'Frustrated' Favre seeks offensive gains for Packers Print
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Tuesday, 14 August 2007 12:31
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 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -Brett Favre still remembers what it was like to direct an unstoppable Green Bay Packers offense.
The Packers scored touchdowns on five straight possessions en route to a 35-13 rout of Seattle at Lambeau Field in the 2003 regular season.
``In that game and in games like that in the past, it's no different than any other team who's been together for a while; you go out and you can do things blindfolded,'' Favre said Tuesday.
The scenario was much different Saturday night, when all the veteran quarterback wanted to do was cover his eyes. The Packers' mostly inexperienced offense did nothing right at the start of a 13-9 preseason-opening victory over Pittsburgh.
``I was as frustrated when I came out as I think I've ever been in preseason,'' Favre said three days later.
Until top backup Aaron Rodgers came on to lead three straight scoring drives in the second and third quarters to overturn a 9-0 deficit, no one on the offensive side was smiling.
The Favre-led starting unit didn't pick up a first down in its four series and gained a total of 3 yards.
``We've got to get some rhythm going. We had nothing,'' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin lamented. ``We had no tempo. We had no rhythm. We had no production.''
Favre said he came into the game expecting the offense would be challenged by the Steelers' strong defense, which features a 3-4 front the Packers don't see often. Favre didn't envision a first dress rehearsal for the season in which a litany of mistakes kept the offense from moving the chains once.
``I wanted to continue to play (as) we would go three-and-out, we would go three-and-out,'' said Favre, who was 2-of-7 for 7 yards. ``You're trying to go out with some momentum, something to build off of, and at some point, you go, 'It's just not happening,' and you have to play the other guys.''
Philbin said the unpleasant film review of the early part of the game revealed six missed assignments.
A premature snap from center Scott Wells to an unsuspecting Favre resulted in a fumble recovered by the Packers.
On the final series for the No. 1 unit, left guard Daryn Colledge committed a holding penalty, and Favre badly overthrew Greg Jennings on a slant route.
Even normally sure-handed receiver Donald Driver had a drop.
``To give anybody an honest evaluation, that's hard to do because it was not a pretty performance,'' Philbin said. ``I think that was across the board. I don't know that anybody functioned real well out there in those 13 plays. It was evenly distributed, and it was every position.''
Former Packers coach Mike Holmgren and Seattle return to Lambeau Field on Saturday for a preseason game. Favre said trying to get better as an offense is at the top of the to-do list.
More than two weeks into training camp, a cohesiveness between Favre, at 37 the oldest quarterback in the league, and a predominantly young supporting cast has yet to materialize.
``We have to, unlike in years past (here) or some other teams in this league, we have to find and build chemistry every day and each week and find what plays work and fit the guys that we have running them,'' Favre said. ``It makes it more difficult.''
Favre kiddingly said Tuesday, ``I may play five more years.''
In reality, though, Favre acknowledged he is at a point in his 17-year pro career where he can't wait on the young receivers, running backs and tight ends to blossom in five years.
``I want to win now. I hope everyone else does, too,'' Favre said. ``Talent alone, I've said that so many times, does not get you championships. Chemistry does. It's hard for me to tell stories (about the successes of Green Bay teams) when these guys were in high school. We have to find it fast.''
The youth and accompanying inexperience coursing through the lineup have contributed to alignment and assignment breakdowns that are affecting Favre's decision making on throws.
``I'm having to maybe anticipate or be a little more apprehensive or reluctant or a little timid,'' he said. ``It's hard to anticipate a throw downfield when I'm a little unsure if he's going to break (the route) off where I think he is. It's hard to play that way. But that's the way it is.''
Driver, a ninth-year Packer with whom Favre says he has a trust factor, understands the frustration his quarterback felt Saturday.
``I think everyone has to realize that everyone is not a rookie anymore. Just because we're a young team, you have to be a veteran in this group,'' Driver said. ``Right now, if we don't improve as an offense, it's going to be a long ride for us. So, we want to make sure that it's not a long season for us.''

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