Rosenfels No Longer Looking Over Shoulder

Sage Rosenfels was displaced by the return of Brett Favre in Minnesota, but now he's in a stable situation with the Giants.

If nothing else, Eli Manning isn't going to play around with Sage Rosenfels' head like Brett Favre did.

Not that the former Green Bay great ever meant any harm. But it is obvious to everybody that his yearly "will I or won't I" decision as to extending an already storied career can have an adverse effect on those trying to win a job. It did in with the Packers, and it certainly did with the Vikings.

So when the Vikings traded Rosenfels to the Giants along with returnman Darius Reynaud for two future draft picks, he was relieved to be heading into a stable situation. He may be a backup, but at least he'll know what to expect.

"I think you're just happy to know what the situation is going to be," Rosenfels said. "Everything was up in the air for almost the whole time I was there, and I'm excited to be here and know where I'm going to be. The best thing is that I got traded to a team that has great history. Great history in the past and great history recently, that's pretty exciting."

For a while back in Minnesota, it looked as though the 10th-year veteran would battle it out for the starting job with Tavaris Jackson. But when Favre came along, Rosenfels' $2.6 million was deemed too expensive, especially since the Vikings had another, cheaper, quarterback in Joe Webb they plan to develop. So out went Rosenfels and all his experience with the Redskins, Dolphins, and Texans.

Tom Coughlin seemed intent on tapping into that experience immediately. Though he has only held for two plays in his NFL career, once getting his wrist broken, there was Rosenfels practicing holds after practice with Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert.

"He's got to be ready," Coughlin said. "He's not the holder, but every one of these positions has to be backed up. He's the backup holder."

That should only be his biggest problem. He comes to a Giants team where he knows virtually nobody, save for Reynaud. He had only a passing acquaintance with Eli Manning, though he did get to know Manning's brother, Peyton, better during their twice-yearly divisional meetings in Rosenfels' three years with the Texans (2006-08).

And now, he has to learn enough of the playbook to be prepared to go in against Carolina in Sunday's opener if called upon, especially considering highly regarded backup prospect Rhett Bomar now resides on the Giants' practice squad.

For now, he'll be spending the better part of his waking hours studying the playbook. Or, more specifically, the gameplan.

"I'm going to do my best to know everything in the game plan," Rosenfels said. "The playbook is pretty massive that they gave me. It's fairly obvious that all those plays won't be in every week's game plan. What I'm going to try and do is to get down to those hundred plays or anything that is in the game plan so that coach can call whatever he needs to call, and trust that I know what I'm doing.

"To get to that point, I really have to put in a lot of time. It's great to be in New York City, but I won't be seeing New York City for a few more weeks."

Given Manning's general durability, it is unlikely Rosenfels will see any action soon. But at least he has a paycheck. Last year, Favre's first season with the Vikings, he wasn't even in the league.

Now, he's with an organization where, at least in the quarterback position, some stability exists.

"I feel like I can play," Rosenfels said. "I think I can play in this league, and perform at a high level if the team needs me.

"I also know that I can be an asset to Eli, who is a tremendous player. He is a very experienced player. For a young guy, he's pretty experienced. There are different times when your play has to be good, and there are times where you have to be a helpful teammate.

"Everyone has a different seat on the bus, and sometimes you sit in the front, other times you sit in the back. When you sit in the front, you do the best job that you can. When you sit in the back, you take that role with a lot of class. I'm going to do what's best for this team."

And he won't be looking over his shoulder for Favre while he's doing it.

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