Days after the Jets' 1-4 finish left them out of the playoffs and helped trigger Eric Mangini's firing as coach, running back Thomas Jones blasted Favre's final-game performance and seemed to suggest the QB's play -- nine interceptions and only two touchdown passes in the final five games -- called for his benching.
"We're a team and we win together ... but at the same time, you can't turn the ball over and expect to win," Jones said in an interview Tuesday with New York Hot 97 FM. Favre threw three interceptions in the Jets' season-ending 24-17 loss to Miami that clinched the AFC East for the Dolphins.
"The other day, the three interceptions really hurt us. I mean, that's just reality," Jones told the radio station. "If I were to sit here and say, 'Oh, man, it's OK,' that's not reality. ... I don't like it, I know everybody else on the team doesn't like it.
"If somebody is not playing well, they need to come out of the game," Jones told Hot 97 FM. "You're jeopardizing the whole team because you're having a bad day. To me, that's not fair to everybody else. You're not the only one on the team. So when you get to the wire and somebody is just giving the game up, I mean, it's just not [fair]."
The Jets on Friday will conduct their first interviews with potential successors to Mangini, starting with internal candidates Brian Schottenheimer (offensive coordinator) and Bill Callahan (assistant head coach/offense), who once coached the Oakland Raiders.
The team also has an interview with New York Giants defensive coordinator
Steve Spagnuolo scheduled for Saturday.
Whether the next coach of the Jets wants Favre at quarterback will likely be a prominent issue in New York's search. Many believed the Jets were built to win now. They traded for Favre in August, poured $140 million into personnel moves last offseason, started 8-3 after knocking off New England and then-unbeaten Tennessee, then watched it all unravel.
A lot of the blame has landed at Favre's feet.
"In this league, when you're the head coach or the quarterback and things don't go well, you're going to get a lot of the blame," safety Kerry Rhodes said earlier this week, adding that if Favre chooses to commit to the Jets for his 19th NFL season, he's got to be all-in.
"If he's dedicated and he wants to come back and do this, and do it the right way ... and be here when we're here in training camp and the minicamps and working out with us ... then I'm fine with it," Rhodes said. "But don't come back if it's going to be half-hearted or he doesn't want to put the time in with us."
A veteran Jets player, quoted anonymously by Newsday, described Favre as a "distant" teammate who, when at the Jets' practice facility, spent his downtime away from teammates in an office specially designated for him.
"There was a lot of resentment in the room about him. He never socialized with us, never went to dinner with anyone," the player told Newsday.
Later on Thursday, the Newark Star-Ledger quoted an unnamed player as saying "it's the quarterback throwing the ball all over the place. And he didn't suffer any repercussions. He kept doing it. People said [coach] Eric [Mangini] called him out in meetings. I didn't see it. Eric treated him like he was Brett Favre. A lot of guys didn't like it."
Favre played hurt in the final weeks of the season, and he has been told by doctors that pain in his right shoulder is from a torn biceps tendon and some calcification in the area, sources told ESPN's Ed Werder. The sources said Favre would need nothing more than arthroscopic surgery to repair the injury, but that he might be able to avoid the procedure altogether even if he decides to play in 2009.
A source told Werder that Favre is expected to deliberate for several weeks, perhaps to allow New York time to hire Mangini's successor.