Primarily, Favre looked "old and slow," according to a former NFL quarterback who now works as an analyst.
"I watched him a lot last year with the Jets and he's taken another step back from that," the analyst said. "… It's not about velocity. He throws the ball just fine. It's about how he moves around."
Favre completed 13 of 18 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in the preseason game won by the Vikings 17-10. The touchdown came on a screen pass just before the end of the first half. Running back Chester Taylor(notes) took the short toss and wove through the Houston defense for a 28-yard score.
The troubling part for Favre, aside from a crackback block that drew criticism and a 15-yard penalty, is that he was sacked twice in his 20 dropbacks. While the Vikings are expected to be a run-first team with Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor lining up at tailback, Favre's numbers would project to more than 50 sacks during a full season. Favre has never been sacked more than 40 times in a season as he enters his 19th year.
However, Favre was sacked 30 times last season with the New York Jets. That was the first time since the 2000 season he'd been sacked that much. Furthermore, he was sacked an average of only 20 times a season during his final three years with Green Bay.
At the end of last year, Favre complained of having an aching right arm. As a result, much of the focus this offseason was on how he would respond to surgery on a tendon in his arm and on a small tear in his rotator cuff.
Again, however, the analyst said that arm strength was not the problem.
"Even at the end of last season, he threw it fine. It was that the other team figured out that the Jets didn't have any speed and that everything was a three-yard pass. Eventually they smothered all that," the analyst said.
Also adding to the problem is that the Vikings had Favre throw only one pass that could be called a true "timing" pattern, where Favre was throwing to a spot rather than reacting to what the receiver did on the route.
One assistant coach from another NFL team said that could also be problematic.
"That's the kind of stuff we're all going to be looking for when you design ways to attack the Vikings," the assistant coach said. "When you don't show up for camp, all that timing stuff is going to be off and they're going to shy away from it in crucial situations. If you can come up with a scheme to take away the guys he wants to throw to and then blitz or come up with some twist, [Favre] is going to get hit.
"We all know he's a tough guy. But when you hit him, the passes get a little more erratic. That's when he gets to be a turnover machine."
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