Run first, then pass

Success running the ball more important than Favre's mobility

The word in Titletown is that Packers head coach Mike McCarthy wants to get Brett Favre on the move and operating outside the pocket, where he thrived earlier in his career. The hope is that Favre will be able to complete more passes without getting clobbered in the pocket.

While Favre thrived in that capacity earlier in his career with the Packers, don't expect that to happen again. Favre, 37, obviously is much older and just because he underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery in February doesn't mean that he suddenly will have the speed and quickness of a quarterback in his early 20s.

Green Bay's best bet with Favre is to take the ball out of his hands. Crucial to the success of the Packers' offense will be the ability of Vernand Morency and Brandon Jackson to run the football. If those two can succeed behind a line that should be able to create better holes, Favre will have more time to drop back, pass and hit receivers on a regular basis. Even in the red zone!

To think that Favre will suddenly be as mobile as he once was is unrealistic. But to think that the Packers' rushing attack will improve over last season is a reality that Packers fans should expect.

If the Packers can run the ball successfully early on in games, Favre will prosper. And he won't have to heave 35 to 45 passes each game to succeed.

If Favre is more mobile due to his overdue ankle surgery, all the better. But don't count on the quarterback rolling out of the pocket on every pass attempt in order to beat defenses. That's not going to happen. The onus is on the running backs and line to make life a little easier for the future Hall of Famer, who needs seven touchdown passes to eclipse Dan Marino's 420, and two wins to surpass John Elway's 148.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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