Mangini 'leaning' to keeping Favre out of preseason finale
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Grab a cap and a clipboard, Brett. It appears you'll be sitting this one out.
Jets coach Eric Mangini said Tuesday that he's leaning toward not playing quarterback Brett Favre in the team's preseason finale at Philadelphia.
"If I had to tilt one way or the other like an airplane, I'd tilt that way," Mangini said.
Favre repeatedly said he'd like to play Thursday night, but also wouldn't be too disappointed if Mangini decided otherwise.
"I would assume that he'll probably say no, and if that's the case, so be it," Favre said Monday. "I'll get some practice today and tomorrow. We'll be OK. I don't know if three or six plays, although I would like to do that, I don't know what you get out of that, really."
Favre spoke to Mangini on Monday, but the coach said they didn't talk about the quarterback's desire to play. Favre was given the day off from speaking to the media.
"We talked about a range of stuff," Mangini said. "He didn't come see me specifically for that reason."
Mangini said he hadn't finalized his decision, but when again asked to clarify if he's thinking of not having Favre play, the coach responded: "It would be safe to say that I'm leaning toward that."
Favre went 9-of-12 for 96 yards in the Jets' 10-7 win over the Giants last Saturday, and is 14-of-18 for 144 yards overall with a touchdown and no interceptions in two preseason games. If he does sit against Philadelphia, he'll go 14 days without playing in a game before the regular-season opener at Miami.
"The most important thing to me is us getting ready as a group and getting ready for Miami," Mangini said. "The more work he does with our guys in the group, the better."
Most coaches rest their starters in the final preseason game, using it to evaluate rookie free agents and others competing for a spot on the 53-man roster. Mangini has typically rested his starters in that game in his previous two preseasons with the Jets.
"It's the last preseason game and you want to go out and have a good showing, but you want to do that whether it's the first preseason game or the last," Clemens said. "Obviously, you want to leave a taste not only in the fans' mouths, but also for your teammates and coaches as well."
Clemens started eight games last season, taking the job from Pennington midway through the season, but he'll be relegated to backup status this year. That's a tough job to have, considering Favre has played in 253 consecutive regular-season games.
"If you look at it historically, his backups haven't gotten a lot of time," Clemens said. "It's a testament to how tough he is, both mentally and physically. If things go well, I'm not going to see the field too much more after Thursday night."
NotesThe Jets held their final practice at Hofstra University after 40 years on the Long Island campus. The team is moving to its new facility in Florham Park, N.J., next Tuesday. ... New York got down to the required 75-player roster limit by releasing veteran running back Musa Smith, offensive lineman Thaddeus Coleman, defensive back Ron Girault and running back Rodney Kinlaw.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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