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38-year-old Favre says arm is 'fatigued'

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Brett Favre dropped back, looked downfield and launched a long spiral about 5 yards past his intended receiver. A few plays later, the Jets quarterback short-hopped a toss that thumped into the grass.

"I felt 38 today," Favre said Wednesday after New York's morning practice. "I'm not going to lie to you."

Favre fired a few duds in his fifth practice since joining the Jets, saying his rocket right arm is a bit tired.

"My arm's kind of dragging a little bit today," Favre said. "It's not really sore, but just fatigued. To be honest with you, I'm surprised that, I don't want to say I feel good, that I've been able to make it through every practice so far."

Favre was acquired from the Green Bay Packers late last Wednesday night, and has been practicing with the Jets since Saturday. He's set to start Saturday's preseason game against the Washington Redskins.

"I didn't throw the ball that well this morning, underthrew some throws," Favre said. "No pain, but I'm 38 years old. It's going to be fatigued a little bit."

After saying he would talk to coach Eric Mangini about limiting his throws in the early evening practice, Favre took noticeably fewer snaps in 11-on-11 drills. He did open the late session by zipping his first throw into Chansi Stuckey's hands for a touchdown, his arm showing little sign of being tired.

While Brett Ratliff and Kellen Clemens took some of the snaps he normally would take, Favre watched intently from the sideline and occasionally chatted with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll.

Favre came up short working the 2-minute offense near the end of practice, throwing incomplete on fourth-and-3 to Stuckey on a pass that was defended well by Drew Coleman.

"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. I'm a little bit surprised that, up to this point, I've been doing OK."

Favre retired in March, but then decided he still wanted to play. After a messy divorce with Green Bay, the Packers traded him to New York, where he's going through his 18th training camp.

"I wondered this morning when I got up, 'What in the heck am I doing?"' Favre said. "The answer to that question is I love to play. I hate to study. At times, I hate to practice, but I love to play. I know I need to study and I know I need to practice and I know how important it is. That doesn't mean I have to like it. The question I have to ask myself is am I willing to do that? And the answer is yes."

Some have questioned Favre's desire to play in New York after he was linked mostly to Minnesota and Tampa Bay before the Jets made a late push for the three-time MVP.

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"People can say what they want," said Favre, who has played in a record 253 straight regular-season games. "Yeah, there were discussions about me going elsewhere before I came here and all that. I am happy to be here. I really am. It's a lot different from what I'm used to. Did I ever think it would end up this way? Umm, no. But it's not over yet and I'm excited."

Favre, who took his second penalty lap -- which was again cheered -- since joining the Jets, ended the morning session on a good note. Favre hit Brad Smith on a fourth-down play for 53 yards -- about 45 in the air -- down the right sideline for a touchdown.

"He still has it," tight end Bubba Franks said. "I think you can ask the receivers, he still has it."

Favre said the toughest parts of the adjustment are picking up the terminology used in a new offensive system and learning the tendencies of his new receivers. He asked to watch game films from last season to get better acquainted with the types of routes receivers such as Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery and Chris Baker run.

"They haven't thrown everything at me," Favre said, "but I could go into a game and I think I could manage a game OK."

Coles hasn't spoken to reporters since Favre was acquired and his good friend, Chad Pennington, was released to make room under the salary cap. Coles and Favre were seen on the field before practice having what appeared to be a friendly conversation

"I said, 'Look, I heard you're not talking to the media. I understand you don't want to say anything good about me. That's OK,'" Favre said with a chuckle. "He said, 'It's not that. It's not that.' I obviously was joking on that. I said, 'Look, I'm not here to take Chad's spot or replace him or whatever. It is what it is.'

"I said this the other day, I don't think I've ever beaten Chad. Those two guys had a great rapport together. I said, 'Look, I'm not trying to replace him. I'm here to help you guys win and I hope you respect me for that."'

He'll get his first chance Saturday against the Redskins, though Favre isn't sure how long he'll play.

"I did tell Eric on the phone the day before I came up, I said, 'Hey, I want to play as soon as possible,'" Favre said. "I would've played three plays the other night (at Cleveland), but that would've been ugly. I don't know. I think we'll just play it by ear."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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