<
>

Favre appears ready to answer starting bell on Monday

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre fired tight spirals in
practice Friday and even joked around by playing a little defense
against wide receiver Donald Driver.

The play of the 37-year-old quarterback, listed as questionable
with groin and a nerve injury in his right elbow, comforted the
coaching staff.

"That guy's a gamer," offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski
said. "I've seen that guy with a torn knee and all that and still
make the plays. I never doubt he'll be there."

Favre had an extra day of rest on Thursday because the Packers
play at Seattle on Monday night. Favre, who has started 251
consecutive games, was tackled hard by linebacker Tedy Bruschi late
in the second quarter of the Packers' 35-0 loss to the Patriots
last Sunday and did not return to the game.

The 16-year veteran admitted Wednesday he was still struggling
with feeling his grip on the ball. Favre said two fingers were
stuck shut after the injury, and he couldn't quite feel the ball
the way he wants to, so he was struggling to make it do what he
wanted it to do in the air.

But he seemed better Friday.

"He said he was feeling pretty good," Jagodzinski said. "I
don't think it'll be any factor with that at all. He ended up
taking a pretty good shot [on Sunday], but he's a tough guy."

Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements said Favre's mechanics didn't
appear to change due to the injury, and Jagodzinski said Favre took
all of the first-team snaps in practice, which he said was one of
the best of the season for the Packers.

"Favre looked pretty sharp today, threw the ball well,"
Jagodzinski said. "It was real encouraging."

It's a good thing, too.

Backup Aaron Rodgers is out for the season. He broke his left
foot at some point in the third quarter against New England
replacing Favre and played with the injury the rest of the game.

The Packers signed Todd Bouman on Tuesday and only have rookie
Ingle Martin as Favre's backups in Seattle.

Jagodzinski said he doesn't know who will be the No. 2
quarterback yet.

Martin has had more time with the team, but Bouman knows coach
Mike McCarthy's system from their time together in New Orleans,
where McCarthy was the offensive coordinator from 2000-04.

"That has really helped him, as far as picking up the
terminology," Jagodzinski said. "He understands what we're
doing."

Starting running back Ahman Green said Favre looked like his
usual self.

"He looked fine," Green said. "Myself and the guys up front
have got to do our job to protect him and give him time in the
pocket. That's it."

Favre is no stranger to injuries. The three-time MVP had a large
bruise on his hamstring in 2004, a broken thumb in 2003 and an
injured knee ligament in 2002 among a bevy of concussions, sprains
and scrapes.

Favre has started 231 straight regular-season games -- an NFL
record for quarterbacks -- and 20 straight playoff games. Favre said
the streak ranks first on his list of achievements regardless of
whether he ends up passing Dan Marino (420) for the most touchdown
passes in NFL history. Favre has 409 TD tosses.

And the coaching staff believes he'll have a chance to add to
that total Monday.

"He's always been there," Jagodzinski said. "He's always
answered the bell."