While we are in between the NFL off season and the start of the preseason, football happenings are in short supply. Well, at least the on-field happenings are. With some added time to reflect, I’m reminded of the fortune that has befallen the Green Bay Packers. Which fortune, you ask? I’d argue that it’s the most important one for a football team to be successful: the quarterback position.
2013 marks nearly 21 years since Brett Favre made his first career start, the first of just over 250 consecutive starts for the Packers. Favre spent 16 seasons in Green Bay and played at a high level during each and every one. It’s fair to say, save for the 1999 and 2005 teams, those Packers teams were, at the very least, good.
Quarterbacks like Favre come along only once in a great while, if you look at the general averages among all 32 NFL teams and their histories. To have a signal caller of that caliber is something to cherish and I have made mention of that before.
Then came Aaron Rodgers. Expected to possibly go #1 overall in the 2005 draft, we all know the story. Rodgers fell to the Packers towards the end of the first round and spent his first three seasons behind Favre, learning the in’s and out’s of being an NFL quarterback. The way that Rodgers fell wasn’t something that the Packers or Ted Thompson planned on. No amount of convincing will change my mind on that thought. There was an element of luck associated with that day and it is now one that not many of the Packers faithful will forget.
When the team decided to move on from Favre in 2008, Rodgers stepped in and statistically, had a good season. The team went 6-10 that year and many of those losses were by fewer than five points and came down to the last few plays. In 2009, Rodgers led the team to a winning record and a playoff appearance. The Packers have been to the postseason every year since. What started out as a stroke of luck turned out to also be good.