*Callahan: Favre's Streak Now In Jeopardy*
*Jets OL Coach Eager To Break Favre's Streak Of Consecutive Starts*
By BILL LYDON New York Times
Nothing -- not age, injuries, ferocious linebackers, weather, or freak
accidents -- has been able to slow Brett Favre since he became a
starting NFL quarterback in 1992. For an NFL-record 275 consecutive
regular season and playoff games, Favre has been firmly planted as a
starting quarterback, rewriting the league record book along the way.
However, Brett Favre has never met Bill Callahan.
Callahan, the first-year offensive line coach for Favre's new team, the
New York Jets, looks forward to being the man who finally breaks Favre's
streak of consecutive starts.
"Anytime you can take a streak of historical significance and personally
be responsible for its conclusion, that's a tremendous credit to the
individual responsible for bringing the streak to its end," explained
Callahan. "By and large, I've done a tremendous job ending streaks, and
I know in my heart of hearts that I am more than capable of bringing
this one to an end as well."
In just four historic years as head coach at the University of Nebraska
, Callahan's propensity for ending streaks garnered him multiple entries
in the Cornhusker vaunted record books. For instance, Nebraska had not
suffered through a losing season in more than 40 consecutive years,
which was an ongoing NCAA record. That hallowed streak succumbed
immediately to Callahan's touch, as he led Nebraska to a losing record
in just his first year on the job.
"I made no secret about my ambition to flip that culture in Lincoln ,"
Callahan recalls proudly. "And it took me very little time to do just
that. To take a 10-win program and flip it to a 5-win program within one
year's time, I think it takes a certain level of competence to achieve
such a turnaround. Unfortunately, there were those involved in that
particular program who did not have the intellectual capacity to grasp
the difficulty of such a milestone."
Nebraska had appeared in an NCAA-record 35 consecutive bowl streaks
prior to Callahan's introduction to the program. He quickly erased that
streak as well.
"There is only one bowl in the NFL," Callahan said, "and I'm not sure if
you've heard of it. It's called the Super Bowl. And I've coached in it.
To be particularly candid and blunt, I have little interest in coaching
a football team in any bowl other than the Super Bowl, and I think my
performance has been consistent with that philosophy."
Other streaks, such as Nebraska 's 36-game win streak over Kansas , fell
quickly by the wayside under Callahan's watch.
"My biggest personal disappointment is that I was not able to end the
streak of sellouts at Memorial Stadium," lamented Callahan. "The streak
is clearly the byproduct of living in an isolated state where
intellectual stimulation is difficult to obtain. Ending that streak
would have been a tremendous accomplishment, a feather in my cap if you
will, in terms of changing the atmosphere of that state away from
childish football adulation and into a more sophisticated intellectual
Callahan envisions ending Favre's streak by the end of September.
Specifically, he has his eye on the Jets' game at San Diego on September
22, set for a Monday Night Football telecast, where Callahan hopes his
influence can be seen by a nationwide audience.
To that end, he is introducing his own unique version of a zone blocking
scheme that has, historically, had little to no effect on defensive
linemen or linebackers. In Callahan's opinion, pairing such schemes with
the aging legs of a 38-year-old quarterback make it a matter of when,
not if, Favre's streak of consecutive starts comes to an end.
"Your typical fan or reporter, lay people, tend to focus more on how
certain techniques and alignments appear on the football field to their
own naked, untrained eye," Callahan explained, "but they have little
appreciation or regard for how certain zone blocking philosophies appear
when diagrammed to perfection on paper.
"My blocking schemes, and my offensive schemes in general, are certainly
a thing of esoteric beauty. There are those of us who understand them,
and to us, they are a source of pleasure. There are those who focus on
overrated minutia such as sacks, yardage, touchdowns, and victories, and
I am frankly not concerned with their opinions."