Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Redskins' Cornerbacks Gear Up For Favre


John Facenda, the famous Philadelphia broadcaster, once issued one of the great tautological statements in the history of TV sports journalism when he called Lambeau Field a "frozen tundra." That, of course, is repetitive.

It won't be that cold when the Redskins travel to Green Bay on Sunday for a Week 5 kickoff at 1 p.m. ET.

And the Redskins are hoping to come away from the game with a warm and fuzzy feeling--even though their last two trips to Green Bay resulted in disasters.

In 2001, the Packers won 37-0 and the next year it was Green Bay again by a 30-9 count. That's 67-9, Green Bay.

Of course, the secondary that Brett Favre will be facing on Sunday is playing at a high level, which wasn't the case in the last two Redskins trips to Wisconsin.

What's more, two of the cornerbacks against whom Favre will be competing--Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot--have had some success against him.

In 2004, the Packers won on Week 8 at FedExField 28-14. That was an outstanding season for Springs, who should have made the Pro Bowl, and he picked off Favre twice.

Springs also intercepted Favre twice in a 1999 game when he was with the Seattle Seahawks.

Springs said this week that he relishes the opportunity to play against Favre because the future Hall of Famer "makes the game fun."

So far in 2007, Springs has been relatively quiet. That's not a bad thing if you're a cornerback, given that it suggests offenses are staying away from you.

But any cornerback--particularly a celebrated veteran like Springs--understands that's a situation that will last only so long. As Springs knows, Donald Driver (31 catches, 374 yards, 2 TDs) has been Favre's principal focus.

Meantime, all the way back in 2001, the rookie Smoot was playing in just his second NFL game. He, too, intercepted Favre, his fellow Mississippian.

Smoot has intercepted Favre three times in his career, including once last season as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. In Week 16, Smoot picked off Favre and raced 47 yards for his first NFL touchdown.

"He's an arm-slinger," Smoot said this week. "The ball just comes [fast]. I don't think anyone throws the ball like he does, even at 37 years old."

Favre celebrated his 38th birthday on Wednesday, Fred.

"Well, happy birthday, Brett!" Smoot replied, laughing.

Added Smoot: "Me and Brett--we've had our run-ins. For us, we're just trying to go into Lambeau and come out with some turnovers.

It will be Carlos Rogers' first game against Favre. He is coming off a series of strong games. Last Sunday, Rogers returned an interception for his first NFL touchdown in the win over Detroit.

"The challenge is bigger this week," Rogers said. "Brett is a handful. We have to look at as, it's all about us. We know what we have to do. We know our game plan. We just have to stay with it."

The Packers have a pair of top cornerbacks themselves, in Charles Woodson and Al Harris.

Jason Campbell may be coming off his best NFL game, but at the same time the Packers have the longest current streak in the league with interceptions in 11 games in a row.

In his team's 4-1 start, Favre, who turned 38 this week, has completed 67 percent of his passes (141-of-210) for 1,527 yards and nine TDs. But he's also been intercepted four times and is known for his speculative attempts to complete passes.

Favre has played in 244 straight games, 264 straight if you factor in the postseason. Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs says that's the thing that stands out most concerning Favre's 17-year NFL career.

Said Gibbs: "This guy's extremely tough, mentally and physically. The most impressive thing is his toughness. He loves to play, and I see no drop-off whatsoever. That's phenomenal for a guy who's been around that long."

Just minutes after their 34-3 rout of the Lions last Sunday, the Redskins began thinking about Favre.

It's the first of three consecutive games against former Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks. Kurt Warner is next week, Tom Brady is two weeks off.

For now Springs, Smoot, Rogers and the Redskins' secondary faces its stiffest assignment in Favre.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.