I have to admit I don’t get it. I don’t understand why anyone cares. Start chanting with me: "It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!"
Seriously, who cares if Brett Favre plays in the last preseason game? It’s beyond irrelevant. Does anyone really think that a cup of coffee Thursday night is going to move Favre from the unprepared to the prepared category for the Miami opener?
Put yourself in Eric Mangini’s place if you’re making this call. Say you play Favre against the Eagles — how long would you leave him on the field? One series, maybe two? So we’re talking roughly 6-12 plays. Does anyone think that’s going to be the difference maker for an 18-year NFL veteran?
Now, I know what you might be thinking — he’s new to the offense, he needs as much on-field time with his wideouts to keep creating chemistry, he needs all the reps he can get to become even more familiar with the playbook.
In my opinion, all of that can be accomplished in practice. What the fans don’t see is the classroom work Favre is doing every day to learn the playbook, the reps he’s getting with the first-team offense on the practice field, maybe as many as 60-70 snaps in a given session.
That’s where the chemistry will develop, that’s where the work is getting done. Favre might total as many as 300 practice snaps, maybe even more, from the end of the Giants preseason game to the opener in Miami. What difference does anyone think 10 plays against the Eagles will actually make?
Also keep in mind that if you subscribe to the theory that Favre needs all the game action he can get before opening day and you want him to not only play against the Eagles but play a lot, there is a ripple effect to that decision that makes it even less sensible.
In order for Favre to make the night really worth the effort, all the other starters have to play as long as he does. Jerricho Cotchery would now have to play a big chunk of time. After all, what good would it do for Favre to spend the game throwing passes to receivers that will be cut the next day? Ditto for Chris Baker, Bubba Franks, Brad Smith, etc. Heck, Laveranues Coles won’t be playing in either case. You wouldn’t sit Coles and his bad ankle the whole preseason and play him in the last game one week before the start of the season.
And it goes without saying that as long as Favre is in the game, the starting offensive line would have to be on the field as well … the whole time. There’s no way you’d put the health of your star quarterback into the hands of reserve pass protectors. So now, for Favre to get anything out of the night, you’ve got all your starters playing at least half of a game that normally is a night off for just about all starters in the NFL, and this a week before the games that count get under way.
As one last aside, I know it’s a different set of circumstances — an entrenched player that knows his team’s system and doesn’t play quarterback — but keep this is mind as well, just as a frame of reference. LaDainian Tomlinson has played one snap of preseason football in nearly four years.
Tags: Brett Favre, LaDainian Tomlinson, Philadelphia Eagles
Posted in Bob Wischusen | 58 Comments »