Saturday, August 16, 2008

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. | Brett Favre‘s next big test before taking the field for his Jets debut will be finding his way to the correct locker room.

“I know where the visitors’ is,” New York’s new quarterback said. “I think from there, I can kind of backtrack.”

Then, Favre stopped himself and asked how many locker rooms there are at Giants Stadium. He was reminded that the defending Super Bowl champions also play there.

“I better follow someone,” Favre said with a big grin.

You’ll be fine, Brett. Just look for the guys in green and white.

Favre will make his highly anticipated Jets debut Saturday night when he starts against the Washington Redskins, a scenario that seemed so unlikely 10 days ago.

“This game will be fun,” Favre said. “As this thing gets rolling, the newness will wear off and it gets down to playing. And I’ll keep saying this: I’m here for one reason, and that’s to help this team win. No other reason.”

Favre retired in March and then decided he still wanted to play, leading to a bitter divorce with Green Bay. He was acquired from the Packers last week and has been practicing with the Jets (1-0) since last Saturday. Favre said his arm felt tired Wednesday and had his throws limited in his final two practices leading up to the game.

“My arm, for the most part, has felt great,” he said. “Legs, a little bit fatigued. You’ve got to figure I’m a little bit behind some of these guys.”

Coach Eric Mangini expected Favre to take eight to 12 snaps against the Redskins (2-0).

“You just can’t go in with a hard number because the game, especially in the preseason, flows so differently that you don’t know how long the defense is going be to out, how long the offense is going to be out, what the situation is going to be, how long they’re going to keep their group out,” Mangini said. “So it’s hard to say it’s going to be this number hard-and-fast and that’s what we are sticking to, but usually you’re trying to get 10 or 12 reps.”

No matter how long he plays, Favre’s presence will likely draw a sellout crowd to what would’ve been an otherwise ho-hum preseason game. More than 10,500 fans showed up to his first practice last Saturday and the crowds have been consistent. More than 7,000, with hundreds wearing green and white No. 4 jerseys, were in attendance for Thursday’s practice.

“You can’t shy away from that,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “There’s going to be a big crowd out there. The excitement that’s being created around Brett coming to us is giving us a lot of energy throughout camp. So it’ll be fun come Saturday.”

Favre has been cramming to learn as much of the playbook as he can since joining the Jets. He has looked mostly solid, with a few of the expected missteps here and there, while running the first-team offense.

Despite some fatigue, Favre has been showing off the rocket right arm that has made him one of the NFL‘s greatest passers.

“It’s incredible, just kind of surreal,” second-year wide receiver Chansi Stuckey said. “You see him in Green Bay and you’re like, ‘You never know. This guy could be throwing me passes some day.’ And now that he’s here, it’s weird. He’s throwing me passes now and I’m just trying to make sure I don’t make him mad and catch everything he throws my way.”

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