GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre can sympathize with Tim Couch, who is wrestling with the Green Bay Packers' perplexing West Coast offense.
Couch was expected to be an upgrade over Doug Pederson as Favre's backup, but he completed just 2 of 11 passes for 18 yards in the Packers'
preseason-opening loss to Seattle on Monday night.
He'll get another shot Saturday night against the New Orleans Saints after Favre plays about a half.
Favre said he didn't expect Couch, a former No. 1 draft pick in Cleveland, to quickly digest the confounding play book.
"It doesn't really surprise me, but it wouldn't surprise me for anyone" to struggle, said Favre, who has a dozen years of experience running the
ever-evolving passing game that Mike Holmgren introduced from San Francisco in the early 1990s and which Mike Sherman has refined over the last four
"It's a very difficult offense to learn," Favre said. "And compared to five or 10 years ago, it's almost a totally different offense. Had I had to
come in and learn what we learn today, (I'd struggle). I struggled with it back then."
For instance, Favre said a play he learned in 1992 called "Red right, 22 Texas," has morphed into something called "Squeeze right, Empty east,
Z-right, scat, U-Texas fullback smash."
"I mean, we all get paid a lot of money to learn it, but that's a lot to digest," Favre said. "And that's just calling the play."
Executing it is another thing altogether.
"Now, you've got to figure out what's the best side to go to, what the defense is doing, where to send protection, where to throw hot (in case of a
blitz)," Favre said.
"I'm not defending Tim. But I understand," Favre said. "On the sidelines after he came out, he said, 'Man, there were several plays where I only knew
what one guy was doing.' ... That's understandable."
Couch wasn't released by Cleveland until after the Packers' offseason minicamps were over, so he's had only about three weeks to learn the new
Couch will follow Favre against the Saints, but Sherman also wants to get a peek at Scott McBrien, an undrafted free agent from Maryland.
With a rested throwing arm, Couch said he's eager to make a good second impression.
"The only good thing about (Monday night) is I can't go down from that performance," Couch said. "I can only get better. I'm looking forward to
getting back out, getting another opportunity and playing better this week."
Starting wideout Robert Ferguson, who pulled a hamstring when he hyperextended his left knee last week, isn't expected to play, but top draft pick
Ahmad Carroll might play. He practiced during Friday's walkthrough.
Carroll and Michael Hawthorn, a former Saints cornerback, are vying for the starting job vacated by Mike McKenzie, who is holding out. Cornerback Joey
Thomas, another draft pick, missed the Seattle game with a sore knee but will play Saturday.
Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks missed New Orleans' first exhibition game with a sore leg but will play the first half with the other starters, coach
Jim Haslett said.