Sharper Searching For Favre's Other Record

Darren Sharper was right on the ball when asked about former teammate Brett Favre's quest for a record, pointing out how close Favre is to the interception record as well as the touchdown record. See what Sharper and young defenders like Brian Robison and Chad Greenway all had to say about facing the legendary quarterback and rival.

For the last several years, Brett Favre has continued climbing to the top of many of the NFL records lists. He surpassed John Elway to record the most wins by a quarterback. And, as we get closer to Sunday, the coverage of the Packers-Vikings game by most of the media will center on Favre needing one more touchdown toss to surpass Dan Marino's 420 touchdowns thrown – an NFL record as time-honored as the home run championship is in baseball.

So it seemed natural that former Favre teammate and one of the players responsible for trying to prevent Favre from notching his record-setting touchdown against them – safety Darren Sharper – would be asked the quasi-question/statement "He has a chance to make history this week."

Without a second's hesitation, Sharper shot back, "Yeah, he does. He's just three away. He has a great chance to make history."

No, Sharper's math wasn't off. While the national media will continue its long-term love affair with Favre and the montages of Favre through the years that we will be inundated with when he throws his next touchdown, Favre is also reaching the finish line of another record he began chasing in his first NFL game – the most interceptions by a quarterback in league history.

By the time he retired in 1975, ageless wonder George Blanda had thrown 277 picks. Veteran John Hadl decided to call it quits after the 1977 season with 268 – perhaps feeling that this was a record he didn't want to have put on him. For 32 years, that record has stood. But, as Sharper pointed out, that record too shall fall. Favre moved past Hadl late last year and currently sits with 275 interceptions. Two more and he ties. Three more and the record is his.

When asked a couple of follow-up questions, Sharper declined to respond when asked about the touchdown record. While some of the younger Vikings did talk about the chance of having the record fall against their team, it was hard to get them to stop gushing about their first career meeting Sunday.

"He's one of the great quarterbacks to ever play," rookie defensive end Brian Robison said. "There's a ‘Wow Factor' when you see him on tape. We have to make sure we can get after him or he can pick us apart."

Second-year linebacker Chad Greenway will be getting his first chance to play against Favre, who broke into the league when Greenway was eight years old. He, too, seemed a little awe-struck about playing opposite No. 4.

"He's a legend and I'm looking forward to playing against him," Greenway said. "He can do a lot of things to hurt you, so we have to try to get as much pressure on him as we can."

Even if the Vikings can rattle Favre, Robison may find himself in some trouble at home if he gets his hands on Favre.

"He's one of my father's favorite players in the NFL," Robison said. "I was talking to him the other day and he said, ‘If you get a sack, take it easy on the old man.' It's a thrill for me to be on the same field with him and hopefully I can get some autographed balls from him."

Favre isn't likely to be handing out autographed balls on Sunday. He's more worried about getting a win for his team and trying to forget about a Metrodome stadium that once haunted him.

"(The Metrodome has) been pretty damn tough against us, pardon my French. It's a tough place for us to play. It is bad memories for me," Favre said. "We've won some games there recently. We've had some chances to win other games, but it's been a difficult place to play. They've always played tough against us. They've played tough against me. I consider it one of the greatest challenges I face every year. The year we won the Super Bowl, we lost there. Even in good seasons, it has been a bad memory for us, so every time I go there, I can't say I'm overly excited about it, but I consider it a great challenge."

Sharper won't be looking for a Sharpie to hand Favre, either. He'll be looking for a record of a different kind – the guy who made the pick that put Favre atop another statistical category. He knows Favre will be gunning for him and his teammates in the secondary. In last week's win over San Diego, the Packers threw the ball on 70 percent of their plays. But his former teammate says he expects a worse onslaught – and he wants it that way.

"If they're throwing the ball at a 70 percent clip (last week), we can expect to see about 97.85 percent passes," Sharper said with a chuckle. "It's give and take. If you throw the ball 50 times against a team with a ball-hawking defense like we have, we will get more opportunities to make plays. We relish that challenge and, if that's the game plan, we're more than willing to face it."

And they hope put Favre in the record book for interceptions instead of touchdowns on Sunday.


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