American Football: Mid Term Report: 'Greatest pressure is pressure we put on ourselves'

Brett Favre, the Green Bay, quarterback, on why he expects to win the Super Bowl this season
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The Independent Online
Pressure. That's what people talk about any time your team has one of the best records in the NFL, when the media start calling you Super Bowl contenders and when your team has waited a long time for success.

But the greatest pressure that the Green Bay Packers face is the pressure we put on ourselves. Our main goal is to win the Super Bowl, anything short of that would be disappointing to us all.

It doesn't really matter what is said in the media. It's only a distraction if we let it become one. As for me, I don't feel any added pressure as the quarterback. I have always set high standards for myself. I want to be in the position I am in - the leader.

I don't feel under any pressure to emulate the Packers' Super Bowl teams of the Sixties. That was a long time ago - before some of our guys were born. We have plenty of other things to motivate us, the past is not one of them.

On a personal level, people think that playing in a place like New York or Chicago would be pressurised. I think Green Bay is a pretty tough place to live from a visibility standpoint. I can't go anywhere without being noticed. I know it would not be like that in a bigger city.

That's one of the reasons I just love to play. The game is the only place where you can go out and be yourself. You don't have to worry about anything else. You can get away from everything. When I throw a touchdown pass - whether it's in pre-season, regular season, or when I was in the fifth grade - I still get the exact same feeling. I still get excited. When I throw a touchdown pass I feel like a kid.

I have been able to throw so many touchdown passes this season simply because we are more of a passing team than a running team. When we're inside the red zone, the area within 20 yards of the goal-line, we take shots at the end zone. We prefer to do that than running the ball in.

Our success offensively in the past couple of years is a combination of the players and the West Coast offense we run. First of all, you have to have great players who can execute the system, and if you have that you can pretty much do what you want. Steve Young is the master of the offense and I've watched lots of films on him and Joe Montana. Maybe someday someone will watch a film of me. It's not an easy offense to run but with the right players you can run it to perfection.

Being as aggressive and competitive as I am, sometimes you can try to do too much. In the long run that may help you out, but there have been times where I've thrown an interception and the coach has told me I should have thrown the ball away or taken a sack.

It's all part of the learning process of a quarterback, which takes several years. With what the young guys, Bledsoe, Mirer, Dilfer, Blake and Shuler are going through, it never gets easy. You become a little more patient with older age. The defenses become faster and smarter so you have to stay up on that. I'm not at the top of my game right now, I still need to get better with experience.

I think the Packers now are the best they've been since I've been with the team. We're playing well enough to be a considered Super Bowl contender But talking isn't going to get it done, we have to go out and play. Some of the greatest strengths are ones that can't be seen by the fans. We get along with each other from the field. There aren't any divisions within our team. Sure, some guys spend more time together than others but when it comes down to it, we're all pretty good friends.

Everyone in this town loves their football. The support we get from the community is a real advantage. The fans have a lot to do with why teams don't want to play up here in December and January. We play tough at home. That's why it's very important for us to get home field advantage in the play-offs. It was one of the goals we set for ourselves when the season started. But our main goal right now is to win the NFC Central Division.

Growing up in Mississippi, about 50 miles from New Orleans, I was always a big Saints fan. When I played in the backyard I would try to be Archie Manning, the Saints quarterback. So to play in my first Super Bowl this year in New Orleans would mean so much to me. If I could win a Super Bowl anywhere besides Lambeau Field, it would be there. My whole family is still down there so they wouldn't have to make a long trip. I'm just not sure there would be enough tickets to satisfy everyone.