Debut 4 Favre showed timing is needed

Brett Favre's stardom in the Vikings offense may take time … and timing. That didn't come naturally on Friday after only 2½ days of practice, but he is confident things will only get better.

After all the pomp and circumstance, Brett Favre's preseason debut with the Vikings will be remembered more for what he didn't do than what he did.

He didn't complete any passes for first downs. He didn't throw any touchdowns. He didn't throw any interceptions. And he didn't live up to the hype with only 2½ days to prepare.

"Of course all of the attention has been focused on this. The guys have been great," Favre said. "I talked to numerous guys on the sideline (Friday night), as well as during the week. They all said, ‘We just want you to come in and be the leader you have always been. Don't feel like you have to do everything.' And they are right. I'm trying to kind of purge myself of all of that, because with all of the attention it is kind of hard not to feel like you have to live up to all of this hype."

Favre said numerous times he's well aware that ultimately his decision to return to the NFL – and specifically the Vikings franchise he battled so hard during his 16 seasons in Green Bay – will be judged on the wins and loss. Those don't count in the preseason, especially those in which he played only two series.

Favre got hit more often than he was a hit.

In fact, he mentioned several times a big hit he took from Kansas City's Corey Mays. The linebacker came rushing in on a blitz that brought too many Chiefs for the Vikings' protectors to handle. Favre got rid of the ball, but a difference in the way the Packers handled that situation versus the way the Vikings coach their receivers caused an incompletion. Basically, rookie receiver Percy Harvin zigged and Favre was expecting him to zag. And Harvin was right.

"That was an empty blitz, which was a little surprising. But it was a double motion, which is a pretty good call against that and I thought Percy would go inside the safety and he actually kind of stuck the guy and went over the top, which is what he had been coached to do. I didn't know that. So that is where I need to catch up," Favre said.

Favre said he didn't miss a beat calling the plays in the huddle and that terminology wasn't an issue.

Head coach Brad Childress said Favre already has nearly all the offense at his disposal.

"I would say he's grasping most all of it," Childress said. "There's not anything we're going to say to him that he is really going to be confused about. It's just a matter of taking some of those turns, learning protection calls, and learning receivers a little bit differently."

Two issues held Favre back in his debut. One shouldn't be an issue anymore. The other could take a couple weeks to cure.

The first was nerves. Both Childress and Favre said he was nervous before the game, but Favre couldn't really explain why.

"Sitting in the same old meeting at the hotel and sitting in the room and all of a sudden I started having some butterflies. I was like, ‘I haven't felt this in a long time,' which was probably the oddest thing (Friday)," Favre said. "I was talking to my oldest daughter and she was telling me ‘good luck' and all of that stuff. And I was like, ‘I'm nervous.' She said, ‘Oh, you will be fine.' I said, ‘I just don't want to screw up.' I didn't expect much today after only 2½ days. I just didn't want to fumble a snap. I wanted to make sure I got the handoffs and if I completed passes, great. But I was nervous about that."

The second issue is the timing with his receivers. While Favre began the process of getting used to Harvin this week, Bernard Berrian didn't practice at all because of a hamstring injury. He has started jogging, according to what he wrote on his Twitter account, and Childress said he expects the have Berrian back for the third preseason game against Houston.

But timing with the receivers doesn't always come easy or quickly.

"I think that will be an adjustment all year. It really will be. But I think anytime you have a guy like Percy, as he is adjusting to the pro game and kind of finding his place, I am doing the same thing with him and other guys," Favre said.

The expectations weren't very high among the staff. Favre said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who also coached Favre in Green Bay, said he considered the initial outing a victory for the 39-year-old quarterback. No fumbled snaps. No collisions with the running backs during a handoff, which happened in Favre's first practice. And no interceptions.

Still, the number four was too prevalent his final stats. He connected on only one of four passes for only four yards.

But Favre isn't doubting his decision to sign with the team.

"Throughout this process I wanted to make the right decision for me and my family," he said. "Believe me, they wanted me to play. Throughout this whole process there was never a point that I didn't want to play."

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