Vikings hoping Favre's experience pays off

Almost 87 percent of the Vikings' roster has never been to a conference title game, but Brett Favre brings the experience of having played in four of them. But that doesn't mean he won't be nervous.

Forty-six of the 53 players on the Vikings' roster will be making their first appearance in a conference title game Sunday when the Vikings play at New Orleans for the NFC Championship.

However, the newcomers will head to the Superdome with the confidence that their quarterback has plenty of experience in these games.

Brett Favre, 40, played in four NFC title games in his 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers and went 2-2, beating Carolina and San Francisco in the 1996 and 1997 seasons and losing to Dallas and the New York Giants after the 1995 and 2007 seasons.

Favre has passed for 1,057 yards and thrown eight touchdowns and five interceptions in the four games.

"I hope the little experience I have in these games — which is more than most — will help some," Favre said. "That's not to say I don't get nervous and stressed and all those things as well. I think, for me, as far as my leadership goes, of course practice and things like that, it's what you always do.

"But I try to keep not only myself but the other guys calm and relaxed. It's OK to be excited, but especially in an environment like we're going to face ... to be able to focus — and I've played them at home, and I've played them away — these games, they're tough anyway. But they're really tough on the road because of the noise."

Noise certainly will be a big factor at the Superdome, which will have upward of 70,000 people in it on Sunday. Favre will have to employ a silent count when he works out of shotgun. The anticipation of these circumstances could make a player anxious but Favre's experience should help any of his teammates who begin to feel nerves.

"You go back to the pressure thing," coach Brad Childress said. "That (pressure) that you feel and that you apply. ... (Favre's) able to calm things down, whether it's practice or whether it's any heightened anxiousness. He does a great job with it himself and it kind of spreads to others."


  • DE Ray Edwards did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of a knee sprain suffered last Sunday against Dallas. It's uncertain if he will be able to play Sunday at New Orleans.

  • DT Kevin Williams did not practice for a second day in a row Thursday because of a knee injury. If Williams can't play it would be a huge blow to one of the NFL's top-ranked run defenses.

  • WR Bernard Berrian (ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • LG Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • LB Ben Leber (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • CB Antoine Winfield (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • DT Jimmy Kennedy (thumb) was able to participate in all of practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • CB Benny Sapp (ankle) was able to participate in all of practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • NT Pat Williams (elbow) was able to participate in all of practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • WR Percy Harvin was added to the injury report because of another bout with migraine headaches. Harvin did not practice Thursday after being on the field the day before.

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