As dust settles, Favre ramps up for more playing time

Brett Favre’s crash course in all things Viking ramps up this week, with coach Brad Childress saying Monday that he expects the 39-year-old quarterback to play the entire first half of Minnesota’s next exhibition game at Houston.

Favre signed last Tuesday, arriving with such fanfare that there was little time to fully prepare for his first appearance in purple, which came Friday night against Kansas City.

He played two series against the Chiefs, going 1-for-4 passing for 4 yards and no first downs.

The Vikings’ third preseason game is next Monday night, and typically it’s when coaches play their starters the most. Childress said it will be important for Favre to get plenty of snaps to try to build chemistry with his offensive teammates before the regular season opens at Cleveland on Sept. 13.

Even though Favre missed more than two weeks of training camp, Childress said there was still plenty of time for him to catch up with the offense and learn his teammates’ tendencies.

“He’s doing everything he needs to do to get up to speed,” Childress said.

After the game Friday night, Favre said he “didn’t miss a beat” calling the plays. He ran a nearly identical offense in Green Bay for 16 seasons and has said he knows the system so well that he could teach it.

He arrived in the Twin Cities to a circuslike atmosphere. A helicopter followed him from the airport to the team’s headquarters, where more than 100 fans and 50 members of the media were staking out the entrance.

Now that his first game with the Vikings is out of the way, the former Packers icon said he expects things to mellow out as the exhibition season progresses.

“Each day it has gotten a little bit smoother after all of the newness has worn off,” Favre said after the 17-13 win over the Chiefs. “It’s really (become) just about football.”

Chargers QB extends deal

Quarterback Philip Rivers has signed a six-year contract extension through 2015 with the San Diego Chargers.

Rivers is coming off his best pro season, when he set a team record for touchdown passes with a league-high 34. He also led the NFL with a quarterback rating of 105.5, another team record.

Rivers led San Diego to the AFC Championship Game in 2007, where the Chargers lost to New England. He played that game despite having a torn ACL in his right knee.

In 2004, with the Chargers coming off an NFL-worst 4-12 finish, Eli Manning’s family asked San Diego not to draft him with the No. 1 pick overall. General manager A.J. Smith did anyway, then sent him to the Giants for Rivers and a handful of picks.

Rivers became the starting quarterback in 2006. He’s led the team to the playoffs in each of the past three seasons and has a career record as a starter, including playoffs, of 36-18. The 27-year-old Rivers is 22-5 at home and also holds the Chargers’ record with a 92.9 career passer rating.

Cowboys punter: No worries

The punter who will be kicking more in the new Cowboys Stadium than anyone else isn’t bothered by the huge video display boards looming over the middle of the field.

“Our game plan is to kick to the sidelines. So for myself it’s not in my mind,” Cowboys punter Mat McBriar said Monday. “I know it’s there, obviously. But it’s not something that catches my eye as much as guys who are kicking straight down the field.”

The 60-yard-long high-definition screens, one facing each sideline, are only 90 feet above the field and can become easy targets. They are 5 feet higher than the NFL minimum.

Extra points

Cardinals second-round draft pick Cody Brown is out for the season with a dislocated left wrist. The linebacker from Connecticut, the 63rd overall pick, was injured in the Cardinals’ 17-6 preseason loss to the Chargers on Saturday night. … The Dolphins traded offensive linemen Andy Alleman and Ikechuku Ndukwe to the Chiefs on Monday for an undisclosed 2010 draft choice. Ndukwe started 15 games at right guard for Miami last season. Alleman played in 15 games and made four starts last season.