Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Defense and Rest Time

Do defenses really wear out over the course of a game? Do defenses benefit from long drives that give them more time to rest on the sideline? Guest columnist Ben Baldwin investigates.

07 Aug 2008

J-E-T-S Brett Brett Brett!

compiled by Doug Farrar

Bill Barnwell: How does this change New York's Expected Wins?

Aaron Schatz: I just ran the numbers, and all did was improve their mean expected wins from 7.2 to 7.6. The question is how much you assume Favre had to do with the Packers offense as opposed to the other 10 guys... I can't just go and change all the DVOA ratings that I use in the projection system to match the 2007 Packers instead of the 2007 Jets, especially if you remember that the 2006 Jets had a better passing DVOA than the 2006 Packers did. If you've read the book, you know that our projection system already expected the Jets to rebound on offense.

Bill Barnwell: As we've discussed previously, the problem with the Jets last year wasn't their quarterback. It was an offensive line that leaked pass rushers, a defensive line unable to stop the run, and a group of linebackers who didn't fit the defense they played for. Will Favre be an upgrade on Pennington or Clemens? Sure. Will it be enough to make a huge difference, justify his salary and the displacement of another large salary, and the media swell that follows? No. Brett Favre can't stop offensive linemen from setting up shop three yards in front of the line of scrimmage, he can't get to Chad Henne, and unless he's really been working on his jumping ability, he can't stop Randy Moss. And that's what the Jets need. Getting Favre isn't going to hurt them, but it's not a magic tonic by any means.

I've said this 100 times, but if I'm the Minnesota Vikings, I am on the phone right now to Mike Tannenbaum and offering him a draft pick for Chad Pennington. And I'm not hanging up till he says yes.

The scheme issue is the biggest thing for me when it comes to projecting Favre's performance. Favre's moving into a brand new scheme for the first time, really, in two decades. Brian Schottenheimer has no connection with Favre in his past.

Of course, the flip side is also true. The Jets system as installed up to this point, I'm sure, is going to be built around protecting the weaknesses of their quarterbacks, whoever they are. Do they blow out the system to allow Favre to do more? If so, then 11 guys have to learn a new scheme, not just Favre and Faneca.

Mike Tanier: The scheme is the thing here. It is August 7th. The terminology is different. The basis of the scheme is different, than anything he has ever done. Can he really have 50 percent of the offense ingested by the season opener? While at the same time practicing with a team for the first time since January, getting up to speed? While handling LOTS of media? And when did Favre become known as the guy who succeeds because he logs hours in the film room and studies the playbook?

I like the 7.2 wins to 7.6 wins projection. By November or December, he's up to speed enough to affect a game. Yeah, he can sneak them into a Wild Card situation. Hooray.

Doug Farrar: It's an odd fit. I don't like Favre as the swashbuckler anymore; he throws ridiculous picks into tight double coverage with shorter reads open, and everyone in the booth talks about how much "fun" it is. Green Bay has been re-tooling its offense to resemble a pseudo-spread in which you'll see a lot of wide shotgun sets, receivers who are great after the catch, and running backs that benefit from those lanes. The short game has really been the hallmark of Favre's recent success. Adding Jordy Nelson in this year's draft -- yikes. I don't think he gets how much he'll miss that. Not to denigrate New York's receivers at all, it's just that the Packers have quite a group there.

The Jets ran more four-wide shotgun sets than any other team last year, but they weren't particularly successful (-25.0% DVOA in 194 plays, compared to Green Bay's 64.1% DVOA in 76 plays). They also finished pretty badly in yards after catch for a team built around the short stuff -- 26th overall compared to Green Bay's league lead. Can Favre split the difference? Maybe, but I would think one advantage of that kind of offense is that you can put a guy who isn't world-class in there and expect decent results. So how much is that difference going to show? And what happens when the efficiency he's used to isn't there, and he starts pressing? Is he reverts to 2005-06 form, this could get really ugly really quickly.

Bill Moore: As a Patriots fan, I'm not really fearing the fact that the Jets acquired Favre; however, I don't think this is a terrible move for the Jets. Although the expected wins may only go up 0.4, that's more than any 3rd- or 4th-round draft pick would add. Yes, there is a cap impact, but since they have the room it's not that big of a deal. They were unlikely to add a different $6 million player at this point in the season. The net difference between Pennington's $6mm and Favre's $12 million can be more than made up on a Profit &Loss basis in non-football operations. Plus, I have to imagine that even if the Jets start 2-5, the fans have to be dramatically more interested in Game 8 with Favre at the helm vs. Pennington or Clemens.

Benjy Rose: One thing missing here -- and that unfortunately can't be quantified -- is the psychological impact on the team overall. Sean can attest to this, but Jets fans haven't had a QB to get excited about since Joe Namath. We love Chad. He's a great humble guy, extremely smart, and will likely make a great offensive coordinator or head coach one day. But we've never been confident in his ability to win games. There's always been the lingering leaning-over-on-two-legs-of-a-chair feeling whenever he was called upon to make the game-winning drive. I haven't seen enough of Clemens to make any sort of judgment, but before Chad, we had Vinnie Meatballs, the Mid-90's Featuring Browning Nagle and Ray Lucas and the Vortex of Suck, Boomer Esiason (who was decent but done), Ken O'Brien (clearly a step or two below his classmates), Richard Todd (solid but unspectacular)....

This is somewhat equivalent to the Saints getting Drew Brees -- it lends them legitimacy, gives them confidence. Can he make a substantial difference? I don't know, but it'll be a very different feeling to watch 'em.

Russell Levine: All in all, this might be an okay move for the Jets. Regardless of the outcome, someday some college will give a course on personnel crisis management and this will be a case study in what to avoid.

Think of the stakes for the Packers. If they tank this year and Rodgers sucks, and Favre is even halfway competent, everybody is going to get canned. That is a team with Super Bowl personnel, and they could not find a way to start one of the all-time greats at QB, a guy coming off one of his better seasons, a guy that by and large is worshipped by the fan base. Instead, they're going with a totally unproven player at the most important position. It will be interesting to watch.

Sean McCormick: I'm fairly neutral on this move. I don't think it's a bad one as far as what the team gave up, particularly when you consider that they are probably going to get something, albeit a lower pick, for Pennington (who should absolutely be getting fitted for a Vikings jersey around now). No, the quarterbacks were not the primary problem last year. That said, the team clearly wants to run a more vertical offense and they couldn't do it with a healthy Pennington, regardless of how well the offensive line played. They could do it with Kellen Clemens, but Clemens hasn't shown that he is ready to step in and start. Maybe this means that he's essentially a bust or maybe it means that he needs another year to develop, but for a coaching staff coming off a 4-12 season, you can see why they wouldn't be comfortable throwing their lot in with Clemens. It's not like this is Kansas City and everyone knows that the next two years are going to be terrible.

Honestly, I see this as a continuation of the entire off-season philosophy of bringing in heavy-duty hold the fort guys. It's not necessarily a rejection of the notion of building through the draft, but rather an understanding that the team wants to hit their problem spots immediately, then adding younger players to groom behind them.

My one concern would be that this is an attempt to take some press away from the Giants. That's really, really not the way to go about building a franchise. But I don't think that was the primary motivation here. Honestly, this doesn't strike me as being terribly different from the Pats getting Randy Moss for a fourth. It's a reasonable investment for the potential return, and it does imply that the team had seen enough of Pennington to know they wanted to do something else at the quarterback spot.

Mike Tanier: After talking to my wife and reviewing my Educational Psychology, I am even more concerned about Favre's learning curve in an all new system with new lingo.

Have any of you 30+-year olds tried learning a new language lately? It is probably five times as hard as it was when you were 18, or 22. What if you just wanted to learn a new programming language? I tried C++ 4 years ago and felt like an idiot, and I could code in BASIC at 10 and PASCAL at 14. And I can't do HTML to save my life.

Maybe Gus Frerotte can still do it because he has always picked up a new system every 2 years, it is a built-in survival capability. But Favre may open that new playbook, find all new terminology, and get a brain cramp that doesn't go away for a month.

And not since Unitas has a quarterback been in a situation that bad, right? The Chiefs imported the West Coast with Joe Montana. What other quarterback has kept the same offensive terminology (adapting and changinga little, but the same overall thang) for 18 years?

Will Carroll: That implies that Favre isn't going to be accomodated. I have a really hard time believing that.

Benjy Rose: That's a great point. Think about the Jets' system right now. It's been built around an inexperienced new QB and one who can't throw the 15-yard Out. They've GOT to change some things around for Favre. Not so much the deep stuff, although those should increase, but I'm thinking more mid-range stuff that Pennington just couldn't throw. More over-the middle plays (that aren't quick slants), more 8-15 yard Outs... more patterns that require arm strength. That's where I think we'll see the most change.

Will Carroll: Aren't the Jets and Giants selling PSLs right now? Not sure anyone envisions Favre being there for the new stadium in 2010, but it's certainly a selling point. Over at Baseball Prospectus, Nate Silver did an article on the value of a playoff win being so high that it increased the value of wins between 81 and 90 so much, and from 90 and 95 even more. Is this a similar situation, where there's more value in going from a eight-win team to a nine-win team?

Bill Barnwell: Not really. The Jets will sell out 2009 regardless of their record this year. It's like the Red Sox -- winning the World Series has less of an upside for them because there's no seats to be filled.

Will Carroll: But there's still an additional playoff game, revenue from merchandise sales, etc. whether it's the Red Sox or the Rays. I'd venture that when you're maxed out like the Sox, there's even more of a big effect in making the playoffs.

Bill Barnwell: I really can't fathom that. Sure, they make a lot of money off that playoff game, but if the Red Sox go one-and-done, they get two home games at 35,000 tickets each (and while I may have paid absurd levels of cash for Red Sox tickets in '04, it was from sclapers) with some minor additional cash from merchandise. Versus a team like the Rays, who could see 5,000 more people per game for 82 games? That math seems impossible to me, even if the Red Sox win the World Series. Think about it -- the Red Sox, even if they win the World Series and play the max home games (11), would have to see a difference of more than seven times what the Rays make on the market for their games, despite not having any additional seats to sell. The demand for Red Sox tickets is so high that I'd imagine there's three or four people who are interested in each seat each day it becomes available. NFL tickets, outside of Jacksonville, tend to be the same.

Aaron Schatz: Also, I'm not sure how teams split the money with playoff games, but the chances of a Jets playoff game in January 2009 are a lot higher than the chances of a Jets home playoff game in January 2009. To get a home playoff game, they would need to beat the Patriots for the division title. Like the Texans, the "hope" for the Jets is really a wild card, not a division title.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 07 Aug 2008

130 comments, Last at 13 Aug 2008, 10:10pm by kleph


by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:32am

The Vikings are already in rumored talks with the Jets.

If the Jets trade a condy 4th round pick to the Pack for Favre, then turn around and trade Penny for a 5th or 6th rounder...

They dumped the highest paid backup player in the league, while picking up a living legend to rent for 1-2 years and lead them into the New Stadium.

Getting Favre, and losing Penny for a net late round draft pick works in my book.

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:36am

The Jets still won't make the playoffs. If NE, PITT, INDY, and SD win their divisions, and Jax picks up the WC, then the Jets must be better than all of the following...

Denver, Cleveland, Houston, Buffalo, KC, Baltimore and Cincy. That isn't going to happen.

Favre will also have to throw through the swirling winds of the meadowlands, and have every throw second guessed by the NY media. I don't like this move at all for #4. TB was a much easier destination, WCO, warm weather, Gruden, solid D, playoff contender etc.

by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:36am

I don't get why the Vikings would want Pennington. They overpaid Berrian this offseason because they felt that they needed to be able to stretch the field to keep safeties from crowding the box to stop Purple Jesus. Pennington doesn't help with that at all.

The Bears are a better fit for Chad's limp arm but Jerry Angelo seems to have a blind spot a mile wide when it comes to qbs and seems to be at home with Rex and Orton.

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:38am

Is Favre older than Mangini? How do you like that one?

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:43am

I am a Number 4 fan, but he is not a "book learnin'" kind of guy. And he is also in need of CONSTANT reinforcement.

If the coach isn't one to take a REALLY firm hand left to his own devices Favre will create quite the mess. Mike Sherman trusted Favre to handle himself and folks saw those results.

I will also point out that after the 2005 season Favre hired a personal trainer and after that season AND 2006 Favre worked out ALL THE TIME. He hasn't done that this offseason

Favre also doesn't have good accuracy on deep passes. The receiving corps has to be able to adjust on long passes.

by Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:45am

I’ve said this 100 times, but if I’m the Minnesota Vikings, I am on the phone right now to Mike Tannenbaum and offering him a draft pick for Chad Pennington. And I’m not hanging up till he says yes.
According to NFLN this morning, if they do that they(the Jets) have to give the Packers 3 1st round picks. I don't know if the Jets can trade to another team who then would trade him to the Vikings but I doubt they'd have left that loophole.

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:51am

If the FO projected wins goes from 7.2 to 7.6 ( less than 1/2 a game), then Basically you guys think that this trade has no impact on the Jets.

Bringing in Favre is not even worth 1 extra win compared to Penny/Kellen, and "might" get about a 7 win team to over achieve into an 8 win team because 7.6 rounds up. Is this your position?

by MR_TIGGUMS (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:54am

The biggest winners here are Kellen Clemens and Thomas Jones. Clemens can now sit for 2 years holding a clipboard, learn the offense better, becomes Favre's pupil, and be ready to take over the show in 2010 when Favre is done.

The addition of Favre also helps the running game by giving the passing game a legitimate threat past 15 yards. I imagine just the presence of Favre under center will keep a safety out of the box, and Jones can up his YPC.

Also, if both teams fail, what next? Favre goes 7-9 for 2 years, and then retires. Rodgers turns out to be mediocre or worse, and the Packers' window starts to close as the team turns to Brian Brohm. I imagine this would be the most likely scenario.

by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:55am

According to NFLN this morning, if they do that they(the Jets) have to give the Packers 3 1st round picks.

He said Pennington, not Favre.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:56am

I don't blame Brett, but he absolutely scr###d the Packers on this. If it comes out that he was pressured into retirement last year, I'll change my mind about the Pac, but as it stands, I don't see what else they could have done.

A few years ago they steal a great kid in the mid 1st round to replace Favre
Favre puts off retirement longer than most thought he would
He finally steps down, and the Pac go with their future.
Then he tries to come back, which would be a very short sighted move if the Pac had accepted him as starter
Then he refuses to negotiate, but demands a trade.
The Pac basically get pennies on the dollar for his trade, but have a few conditions which can up the value.

All in all, it's a case study of the star employee. He's more valuable than the management, and if he wants to mess everything up, there's pretty much nothing the management can do about it.

by Adam B (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:57am

I don't believe the Jets can trade Pennington simply because of his contract; they'll just cut him today.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:58am

It sure seems to me that a playoff game for the Jets could dramaticaly increase what they can charge for PSLs in the new stadium.

Regarding Pennington, I'm not anti-Chad, nor am I a Tavaris Jackson fan, but I don't understand why one would be so convinced that the Vikings just have to sign Pennington. The primary requirement for a Vikings qb, way, way, ahead of the other requirements, is that he force opposing defenses to keep only seven in the box, so the Vikings can make the most out of, and extend, Adrian Peterson's career. Pennington's greatest weakness results in opposing defenses being very comfortable with more than seven in the box. Now, the Vikings qb situation is such that thay may as well pursue Pennington, depending on what it would take to get him before he is cut, if they aren't convinced that Pennington would see them as the best option as a free agent. He really isn't going to solve their major issue, however, even if he plays to his potential.

I'm never going to run a forty yard dash in less than five and a half seconds (and even that is doubtful), and Pennington is never going to intimidate a defensive coordinator not named Cottrell into trying to defend Adrian Peterson with only seven guys in the box.

by Wes (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:59am

#2, I think you misread Pennington as Favre...

RE: Pennington to MIN, isn't he a terrible fit for their receiving corps? Their primary receivers, Berrian and Rice, are deep threats which seems to clash with ole' noodle arm...

As a Viking fan, I'm fine with TJack. He seems disciplined enough to not be a 'gunslinger'\turnover machine and have enough arm to throw the out and the deep balls that are predicated by the talent around him.

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:03pm

All this money talk, and no one is talking about all the number 4 Jerseys the Jets will be selling? I work in Times Square and on the way to work this morning I spotted no less than 3 Jets hats. JETS HATS. Give it a few days and the Favre jerseys should be out in force.

by Andy (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:03pm

Favre's success with the jets relies on two guys: D'Brick and Damien Woody.

If those dudes can't get it together this year, Favre is gonna wish he took that $20 mil "marketing" gig.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:06pm

> According to NFLN this morning, if they do that they(the Jets) have to give the Packers 3 1st round picks.

That's if the Jets were to flip Favre, not Pennington (for obvious reasons). Unless there's a sudden run on Pennington's services, he's going to be cut outright (if he hasn't been already) in order to clear the cap space.

by nat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:08pm

What happens now if the Jets are forced to release Favre? Can he sign with the Vikings? If so, since there would be no trade involved, would Green Bay get any compensation?

In other words, can Favre do the same thing to the Jets as he tried to do to the Packers?

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:17pm


Wouldn't surprise me at all.

I am convinced that Favre has been planning on getting to MN since March. And he will make it happen if it is all possible.

Favre wants to scr&w Ted Thompson with an elephant d*ck. Wrapped in barbed wire.

by Doug (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:24pm

hey now, you guys totally stole that article title from me.

i'll let it slide this time...

by Blaine (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:25pm

Pennington should consider this a big time promotion if he goes to the Vikings.

by Tom D (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:26pm

I don't think the stats can measure how much better Favre is going to make the Jets o-line look. Not only in pass protection, but even run blocking. People are going to be talking about how much D'Brick and Nick Mangold improved, and how much Faneca helped them out, but Favre is going to be the biggest difference. Not to say the young players won't improve, but Favre will magnify it.

Re 13:


by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:27pm

If I'm the Packers, I agree to the trade only if I get 3 #1's any way Favre plays in MIN (or even CHI) in 2008, whether it's by trade or because the Jets cut him. This is one place where Roger Rex's involvement in this affair comes out positive, because I suspect he realizes the Packers would make that requirement and would approve it to get a deal done.

Query: I believe the report I read indicated the Packers get the picks only if Favre plays in Minnesota this year. If you're the Vikings, do you consider picking up BF and playing him in road games only? Yeah, crazy, I know.

by Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:31pm

12 & 13: I don't see it. The Jets clearly want Favre for PR reasons, and I'd be willing to bet the fanbase buys it hook, line, and sinker. If he's a complete failure and gets released, why would the Vkes want him? I also can't see him refusing to suit up; if he wanted to invoke the nuclear option for his reputation, he would have refused any trade and told the Pack he would sulk on the sidelines and publicly rip Rodgers every day until he was granted his release.

by Alvoid Mays (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:32pm

13- That sounds like it would hurt.

by Scott (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:32pm

Admittedly, I'm a Jets fan, but this is a no-brainer for the Green and White, right? We go from a competition between two underwhelming QB options to Favre, who is at least an above-average QB, and all for a below-market price (a conditional 4th-rounder).
Surely, we'll change the playbook to suit what Favre (and Clemems) can do well, and this will really help Coles, Cotchery, and Jones make bigger contributions.
The Jets are a team in flux with many new players and scemes on both O and D, so it will take a few weeks to iron things out, but I see no reason why the Jets won't be strong WC contenders the next two years while they hope for the inevitable decline of NE (everything that goes up comes down- see the mortgage industry).

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:41pm

"Think about it — the Red Sox, even if they win the World Series and play the max home games (11), would have to see a difference of more than seven times what the Rays make on the market for their games, despite not having any additional seats to sell."

Ticket prices are only part of the story. Some estimates have the new Yankee stadium doubling their revenue. That's $300 million extra a year.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:43pm


That's a good point, but one thing I'll counter with, after watching Pennington in his prime, is that Pennington runs a MEAN naked bootleg. For some reason it doesn't get a lot of press, but he has a fair amount of mobility and throws really well on the move, as long as he doesn't have to throw further than ~25 yards. In Minny, if the defenses start keying in too much on Peterson, a few designed rollouts and bootlegs that forces the LB's to take a wider stance for containment or for covering TE's and slot recievers on the short-to-medium ins or comebacks could do wonders for Peterson.

by Craig (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:45pm

I know there is a poison pill for trading Favre, but maybe not for releasing him. Perhaps, there is a trade between Vikings and Jets before the draft that is a little lopsided in favor of the Jets.

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:58pm

More on the money stuff. The reason those extra wins are worth so much is also because of the national TV playoff money, higher ticket prices, additional in-stadium sponsorships, etc.

Now if you're the Red Sox and have to split your high-priced tickets with the Rays, well that's pretty lopsided, since they won't get as much from the games they play in Tampa Bay. But in general, baseball teams make much more money from the playoffs than NFL teams, simply because the additional (incremental) broadcast money, ticket money, etc. is split with the entire league in the NFL rather than with each team participating.

As I recall, baseball players get 60% of revenue from the first 3 games of a divisonal series, and 4 games of the championship and world series. Umpires get like 2% and the teams split the rest of the 38%. I think the commissioner's office gets like 10% of the world series money as well.

by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:04pm

Question: have the Vikings revamped their offensive system? Last I heard, they were wedded to a "West Coast Offense" system. That's what Pennington can do.

If they have changed philosophies some though to fit their personnel - I'm thinking something more like the Giants' downfield passing attack, which fits both the Vikes receivers and their desire to get guys out of the box for Purple Jesus and Chet Taylor - Pennington would be an awful fit.

by mattfwood (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:05pm

Jets fans get a "lingering leaning-over-on-two-legs-of-a-chair feeling whenever [Pennington] was called upon to make the game-winning drive"? Wasn't that the title of the Brett Favre 2005-2006 Season Highlights DVD?

Also, this sponsor message on Favre's pro football reference.com page looks like an especially awesome investment today.

"Gary Engen of Madison Wisconsin sponsor(s) this page.

Once in a lifetime athlete. Thanks for the memories, Brett. Welcome back to the Packers!!!!"

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:08pm

27. That is a great point. Pennington has some of the best fakes besides Peyton Manning. The Vikings could truly run outstanding play action with AP and Penny.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:10pm

MJK, like I said, I'm not anti-Chad, and I have no doubt that here are some things he does which would improve the Vikings offense, but the number one goal for Vikings management needs to be to have a qb who forces a defensive coordinator to fear the deep pass. On the other hand, it got so bad last year that there were times that opposing defenses had 10 guys within five yards of the line of scrimmage, although that had a lot to do with the recievers as well as the qbs.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:20pm

if the poison-pill report is true and Green Bay would gain 3 first round picks if the Jets trade Favre to Minnesota, then would the Vikings or Bears have been willing to package a similar group of picks to acquire him? If they really believe that they are serious Super Bowl contenders and they have an open window of opportunity over the next three years to get it done, then is three first rounders too much to give to acquire a proven performer that would provide a substantial upgrade at the most important position on the field? I know the Packers said they would never trade him inside their own division, but everything has a price, especially in pro sports, and if the Vikings or Bears offered two firsts and two seconds I would bet the Packers would jump at the offer.

by ChrisH (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:20pm

I don't think the Red Sox come out as bad versus the Rays in the example of them making the World Series with the max number of games. The main reason is that the Red Sox can sell all 35,000 of those tickets for the full 11 games, but in the Rays case, they are getting a net gain of 5,000 tickets a game for 81 games. So, the Red Sox would sell 385,000 tickets and the Rays would sell 405,000 more tickets, but I'm sure the Red Sox can get away with charging whatever they want for playoff tickets, but I'm doubting the Rays can raise their prices as much and still keep the fans.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:27pm

Daniel, no, the Vikings or Bears never would have given up that much. Risking that much on a 39 year old player would be an exceedingly bad idea.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:27pm

The Red Sox' primary motivation for consistently fielding winning playoff teams is their ownership of the team's sports TV network, NESN (far more so than locked-in ticket sales, regular season or postseason). Red Sox games consistently generate strong TV ratings and that situation turns around quickly if the team is a loser, as last witnessed by the Sox' collapse in Aug/Sep 2006.

This situation doesn't exist in the NFL with its exclusive national television contracts, but I can still see some ancillary benefits to the Jets signing a player like Favre, the aforementioned saleability of premium seating and luxury boxes being foremost among them. If the team is a winner (granted, Favre could only perhaps get the Jets started there), the sky's the limit on such premiums, as the Patriots have proved with their sold-out 10-year luxury box contracts, etc.

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:32pm

Red Sox games consistently generate strong TV ratings and that situation turns around quickly if the team is a loser, as last witnessed by the Sox’ collapse in Aug/Sep 2006.

I don't know about that. NESN still was the highest-rated local sports network in the country in '06.

by CoachDave (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:34pm

I'm just glad Bill Moore gave us the "Patriots fan viewpoint"...cause when the Pack trade Favre to the Jets...that's the first thing I hope to hear about.

"I wonder how the Pats fans feel about this trade?"

by Jim Glass (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:37pm

Regarding Pennington, I’m not anti-Chad, nor am I a Tavaris Jackson fan, but I don’t understand why one would be so convinced that the Vikings just have to sign Pennington.

Pennington is tremendous at play action, exceedingly smart, and the most accurate passer in NFL history.

His weakness is misunderstood. It's is NOT a "weak arm". He hit some very nice long passes last year, though his arm isn't the strongest (and if you want "strong arm" a hundred guys from Leftwich to Leaf are still out there availalble).

Pennington's REAL weakness is that after two surgeries his arm gets tired after more than 30 throws. If you look at his splits, for his first 25 passes per game last year is rating was in the 90s, near the top of the league. But on attempts over 35 his rating was like 50.

The Jets were a bad team last year. His most visible failures were in games where he had the team ahead for more than a half, then it collapsed, then in the last minutes he was going chuck-chuck-chuck uphill, tough for any QB, but when your arm is hanging off physically. (See games like Cincy, where Chad hit a beautiful bomb, and the Gints, against whom he ran a perfect 2-minute drill at the end of the first half.) Then everyone blamed "Popgun" for failing in the clutch.

So Chad's strengths: tremendous at play action, exceedingly smart, the most accurate passer in NFL history.

Weakness: Can't throw 35+ times a game.

Best fit: Put Chad behind a big running game, top OL, on a team that goes run-heavy, so he doesn't have to throw 35+ times a game, and you could reincarnate Bart Starr running Lombardi's Packers, or have an improved version of the rookie Big Ben managing the Cowher Steelers in their Super Bowl season.

I think the Vikes would be a real good fit for both of them -- at least considering the alternatives each has available.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:38pm

The likely events for NYJ, GB, and MIN this season are:

1. NYJ is a little better with Favre, but not enough to make it to the playoffs.
2. GB, with injuries, tougher schedule, untested QB, regresses to 500-ish record.
3. T-Jack improves, but not enough to convince Chilly and Ziggy that he's the long-term solution. Or he gets hurt on a run--again. Vikes are also at 500--ish, and one year closer to ther stadium lease running out in 2011.

NYJ want to avoid paying Favre another $13 million for .4 win differential in 2009, and release him. Ziggy and Chilly come calling with a big bonus and salary, and maybe some incentives. Favre gets his wish to play the Pack (at least) twice per year.

Only 300 days until it all starts playing out again!

by GlennW (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:38pm

> but I’m sure the Red Sox can get away with charging whatever they want for playoff tickets, but I’m doubting the Rays can raise their prices as much and still keep the fans.

As with the NFL (I believe), MLB caps the ticket prices on playoff games, and in Boston those tickets are sold for far, far below their open-market value. There's still some marginal revenue to be had around playoff tickets, but it pales in comparison to the team simply being a winner and continuing to consistently attract viewers (and to a lesser extent ticket buyers) in the subsequent seasons. It's a bigger-picture issue than simply hosting some playoff games, and the same logic holds with the Jets to an extent.

by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:45pm

Re 40 Jim Glass: For me the Vikings season will rest on whether or not they have a starting left tackle for most of it. Can anyone tell me what the latest news is on McKinnie? The last I heard his trial was due to start in week 3, which is the kind of thing that could interfere with a player's preparation. (I ask because it's quite hard to get up to date information on that kind of thing from the far side of the Atlantic.)

While trawling for information can anyone shed any light on why Tatupu hasn't been disciplined by the league for his DUI?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:45pm

Jim, I haven't watched Pennington a ton, but more than one person who has done do has written that defenses feel very comfortable with crowding the box against him. Maybe this assertion is false, and if it isn't, perhaps this willingness is completley unrelated to Pennington's abilities, but that would be a little surprising.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:45pm

> I don’t know about that. NESN still was the highest-rated local sports network in the country in ‘06.

For the entire season, yes, but I'd be interested in seeing the monthly breakdown as the Sox were all but dead in September (but very much alive before that). My contention though is that a couple losing seasons would result in a major ratings hit with the loss of your more casual fans, with ratings falling closer to pre-2003 levels and representing the loss of multiple millions of dollars. So-called "Red Sox Nation" is a cash-cow phenomenon for the time being, but fans are fickle...

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:48pm

Oh, and BadgerT1000, this quote from Bob McGinn during his chat at jsonline.com today is my early Christmas gift to you:

"Plus, any number of people in the industry have told me that distortion and deceit basically are how Childress does business."

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:49pm

Well, I'd certainly prefer Pennington to Gus Ferrotte, so yeah, the Vikings should sign him. Just tryin' to manage by expectations, doncha' know....

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:54pm

Boom, I'm neutral on Childress, but that statement coming from a guy who just published a phony story about cell phone ownership is a little rich. Also, it has been reported that one thing that the veterans on the Vikings have come to have grudging respect for with regard to Childress, after some rough patches with Mr. Warmth, is that Childress is perceived to have been straight-forward with them.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:58pm

Post 45:

I read that as well. I refrained from passing that along as a courtesy to the Viking brethren who are convinced that I just "hate" Brad Childress.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:03pm

badger, I'm not among those who have made that accusation towards you, but I must say that I really, really, really (really!) dislike it when "journalists" make non-specific yet very disparaging remarks about the personal qualities of people they cover, based upon statements from unnamed sources. That is hack- work, pure and simple.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:10pm

Will/Badger: Bob McGinn has slipped in my estimation, and brought up in the chat that he would have no motivation to make sh*t up, and that his only master is the paper (conveniently omitting access to the Packer organization is prolly the second-most important aspect of keeping his job).

I still think that:

1. The Packers did call the Vikings regarding a trade.
2. Chilly saw no advantage to himself or the organization in admitting that.
3. Favre did have a team-provided cell phone.
4. Favre did talk to the Vikings.
5. The cell phone was technically a cap violation by the Packers.

I just thought the "deceit" quote was interesting, because the only time I had ever heard that sentiment expressed about Chilly was by Badger.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:11pm

karl, the way I read the tea leaves on the McKinnie thing is that he has a good chance, absent any more encounters with law enforcement, to have this matter diverted into pre-trial program which eventually results in dismissal, and the case wasn't as strong as was represented in the press originally, perhaps due to the bouncer in question intitiating the contact. Vikings management certainly hasn't behaved as if they think there is a good chance that Mckinnie will get a suspension.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:16pm

Boom, the reason I doubt the cell phone ownership story is that there isn't much benefit to Favre in having the Packers provide him a cell phone, and a lot of reasons for Favre to avoid letting the Packers know who he talks to, even if he had no intention of seeking another employer.

by RickD (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:17pm

re: 2

Denzel Washington would be upset with you. You've Forgotten the Titans!

I'd pencil in the Browns over the Steelers in the AFC North, but aside from that you are right on. There are too many good teams in the AFC and the Jets just aren't that good. I'd be tempted to give the Texans better playoff odds than them.

The only hope the Jets have is their soft schedule, and I still have them with 5 "no hope games" - 2 vs. Pats, and road games at Seattle, San Diego, and Tennessee. Eight wins sounds more realistic, and that's not enough in the AFC.

Until their OL lives up to the hype, there's just not much to fear there. Mangini does a good job mixing up blitz packages, but in their second game against the Pats last year, BB simply played two TEs and blew the Jets off the line. Repeatedly. The Jets just do not have a credible rushing defense. I don't see how they can succeed until that problem is fixed.

Aside: I wonder how many Jets fans are going to show up on Week 2 carrying video cameras and wearing Patriots gear.

by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:19pm

Madden Curse. Sorry Jets fans.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:23pm

Will--I don't get what McGinn (or the Packers, for that matter) would have to gain by making up a story that the Packers contacted the Vikings.

I DO see what the Vikings would have to lose in terms of TJack's confidence if word were to get out that the Vikings were trying to trade for Favre. Especially when the Jets and Bucs expressed an interest, and Chilly saw that the Pack had other potential trade partners besides Minnesota.

That said, "saying nice things about the Vikings" has never been a good way to build readership among the Packer faithful, so the comments from McGinn and others at the Packer House Publication are not surprising.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:23pm

I’m just glad Bill Moore gave us the “Patriots fan viewpoint”…cause when the Pack trade Favre to the Jets…that’s the first thing I hope to hear about.

It may not be the first thing you want to hear, but it's the first thing I want to hear.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:24pm


That was Childress' rep at WI.

And Bob McGinn has been recognized within his industry for his excellence. Peter King, Paul Zimmerman, and others have mentioned him in their columns praising his work.

But feel free to regard him as a hack.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:46pm

Badger, if King, Z, and others believe that writing non specific extremely disparaging remarks about the personal qualities of people being covered by a journalist, based upon the opinions of unnnamed sources, isn't hack-work, that reflects very poorly on King, Z, and others. King engages in quite a bit of hack-work himself, so that would not surprise me about him. Do you think that sort of stuff is the by-product of professionalism? It seems to me that "hack-work" or "gossip" are more accurately said to result in such stuff being published.

Boom, I have no strong opinion about the veracity of the story regarding the Packers talking to the Vikings, which is why I limited my remarks about McGinn to the cell phone ownership story.

by Led (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:48pm

The Jets just do not have a credible rushing defense. I don’t see how they can succeed until that problem is fixed.

Well, they added a 350lb pro-bowl nose tackle who is on the good side of 30, in shape and happy. And a 270lb OLB. That should help. Time will tell how much.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:53pm


Are you Bob McGinn?

by Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:03pm

Yep, I misread Pennington as Favre. Its part of the conditioning the media has been subjecting us to. A quarterback? Must be talkin' bout Favre.

by Biebs (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:38pm

As a Jet fan, I'm pretty happy with the deal. I would have liked it more if they gave up a 2nd round draft pick if they A) won a playoff game or
B) Won the division.

Otherwise I can't complain.

I was curious. By my count, there have only been 9 QBs who spent at least 12 seasons with 1 team before moving to a new team

Joe Ferguson - (12 Years, Buffalo) played 2 years with Lions and threw 50 and 150 passes before moving on, never threw for 1,000 yards in a season

Jim Hart - (18 Years, Cardinals) threw 7 passes for the Redskins

Dave Krieg - (12 Years, Seahawks) had three more productive seasons for the Chiefs, Cardinals, and Bears

Joe Montana - (13 Years, 49ers) had two productive years with the Chiefs

Joe Namath - (12 Years, Jets) Threw 107 passes with the Rams

Johnny Unitas - (17 Years, Colts) Threw 76 passes with the Chargers.

Pat Ryan (12 Years, Jets) - Career Backup - 10-26 Final season with Eagles (Side note: What a bizarre career he had, 12 seasons with the Jets, only 2 seasons of 100+ attempts (113, 1988; 285, 1984))

Don Strock (14 Years, Dolphins) 55-91 final season with Browns (Side note: Similar to Pat Ryan, 14 seasons with the Dolphins, only 3 seasons of 100+ attempts (100, 1979; 130, 1981; 135, 1978))

Tommy Kramer (12 Years Vikings) 1-3 final season with Saints

Of course, not one of these QBs threw more TDs than INTs before switching teams (except Montana, who threw 21 passes his last season with the 49ers). So the negative results aren’t too surprising.
Favre had much better numbers than all of them in his last season with Green Bay. So not much to read off the data, just thought it was interesting to look up

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:40pm

60. Do you sometimes wonder if we're talking about people or animals? "Well, this horse is 700 pounds, healthy, good teeth, and happy." "ok, I'll buy it!"

by noah of arkadia or somewhere (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:45pm

lol Will getting to Chad Henne be really necessary?

by jets fan! (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:51pm

I think everyone forgets that Pennington is a winner, he won 2 playoff games. Thats 2 more than Tony Romo. Pennington is poised and prepared to win NOW. Favre -- is he going to be willing to study a play book? Work out hard to get in shape ??

we shall see . ..

by Jim Glass (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:55pm

Favre will be 39 years old in October.

What's the best season by a 39-year old QB?

Are there any articles here about QB performance levels age 35 to 40?

(Quick search didn't find one)

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:55pm

I have a twenty dollar with a pal that Favre never finishes the season. And for reasons unrelated to injury.

Presuming he stays with the Jets.

If he was in Minnesota Favre would be determined to make things happen.

Right now I am giving him two weeks before Jets fans start hearing about second thoughts.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:07pm

Best 39 year old qbs?

Warren Moon in 1995. 33 TDs, 14 Ints. 4200 yards.

Nobody is even close. Heck, guys like Marino and Montana both retired after age 38 seasons.

I just did a quick search of the famous names. Blanda was about the only guy who played regularly. Most others were filling in as part-timers if that.

by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:09pm

"Have any of you 30+-year olds tried learning a new language lately? It is probably five times as hard as it was when you were 18, or 22. What if you just wanted to learn a new programming language? I tried C++ 4 years ago and felt like an idiot, and I could code in BASIC at 10 and PASCAL at 14. And I can’t do HTML to save my life."

I'm age 36, ex-COBOL programmer. Started learning C# and Java in March. Haven't found it that difficult ...

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:20pm


There are other ways to punish a defense for crowding the box other than a big pass play. In fact, a big pass threat might not even be the best way to stop it, since one legitimate, although risky, approach for countering the big pass is the jailbreak blitz--big pass plays take time to develop, and if you put enough guys in the box, you can theoretically get to the QB before he has a chance to throw the ball.

But there are other ways to discourage stuffing the box. For example, a great way to punish a team for crowding eight or nine in the box is the WR screen--one of the plays the Patriots used to carve people up last year. Bunch two WR's wide, fake to the RB to freeze all the defenders "in the box", toss it out to one of the WR's, and have the other guy block the CB shadowing them. I have no clue if Minny has the personnell to run such a play well, but Pennington can certainly execute it well.

by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:21pm

Re:69 ... read an article somewhere about Brett Favre having the best season by a 38-year-old QB ever. But it's misleading because there just haven't been that many.

As Raiderjoe will tell you ... Rich Gannon had a career year at age 37 in 2002, taking his team to the Super Bowl and being named NFL MVP. His 2003 and 2004 seasons were cut short by injury but not looking good surrounded by an ageing team.

By comparison Favre's seasons at age 36 & 37 weren't his best. As with Gannon, it's as much about the team around him as the player himself.

by sam (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:29pm

re 43, That was Tatupus first offense, and I believe McKinney has had multiple offenses. I think thats why Tatupu hasn't been punished

by Pete (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:30pm

I also wonder how much Favre will help the Jets. I think he would have helped Green Bay (even as a backup) far more. If you ignore the media and cap space, he was a near-ideal backup for that situation. He would have been using a known system and known players and required a minimum of practice.

Now, a 38 year old man is going to be asked to learn a new system. This will challenge his brain and all of the repititions will challenge his body.

I think Green Bay is better on paper than they were 2 months ago. They were planning on Favre not playing for them. By coming back out of retirement Favre gave them at least an extra 4th round pick in the draft. The biggest risk would be if Pennington is dropped and then joins a team that beats them as a result. Somehow I do not think that teams like Green Bay are shaking in their cleats at facing Pennington, but I could be mistaken.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:35pm

I believe if Rodgers can stay healthy he can QB in the NFL.

My concern is that he can't stay healthy.

by David Mazzotta (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:36pm

Well, since the Fins seem to be after Pennington, maybe the QB vengence thing is now against Favre.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:39pm

Yes, I know, MJK. My point is that Adrian Peterson has rare, HOF-quality, talent, perhaps even upper-echelon HOF talent, and it makes sense to build one's roster with that in mind. It makes sense to find a qb who can execute all the passes competently, in order to take advantage of that. Sure, every qb has his weaknesses, so Pennington is not unique in that regard, and like I said, I think the Vikings should sign him. The FO guys, however, sounded as if they were saying that Pennington was an ideal solution for the Vikings. At best, I think he is marginal to medium sized improvement over Tavaris Jackson, which is not nothing, but not everything, either.

Again, however, I'm still not sold on Jackson handling the mental side of the position yet, so by all means they ought to add Chad to the roster.

by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:42pm

I think one of the big benefits for the Jets is that they've clarified their QB situation.

If there's a good QB available in next year's draft, and they can keep hold of Favre for a couple of years, then it gives them time to draft and develop a longterm starter.

Hmmm ... or was that what Green Bay were thinking ... (or Denver in 1992 when they drafted Tommy Maddoox!).

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:57pm


Favre started making noises about retirement in 2001/2002. So the Packers finally begin preparing for that eventuality in the 2005 draft and Favre has a hissy about the team drafting a qb number 1 as opposed to the guys he thought the team needed.

by MilkmanDanimal (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:59pm

78 - Or Brian Griese. I'm guessing that the Packers are hoping for slightly better out of Rodgers than "the next Brian Griese".

by Evil Rex (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 6:06pm

#45 Fans are fickle Unless they're cubs fans...

by VV (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 6:15pm

Jeez. If I ever need to read some hate on Jackson, I know where I can find it. Look, the kid's DPAR and DYAR were similar to Vince Young's last year. His rushing stats were considerably better, even. The guy has a live wire of an arm, and is still finding himself in only his third NFL season--give him a chance.

Chad Pennington couldn't throw over the eight men in the box that he saw as a Jet, and wouldn't over the nine or ten that he'd see as a Viking. He's never played in anything like Childress's system, either.

by Led (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 6:28pm

#82: Pennington's DVOA was better than Jackson's last year playing with 3/5 of an OL and he had 35% more DYAR playing in 3 fewer games.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 6:33pm

Re #82
Stick around or search the archives, and you can find a lot of hate for VY, too. TJax also plays with significantly better running backs, and TEN's best WRs the past two years have been Bobby Wade and a guy who wasn't good enough to play for the Bears (Justin Gage), so it's not like VY has significantly better pass targets. Plus, it's not like either guy was actually very good in 2007. Each, of course, is still young enough he could improve significantly in 2007.

I think the best available information suggests that
Pennington 2008 > Jackson 2007
is likely true, but also
Pennington 2008 ? Jackson 2008
which is the question that matters. If
Pennington 2008 > Jackson 2008
has a 60% chance of being true, is it worth it? Is it worth it if
Pennington 2008_worst case > Jackson 2008_worst case
even if on the whole
Jackson 2008_expected range > Pennington 2008_expected range?

Personally, I don't think Pennington makes them a Super Bowl contender, or necessarily even division favorites and therefore think the Vikings are better off starting Jackson, but that doesn't mean (i) Childress couldn't very reasonably disagree with me, or (ii) it doesn't make sense to bring Pennington in as a backup, since I think it's virtually certain
Pennington_2008 > Frerotte_2008.

by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 6:54pm

Stick around or search the archives, and you can find a lot of hate for VY, too. TJax also plays with significantly better running backs, and TEN’s best WRs the past two years have been Bobby Wade and a guy who wasn’t good enough to play for the Bears (Justin Gage), so it’s not like VY has significantly better pass targets.

Oddly enough, Wade has been a receiver for both QBs. And not only was Gage not good enough for the Bears, but neither was Wade (dumped midseason because he couldn't hold on to the ball).

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 6:57pm

I thunk that gets it about right, Tom.

by Ezra Johnson (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 7:25pm

I have a question: Does anyone understand a single thing Mike McCarthy says?

Q: If you had told Favre he would have been the starter, he would have been here, right?

A: "Totally disagree with you Bob. I hear your opinion, it's not accurate. It's not accurate to the facts that I've presented to you. I need to protect the football team. It is about the football team. I understand how large Brett is. And he totally agrees with my focus. We talked about it openly, we talked about moving forward to try to get to that spot, but we did not get there. That's the truth. You can keep asking me the same question. My answer is not going to change."

He keeps talking about getting to some theoretical "spot." What is it that he wanted from Favre that he wasn't getting?

Like Badger, I suspect that what Brett wanted since March was to get to the Vikings. I think he never really accepted MM and TT since they came in, and probably resented MM's efforts to harness him (even though obviously it was the right course).

by kleph (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 7:29pm

as someone who chose to undertake a new language on the wrong side of 30, i'd say calling it five times as hard is probably conservative.

by Ezra Johnson (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 7:40pm

Learning new football terminology is not the same as learning an actual new language. The terms and even the syntax are basically the same. Sure, it will be an adjustment, but getting used to the personnel will probably be a bigger challenge than learning what they call this play or that.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 7:52pm

I really, really think the terminology is not a big deal. Maybe for the first few games, Favre'll have to say "OK, Play X" and someone will have to explain it in terms of the basic football concepts quickly in the huddle.

But fundamentally, Favre's not a system quarterback. I don't think anyone would call him that. So so long as everyone else knows what they're doing, he'll be able to figure something out.

I think the real, real big difference for the Jets will be that by the end of the year, if they do sneak into a Wild Card berth, they probably will be an improving offensive team (as Favre learns more about his teammates) rather than a declining team, as they might be with Pennington.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 8:34pm

Lest folks forget, should the offense struggle Favre is the WORST guy to have calling the shots. In 2005 during points when games were slipping away Favre would determine that if HE didn't make a play the game was gone so he forced things in the hopes that it would work.

Didn't work very well.

It took McCarthy 2 training camps and a full season to get Favre to not ALWAYS force things. He still did but at a reduced rate. And obviously a better team having a lead helped.

If the Jets start slow Favre will press. And then it's cover your eyes time.

by Marty Lyons (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 8:52pm

It'll never work out. These are the Jests, don't forget. Was I the only person watching St. Brett heave those wildly desperate throws for the last few years? The Jests will be looking for yet another new QB same time next year, bet the wife & kids on it.

by Scott (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 9:15pm

This move has the added bonus of rectifying the mistake the Jets made in the 1991 draft. The Jets' first pick was at #34, and they targeted Favre as #1 on their wish list for that spot. Atlanta took him at #33, and the Jets (brace for it) drafted Browing Nagle (ouch) with the next pick.
Ron Wolf was Assistant GM with the Jets that year and, to no avail, desperately tried to persuade his colleagues to trade up to be assured of getting Brett.
He got his wish a year later, after joining the Packers organization. In 1992, he traded the #19 pick in the '92 draft for Favre, and the rest is history.
O what might have been!
(I must now go drown out my momories of: Nagle, O'Donnell, Foley, Lucas, Bollinger, etc.- I can live with my memories of Esiason, Testaverde and Pennington)

by Stevie (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 9:30pm

I'm surprised you Vikings fans prefer Pennington (to the point of giving up an unncessary draft choice) over Frerotte. Have you seen much of Frerotte the last few years? Linehan wanted to keep him this year and sure while he'll throw interceptions trying to play catch up he can make 7 & 8 man fronts pay severely by making all the throws. If the Vikings are serious about being a playoff force they'll have Gus starting by week 4, I just wonder whether Childress' ego will allow him to bench Tavaris after the eventual cover your eyes performance

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 9:58pm

87: "I have a question: Does anyone understand a single thing Mike McCarthy says?"

In a completely unrelated development, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleisher has been hired by the Packers.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 10:08pm

NewsToTom: Excellent analysis. This might be news to you, but I think Minnesota right now is the favorite to win the division--barely, and only until A-God proves himself to be better than average at QB (if).

Coach: GB
O-Line: MIN (barely, and only with McKinnie)
D-Line: MIN

Intangibles: I'd have to say that pre-Favre Fiasco, GB had the edge. Afterwards, MIN.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:56pm

I'm a Viking fan in the "get Pennington now" camp.

I've said it many times: I don't mind that the Vikings committed to Tarvaris Jackson as their starter, but I don't understand why they didn't do more to get a backup just in case he really stinks. As of right now, if Jackson stinks, it's probably a lost season, because there's no other option on the roster that I can really see managing the team to the playoffs.

Get a player like Pennington, and if Jackson really stinks early in the season, there's a veteran (and an accurate passer) to put in to try to help the offense be competent.

by amin (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 12:04am

I am very much looking forward to Mr. Over-rated Favre throwing at least 25 picks this year and adding to his NFL record. The Jets will be lucky to even win 4 games. The Bills are much better than the Jets and will finish second to the eventual Super Bowl winning Pats.

by UTvikefan (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 1:16am

I am glad the other Vikes fans do not want Pennington. He might be ok with 49'ers or such. The Vikes have no use...unless he is really cheap. I ohhhhhhhhh so can't wait to see how the Packers running Favre outta town to the Jets works out. I *think* Rodgers has a learning curve coming, and TT and MM had best get thier resumes up to date, LOL. Yay, football has started (even if preseason). I think its funny TJack gets RAKED, I DO MEAN RAKED across the coals everywhere. Vince Young does not. Funny.

by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 4:53am

Re: 87 / 95 “I have a question: Does anyone understand a single thing Mike McCarthy says?”

I've been suspicious of McCarthy from the day he arrived in Green Bay with a mission statement. Anyone who's worked in a large organisation will know how worrying that is.

That said, he's turned them around so perhaps mission statements are where it's at!


by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 9:33am

Re #100
Most mission statements tend to be written by committees for large organizations or by absolute rulers. I'm coming to strongly believe that to be a successful NFL coach you need to be a wannabe dictator or at least plan like you're going to be in absolute control of everything down to the smallest detail. A mission statement is a way to tell your people WWMMD?

Re #96
Perhaps I'm slightly more bullish on the Packers than most people-I was really impressed by their WRs, think Rodgers is better downfield than Favre, which will likely be good enough to offset the likely downgrade in precise accuracy on short passes, and suspect they'll still be able to run the ball successfully. The Vikes, I know Allen will be a big help w/r/t the ineffective rush from the ends, but I'm still not thrilled by the prospect of having to make that great an improvement in pass D. Living in Bear country, I know good defense tends to be less consistent than good offense, and Pat Williams is at the age where he could fall of a cliff at any moment. Plus, on MIN, there's the small possibility TJax blows up and Frerotte has to play, and that can't be pretty.

Maybe it's just right now GB has a 60% chance to win the division and that falls to 52% with Pennington on the Vikings. For the record, I don't think either CHI or DET has a realistic shot at winning the division, so treat them as though they don't exist for the purpose of the numbers I just gave.

by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 9:54am

The guy who questioned Penningtons endurance is 100% correct.

I can remember the prime time game between the Jets/Dolphins either last year or two years ago where Penny shocked the world and hit a deep throw. The guy CAN do it, just in a limited sense.

Think of Pennington like an MLB relief pitcher being thrown in there as a starter. It isn't even just the ZIP on the ball, but it is the lack of endurance that hurts him. He can throw deep balls, but you only get so many shots.

Penny is smart though, accurate, GREAT play fakes etc. and everything you want in a QB. Tavaras Jackson is pretty much the complete opposite. He has a better arm and can move around a little bit, but he is NOT smart ( at least yet), has thrown passes into the stands, thrown passes like hand grenades, and is not very good with his fakes.

Penny might not be burning other teams with deep balls when they stack the box, but his play action alone with Purple Jesus could burn opponents.

by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 9:55am

I also think too many people are sleeping on the Bears. Lovie Smith is the best coach in the division, and Grossman is much more likely to "break out" in my book than an inept Tavaras Jackson.

At least there is a "good rex, bad red", as opposed to a Bad Tavaras and a terrible Tavaras.

by JMM (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 10:13am

How did Favre spend his time during last night's game? On the sidelines with a headphone? In the coaches booth with a headphone? On the sidelines? Owner's box?

Did he make use of the time to start learning his stuff?

by Abysmal Horror (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 10:30am

Favre was on the sideline with one of those giant laminated playbook cards. Whether or not he was actually reading it, I surely couldn't say.

by Kevin from Philly (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 11:08am

Dumb question, but is Brett Favre going on the Madden cover in a Packers uniform or Jets? I don't know when the game comes out, but it seems like short notice to change the packaging.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 11:33am

The Bears just lost their first round pick, the guy they planned to start at tackle, to surgery for a herniated disk in his back. John St. Clair is now the starter at tackle, and he has a good chance to add Orton and Grossman to the list of qbs he has had killed while playing that position. For the life of me, I can't understand what occurs in the mind of Jerry Angelo.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 12:16pm


I thought I heard the company was making downloads available so buyers could access a new jacket for the package.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 12:22pm

103: "and Grossman is much more likely to “break out” in my book than an inept Tavaras Jackson."

BREAK OUT??!!! Grossman turns 28 years old in a week. I think we're quite familiar with his body of work, and what his cabilities are. So is the "best coach in the division," who doesn't seem completely sold on the proposition of starting GoodBadRex vs. Neckbeard.

Jackson is 4.5 years younger than Rex, bigger, stronger, faster, with a much better arm and a better QB rating last year to boot.

Plus, Grossman's QB instruction came from a top-flight D1 program, while Jackson was toiling away at Alabama Tech State University College. Ergo, Grossman already knows the game as well as he's going to. Jackson still has some theoretical intellectual upside.

I don't think Jackson will enter the HOF one day, and may not even finish the season due to injury or incompetence. But to prefer Grossman today over Jackson is sheer lunacy.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 12:25pm

@109: Correction: Jackson is not quite three years younger than Grossman. I regret the error.

by Jero D (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 12:59pm

#98-ish Amin: Each throw Brett makes is at least one new record.

#101-ish BBS: While I find myself wondering what Mike McCarthy might be talking about, public speaking is not his forte. Actually for the MM/TT/mm pack speaking in general is not on their list of strong attributes.

#105-ish: That was the first time in 16 years I've seen Favre look at a playbook. I was wondering the same thing.

by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 1:45pm

Will Allen- Is it JR's fault the mammoth tackle got hurt too? The line needed help and he brought in a lineman... go figure.

Grossman has at least had success in the NFL ( along with failure). He has been injured through his career and was very good in college. Grossman doesn't have a super cast around him, and plays in the cold and windy soldier field. I am not making excuses for the guy but he COULD improve.... I mean, look at Drew Brees and Eli Manning improving after people threw in the towel on them. Crazier things have happened than Rex Grossman throwing for 3400 yards, 26TDs and 15 INTS. I am not saying that Grossman WILL rebound, but I think he is more probable than that inept schlub in Minnesota that everyone wants replaced.

Tavaras Jackson on the other hand has pretty much had no success in the NFL. Vikings fans just want the guy to play Trent Dilfer and NOT lose the Vikings games.

Once again you overrate physical attributes as "potential". Trent Dilfer, Heath Shuler, David Carr and Ryan Leaf all had better physical skills entering the league than TJ, and how did they turn out? Tom Brady is A or 1A because of his smarts... something TJ truly lacks.

Tavaras Jackson didn't even play quarterback at a 1A school and couldn't even start over an NFL Wide Receiver in Matt Jones.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 2:03pm

If Grossman plays, and he likely will after Orton gets killed while St. Clair or Miller are playing tackle, he'll get bludgeoned to a pulp as well. The only thing Chicago qbs will be breaking this year are their bodies.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 2:31pm

109: I've wasted a lot of time in my life, but an extended argument over "Who Sucks More?" is one battle I shan't continue.

If three years from now Jackson is out of the league, I will hunt you down and apologize. But for now, on the subject of the dreaded "upside potential," Jackson has more than Rex Grossman.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 3:20pm

Chris, it likely doesn't matter what Grossman's abilities are, because he's likely gonna get clobbered. The Bears were greatly deficient at offensive line, and Angelo's solution was to insert a rookie with a history of back problems into a position with huge technical demands, where experience tends to be extremely important, in fact more important than at any other position except qb. That is nuts, and before the example of Ugoh is raised, reflect on the difference between inserting a rookie into a situation where he'll be in a offense filled with Pro Bowlers, and inserting a rookie into an offense filled with guys who have never been better than average, if even that good.

by Snack Flag (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 3:55pm

Is there any way to block someone so you don't have to read them? Chris sounds like a standard sports talk radio caller, complete with the lame nicknames and unnecessary vitriol.

I really don't understand throwing TJack under the bus already. I'm not a MN fan, so I've only seen him on national TV, but from what I've read/observed, he has quite a bit of development left in him. I'm amazed that people quickly dismiss him and at the same time have patience with Eli Manning. If you look at their profootball ref pages, TJack has similar, if not better stats at the same age if you include running. Yes, they're in different offenses, but Tarvaris Jackson also doesn't have Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. I implore you to watch highlights of Troy Williamson dropping perfect bombs from Jackson last year. There's plenty of evidence on youtube.

From what I've heard/read, the kid is smart, has an awesome work ethic, and has all of the tools to succeed. Obviously Childress believes in him; though it may be misguided, it's more than you can say about Alex Smith and Mike Nolan in SF, or whatever the hell is going on in Chicago. I don't see any reason why he can't continue to improve, as most qbs would with reps.

by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 4:42pm

I think its funny TJack gets RAKED, I DO MEAN RAKED across the coals everywhere. Vince Young does not. Funny.

Two reasons for that. One, obviously VY is famous and led a college team to a national title (and it really was in large part due to him) while Jackson doesn't have that background. The other is that TJack has one of the best offensive lines in the league along with a great running game, yet he still stinks. You can't blame that entirely on the receivers, most of the blame lies with TJack.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 4:54pm

Snack Flag: I'm willing to bear one and quite possibly two of your children.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 8:33pm

as someone who chose to undertake a new language on the wrong side of 30, i’d say calling it five times as hard is probably conservative.

This omits the fact that each additional language one learns is progressively easier. So if you did take the opportunity to learn a second language at 18, learning a third at 35 is easier than it would have been otherwise.

by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 08/09/2008 - 4:50am

At least there is a “good rex, bad red”

There is no Good Rex. It's been a full season since 2006, and by the end of 2006 everyone knew what was going on with Grossman. Grossman can beat bad pass defenses. He can't do anything against good ones.

It's even getting to the point where he can't do anything against bad ones, since every team pretty much knows how to beat him at this point.

Grossman didn't have a single good game last year. At all. His "best" performances were versus the Raiders, where he managed to put up a few yards when he wasn't fumbling the ball away, and versus the Giants where he managed to get sacked 6 times.

Make fun of Tarvaris Jackson all you want, but don't bother bringing Rex Grossman into the discussion. Rex Grossman's about as likely to "break out" in the NFL as I am.

by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Sat, 08/09/2008 - 11:11am

I know, "Preseason, blah, blah, blah."

Jackson looked very good last night against Seattle, with a 137 passer rating. The Vikings passed on their first 11 plays. Several bootlegs, play-actions, and rollouts, most of which were well-executed by Jackson.

His weird footwork/jump-passing tendency come in handy when he is rolling to his left. The delivery looked awkward, but he still delivered the ball with zing! and accuracy.

In fact, even if he is able to develop more, I predict plenty of interceptions on curl routes, as the high-velocity pass pops off the receiver's chest, into the waiting hands of an LB or safety who races downfield for an easy six.

After watching Jackson run well, and seeing what that part of the game did for Culpepper's passing a few years ago, I wonder if Childress is willing to make the "deal with the devil" by giving Jackson the green light to take off more often. It would likely mean short-term success on offense, and a career-threatening injury to Jackson somewhere down the road.

by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 08/09/2008 - 6:19pm

114. Just like Mike Vick and David Carr huh? After the fact of predicting their demise everybody always just says they always stunk anyway or blame their lines or receivers or whatever.

If Jackson is so good, why couldn't he start in the SEC? Why did he have to downgrade to turnpike tech?

Vince Young is 100 percent better than T-Jack. He is a better runner, thrower, won a Nat title, had a worse supporting cast etc. etc. etc.

by MossyCade (not verified) :: Sat, 08/09/2008 - 7:03pm


The logic you use when you argue causes me to ask this question:

Are you my old girlfriend from college?

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 08/11/2008 - 10:59am

"Pennington’s REAL weakness is that after two surgeries his arm gets tired after more than 30 throws. If you look at his splits, for his first 25 passes per game last year is rating was in the 90s, near the top of the league. But on attempts over 35 his rating was like 50."

Thats a very clear example of using stats to justify things that they don't mean.

The reason Penny's numbers go down after 35 passes is because every quarterback in the league goes down after 35 passes, because if you're throwing 40 passes in a game, you're usually down by 20 points.

by hurricane710 (not verified) :: Mon, 08/11/2008 - 1:53pm

There was some talk of how much the Jets will re-tool their offense for Favre this season. I don't see them doing this too much and not just because doing so requires all eleven guys to learn a new offense.

The Jets have to plan for the future, not just the next 1-2 years. Their acquisition of LG Faneca appears to indicate that they want to be a power running team - particularly behind C Mangold, LG Mangold and LT Ferguson. They should plan on developing their running game for the future. That's not to say that they shouldn't tweak parts of the scheme to suit Brett's strenghts (quick slants and 8-15 yard outs were mentioned). However, they should not sacrifice the long-term development of their running game for the sake of a few more wins this year and next.

Not only do the Jets not have time to re-tool the offense for Favre, they shouldn't given that he is just a stop-gap for 1-2 years.

by croxall (not verified) :: Mon, 08/11/2008 - 2:08pm

Re 96 and a couple of other posts.

The Vikings O-line is, in my opinion, significantly overrated. It is one of the best in the league at run blocking, and features one of the best o-linemen in the league in Hutchinson.

After that however, it's downhill. While perhaps the best run blocking LT in the league, McKinnie is patchy in pass pro - no denying his talent but he's never produced consistently in pass pro and there's no reason to think that's going to change.

Birk has fallen off badly from a couple of years ago and is now average at best, especially in pass pro.

Cook is very strong and a good run blocker but nothing short of a liability in pass pro. Herrera is likewise below average.

I find it hard to fathom that an O line where 2/5ths are below average and 1 player is no better than average is rated by some as one of the best units in the league.

The Packers on the other hand look to be altogether more solid across the board. Assuming Clifton and Tauscher can hold up another year.

by Jero D (not verified) :: Mon, 08/11/2008 - 3:40pm

Strange. In here in WI I am more up to speed with the Jets' training camp than with GB's. I think I know almost as many players on the Jets' offensive depth chart as I do the Packers. And their jerseys are green!!! I need a nap.

by pete (not verified) :: Tue, 08/12/2008 - 11:48am

Benjy is a bit misguided. jet fans were drooling over Vinny in the summer of '99 before the achilles injury ended the innocence of my childhood.

but i can't see how brett compares to Brees. yes fans are excited, but favre is in his 18th year, well past the point of prime.

by Led (not verified) :: Wed, 08/13/2008 - 2:52pm

The reason Penny’s numbers go down after 35 passes is because every quarterback in the league goes down after 35 passes, because if you’re throwing 40 passes in a game, you’re usually down by 20 points.

Wait a minute, this doesn't make sense. Isn't it easier for a quarterback to complete short passes and move the chains against a team with a big lead, playing conservatively to avoid the bid play? Why should QB rating do down in that situation? Being behind by a lot is not conducive to winning, but it is conducive to racking up impressive-looking passing stats.

by kleph (not verified) :: Wed, 08/13/2008 - 10:10pm

re: #119

i also omitted the fact that my dyslexia has greatly increased the difficulty of the feat as well (in fact, it's the reason i didn't learn my second language at 18 and picking up my third is a virtual impossibility).

but the thrust of the point wasn't language acquisition per se, but rather, mike's basic assertion concerning learning skills later in life which i think we all agree with in one degree or another.

can a 38-year-old get a competent grasp on something complex as an nfl offense? of course. nobody is saying otherwise. particularly since the player in question is such an established veteran.

can a 38-year-old get a complete grasp on something as complex as a new nfl offense in a period of less than a month while learning to deal with a completely new array of players while also getting his body up to speed to handle the pressures it will require? lets just say that seems a bit more challenging a request.