks can't do in this league."

    The only discordant note to Favre's arrival came from receiver Laveranues Coles, one of the most media-friendly Jets. Coles did not speak to the media after Pennington, one of his closest friends on the team, was released. But the media has overstated that angle because Coles, starting on Favre's first day of practice, has been seen joking with his new quarterback.

    Besides, Coles, and every other Jet who was a part of the 4-12 nightmare of 2007, knows such a season is unlikely with Favre. Tannenbaum convinced Favre that New York would be a good fit for a variety of reasons, the primary one being the opportunity to win.

    "I didn't even know the Jets were 4-12 last year, and that doesn't really matter," Favre said.

    He paused and, without ****iness, said: "I've always felt like I give whatever team I'm on a good chance to win."

    And if that includes the occasional roll of the dice, so be it.

    NFL scout's take on Favre

    Arm strength is better than almost every other QB.



    Sometimes throws too hard to receivers on shorter routes.

    Getting up to speed on the Jets' system will be key.

    Will sometimes gamble by throwing into coverage.

    Not the runner he once was, but still has good mobility.

    Throws the deep ball as well as anyone.

    Durability speaks for itself.

    Very good off play action.

    "Whenever you have a Hall of Fame player coming in, it's always

    going to work out. As long as everyone does their job, we should be

    all right.'' - Bubba Franks, Jets TE, who played eight seasons with Favre in Green Bay

    "When you have a guy that can pressure the defense in many ways,

    every route is available. Whatever route you have, you better run it hard because the ball could be coming. If you're not looking, you may get

    hit in the head with it." - Jerricho Cotchery, Jets WR

    "I wish him all the best. It's good that he will be in New Jersey.

    Maybe I can catch a ride to Mississippi with him on his private plane

    in the offseason." - Eli Manning, Giants QB

    "You can approach it one of two ways. I'm going to try and look at

    this in a positive way. The opportunity to learn from a future Hall of

    Famer doesn't come along too often, and it's something I look

    forward to.'' - Kellen Clemens, Jets backup QB

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    article: Newsday- Boland re Favre

    Favre unsure he deserves being voted a Jet captainBY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com
    September 4, 2008
    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Although it wasn't obvious to Brett Favre, it was to everyone else.

    On Tuesday Favre, who has been with the Jets less than a month, was voted one of their six captains for 2008. Kerry Rhodes and Shaun Ellis were elected defensive captains, David Bowens and Leon Washington got the nod on specials and Favre and Alan Faneca, another first-year Jet, were selections for the offense. It is a players-only vote.

    "I told Eric [Mangini on Tuesday], I felt a little uncomfortable to be voted," Favre said yesterday. "As I told him, I feel like I need to earn it. I don't want it to be based on past performances or longevity."

    But that resume was enough for his teammates.



    "The aura that he brings into the room is unparalleled," Rhodes said. "We know he's a guy you can count on all the time, a guy that's going to be in there all the time, playing all those games consecutively. That's what you want from your captain."

    Said Darrelle Revis: "Him being in the NFL 16, 17 years, he's always been a leader. When he first came in here, guys accepted him as being a leader. We look up to him."



    Sparano annoyed

    First-year Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said he wasn't "concerned about it," but he didn't sound thrilled addressing the question, either.

    Mike Westhoff, who just rejoined the Jets staff, is a longtime friend of Bill Parcells, the Dolphins' executive vice president of football operations. Westhoff, as Parcells' guest, visited some Dolphins practices this summer.

    Westhoff, a cancer survivor, was still recovering from the medical procedure that caused him to retire as Jets special teams coach after last season. At the time, he didn't know he'd return to the Jets, but Sparano wishes he had known it was a possibility.

    "Certainly at the time had I known that he was under contract I wouldn't have allowed him out at practice," Sparano said yesterday. "But it's no big deal."

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