Behind Enemy Lines: Brett Favre

Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre met with the Washington media, four days before making his first-ever start at Washington.

Q: Was there ever a point in time where you thought you might not play because of an injury?

A: Numerous times. There was one in particular where it was the day of the game. That was Chicago, years ago with an ankle injury. When I tore a ligament in my knee against Washington with LaVar, fortunately I had a bye the following week and was able to get that extra week. And last year breaking my thumb I had a bye the following week. I don't know if that made much of a difference. That happened on the third play of the game, I broke it and played th rest of the game. That led me to believe I could play two weeks later.

Q: Does your hand injury cause more concern than previous injuries?

A: Probably. The timeline with a broken thumb, which I wasn't privvy to because I'd never broken a bone in my body before, is that it's a long recovery. The only problem with it being it's a right thumb for a right-handed quarterback. I would never have thought I could play with a broken thumb. To play with a splint, maybe I could paly with it but how effective could I be? And to grip a ball? It affects the grip totally. But who knows? Sunday it might feel fine. This is more of an immediate impact injury and not long term. Today it's extremely sore, the whole hand is really. If you look at the back of your hand and point to the middle of the back of your hand, everything around that area is completely sore. If I had to throw today I'd say I couldn't do it. Fortunately I don't have to find that out. But I'm concerned about it.

Q: Is there any way you won't play?

A: I would say right now I expect to play. I'm sure if you ask my teammates and coaches everyone expects me to play. My concern is not playing just to play. I want to play my style of game and not worry about the injury. No one is concerned if I will play. I'm the one who has to deal with it and only I know if I'm able to play at the level I'm used to. I expect to, but don't know if it will change considerably in the next few days.

Q: You played a great game after your dad passed last year and now you've had monster back-to-back games with your family situations. Does that say something about you and how you handle adversity?

A: I don't know. Put it this way: As I told everyone after the Oakland game, I would much rather have the alternative. I would love to play and the only adversity I face is the opposing defense. Was I beating my chest after the Oakland game? Absolutely not. Was I pleased with our performance? Yeah. But as my wife and I got on the plane after the game to hurry back to Mississippi, my thoughts weren't on football. But I was glad I could at least go home with a positive feeling and not make things worse. To me that was pressure. If you're going to play in those circumstances, you don't want to lay an egg. If there was any time you potentially could, that would be the time. The adversity that I and my family has faced, not only last year but this year, has easily surpassed the adversity that a person would face on a football field. It brings things into perspective and prioritizes life in general. Sometimes you get caught up in what you think is the most important and what surroundings you think is most important. This will go on forever. It takes a tragic or personal setback to put things in perspective. For me it's a safe haven on the field. Even in normal circumstances, that's when you can let it loose and let your emotions go. I love to play the game and play it a certain way. I don't have to be someone else, I can just be me. I still have to deal with those things afterward, but it's a place to vent a little bit.

Q: Is it harder for you now because it's your wife?

A: My wife and I have talked about that. I don't know if it's any easier or tougher. It's vague adversity because you don't know what's going to happen. You only go by the percentages and what has happened in other people's lives who have faced this. It's not me. It's my wife and that involves our whole family. There's a lot of uncertainty there and it's scary. It's something I can't control. We have to work through it. Fortunately my wife is tougher and stronger than I am. She's put up with a lot. If anyone can get through it she can.

Q: Could this put you closer to retirement?

A: My main concern is my wife and my family. Football is secondary. I'll continue to do what I do to the best of my ability. But she comes first and the kids come first. What I have to do is to let her know that. We've talked about everything in the last couple weeks. She's been steadfast and says that if there's anything you can do for me it's to play and play well. That's the way she is. And I'm gonna do that. What happens after this year, I have no idea and I haven't put much thought into it. I've been trying to balance football with my wife and our two girls and it's difficult. But we've been able to do it so far and I don't see any reason why we can't in the future.

Q: What do you make of the Packers' season so far?

A: To be honest, I'm shocked, or surprised by the fluctuation in our season at this point. I'm pleased the way we've played the last two weeks. But there's really no reason why we should have played the way we did in those four games.

Q: Have you seen enough of the Redskins' defense to determine if there are similarities between what they do and what Greg Blache did the last few years in Chicago?

A: I will say this: They're damn good. And their scheme makes them even better and they're talented. They give you multiple looks, coverages, fronts, blitzes, pressure defense. Talent-wise, they're better than what Greg had to work with in Chicago. There are some similarities in what they do. They're a pressure defense. It could be the linebackers, the defensive backs or a combination of both. Where they come from, there's no rhyme or reason. The down and distance doesn't tip you off because it's on every down and on every distance. You have to be sharp in what you do. We've seen defenses similar to the style of deense they do. The Giants did a lot of stuff like that and we didn't handle it well.


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