Opponent Opinions

The Dolphins' season opener against the Jets on Sunday will attract a lot of national attention, and a big reason clearly is the New York debut of quarterback Brett Favre. The future Hall of Fame spoke to the South Florida media via conference call on Wednesday and here's what he had to say.

On what rivalry in the NFC North he would compare to the Dolphins-Jets rivalry, and why: "I sort of got that question just now and my response was, ‘Every game I've ever played in has been a rivalry.' Of course playing the Bears, the Vikings and Lions, it just kind sort of comes and goes in spurts. It kind of just, it seems like the Vikings rivalry heated up a little bit as years progressed and we struggled to beat those guys over there. When I think of this rivalry here, I think of (Ken) O'Brien and (Dan) Marino going toe-to-toe all of the time and just putting up astronomical numbers. I'm excited to be a part of it to be totally honest with you. I hope it's as exciting as it has been in the past, just like the rivalries that I've been a part of in the NFC North. I don't know if I can compare it to anything; I'll have to play in this game first to give you that answer and maybe I still don't. Once again I'm just excited about the opportunity."

On what percent of the playbook he learned and whether it is overrated to "grasp" a system because once you play quarterback you can play quarterback: "Yes and no. What percentage? I don't know exactly because Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) hasn't sat down and said, ‘Here is the whole playbook; here is what you've digested up to this point.' I know we've scaled back some. Do I think it's overrated, the amount that goes into games and how much volume? Sure I do, and every coach will tell you that. But they have to put in a certain amount knowing you won't run 10, 15 different pass plays in a game, but if they ever have to pull from that 200 or 300 pass plays, they can do that. At least you've gotten a little work with those plays. The playbooks to me are very, very overrated, but do I think they're necessary? Yes and no, because once again you're only going to go to bat with certain plays and you only get to work on so many as well. I don't know what percentage. I feel comfortable with what we have in. Obviously our team feels comfortable with the plays that I've run. Will they all be perfect? I'd love to sit here and tell you yes, but I'd love to tell you that throughout my career, even with the plays that I've run hundreds of times, but that's never the case, and that's the beauty of football."

On his comfort level with his receivers, namely Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller: "It's a work in progress. I do feel comfortable with them. I like the working environment that we have, we've talked probably and gotten things accomplished more in the meeting rooms and just talking period than we probably have physically going out and doing something on the field. We have gotten work together, not as much with Laveranues because he's been injured, but it's a work in progress. Once again, you don't practice all of these plays and you definitely don't practice them with certain guys. You don't just want to kill guys and you just don't have the time, but I do like the environment that we've set forth here and once again it's a work in progress week in, week out."

On whether when he plays on Sunday being new to the team really will sink in then: "It will and it's like another chapter. I'm not naïve to think that it won't feel different, but you have to believe me that I am excited about this. I knew what I was getting into from the start and it was one of those when I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Are you ready for this?,' and I was. There's no guarantees what will happen for me and for this team, but I do like the team we have in place. I'm excited about the opportunity. I do feel like a Jet. The uniform feels right on me and when we line up to play Sunday it will be exciting for a lot of reasons. The obvious reason is there is a lot of newness and it is what it is, but I'm excited about it."

On his take on all of the storylines in the opening game: "It probably is carrying a little more attention than it would have gotten otherwise. Is that good or bad? I consider it good, because we as players, I would hope everyone of the guys in this locker room, or in that locker room, want attention good or bad. It gives you an opportunity to shine on a big stage which you get anyway, but this one kind of brings a little more attention to it. You do have to block it out. I've been fortunate throughout my career that I've been able to put that stuff aside. I don't know if it's amusing or what; it is what it is. There's a lot of reasons to want to watch this game. But once the first kickoff takes place it's all about football and that's going to be the case all year long."

On if he thinks of Joe Namath with the Rams or Johnny Unitas with the Chargers when thinking of his move from Green Bay to New York: "Not really, maybe more so Montana with Kansas City. I thought he had a pretty successful run there, but like I told the media just now, ‘If it works out, great. That's what I expect it to do. If it doesn't, so be it, but I won't know unless I try.' I know I still can play. The odds are against me if you want to say that; that's from the outside looking in, but I'm up for the challenge. You know what, five years from now, ten years from now, who really cares one way or the other? What matters is right now and I enjoy being with these guys. I enjoy being on this team and I hope the feeling is mutual and we'll see what happens."

On what concerns him most about the Miami defense: "They're physical, they're tough, they don't disguise a lot, but that's their plan. They just come right at you. If we don't match their physical style of playing we're going to be in trouble. It's all about just knocking you in the mouth. They're pretty stout up front and pretty savvy at linebacker and we have to be able to handle that."


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