Category Archives: Brett Favre

20

June

Green Bay Packers: Good, Lucky or Both?

Favre and Rodgers

Favre and Rodgers stand to represent nearly 30 years of elite quarterback play in Green Bay

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.

18

June

Is Aaron Rodgers Getting Too Old For the Green Bay Packers?

Football is a young man’s sport and even more so with the Green Bay Packers.  Since the introduction of Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy as the Packers general manager and head coach respectively, the Packers has consistently fielded one of the youngest rosters in the league.  In particular, Ted Thompson’s acumen for finding talented college players coupled with his penchant for ignoring free agency usually means there are a lot of players with little or no previous experience in the NFL.  The Packers have also been ruthless with aging veterans, where seemingly no player is safe; Charles Woodson, Cullen Jenkins, Chad Clifton, Marco Rivera, Mike Wahle, Darren Sharper were big name players all dumped to the curbside in favor of younger, cheaper options.

There is one exception of course and that’s the quarterback; while Ted Thompson probably believes he can replace just about every player on his roster with someone younger who can be equally talented (and overall he’s been right), even Ted Thompson realizes that quarterbacks are a different breed and the best are diamonds in the rough.  Aaron Rodgers is one of those quarterbacks and Ted Thompson made is clear that he’s not going to be replaced anytime soon by making him the highest paid player in the history of the NFL.

However, while Rodgers is here to stay for the long haul, the same can’t be said for the rest of the roster.  And as Rodgers continues to get older while the rest of the team gets younger, it’s naturally going to cause some issues.  One famous example was with Brett Favre and Randy Moss.  As told by Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post, in 2007 both the Packers and Patriots were interested in trading for Randy Moss, who had languished for 2 years with the Oakland Raiders.  At the end of the day, New England made the better deal and Moss was a Patriot.  Brett Favre was “livid” not only because he had long admired Moss while he was a Vikings but also because the Packers philosophy of building for the future did not work for Favre; Brandt mentions he told Favre he felt Greg Jennings would be a star in a couple years (which ultimately turned out to be true), but Favre countered that he didn’t have a couple years to wait (which also turned out to be ultimately be true).  In the end, Favre knew he only had a couple good years of football left and felt like the Packers were shortchanging him when instead they should have been giving him more ammo for one last push for a Super Bowl.  Obviously in retrospect, Ted Thompson was right to build the future (Aaron Rodgers), but had Rodgers not panned out, Favre would have been correct where sacrificing some of the future for the present would have been the better option.

8

June

Packers Coach Mike McCarthy is Awesome

Packers coach Mike McCarthy is dedicated to his community work.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy is dedicated to his community work.

A lot of ink has been spilled and hot air bloviated this week about Brett Favre taking some of the blame for his split with the Packers and Greg Jennings possibly holding a grudge against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers after departing Green Bay for Minnesota.

Both of those topics merit further discussion. They also move the meter and bring out the passion — for better or worse — of Packers fans and media personalities.

Unfortunately, both of those stories broke around the same time Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote an excellent piece about Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his commitment to both his family and community outreach.

Push pause on all the thoughts that are running through your head about when Favre might finally have his number retired as a Packer, or whether Jennings will send Rodgers a Christmas card this year, and read Nickel’s story.

I get that we don’t truly know the coaches and players that we cheer for every Sunday, but I am pretty confident that McCarthy is a helluva guy and about as genuine as they come. I’m really proud that he’s the coach of the Packers.

I’ve always been impressed with McCarthy’s demeanor throughout the season. He’s never too high and never too low and always remains resolute while looking forward. You can tell he would rather talk about Justin Bieber’s fashion sense than answer questions about the Packers sometimes, but he’s always respectful and provides at least some level of insight.

It looks like many of those same characteristics carry through to McCarthy’s community work and family life. He may tick fans off by calling for a 50-yard bomb on 3rd and 1 or not running the ball as often as we’d like, but any coach will tick off fans with stuff like that on occasion.

I’ve already written too much about this topic. Stop reading this, and go read Nickel’s story. Keep up the good work, Mike.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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7

June

It’s Time To Bury The Brett Favre Hatchet Once And For All

If Aaron Rodgers can let what happened with Brett Favre go, so should the fans.

The schism that once existed between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers continues to shrink.

Perhaps it may have finally vanished.

In an interview with Joe Buscaglia of 550 WGR Radio in Buffalo, Favre made his strongest remarks to date that he is ready to return to the Packers family.  When asked if he had any regrets about how his departure from Green Bay went down, Favre replied with the following:

“It’s the way it is. It is what it is. It’s over and done with. I was at fault. I feel that both sides had a part in it. If you could go back would I or them have done things differently? I’m sure both sides would. But you can’t.”

This is one of, if not the very first times Favre has actually admitting to some kind of wrongdoing in his 2008 standoff and eventual separation with the Packers.  These perhaps are the words many fans have been waiting to hear out of the former quarterback before they would be willing to once again embrace Favre as one of their own.

He also said that he and current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers “have a good relationship.”  That’s quite a change from when the Packers were preparing for Super Bowl XLV and Rodgers said he didn’t have a relationship with Favre.  The joint presentation the two quarterbacks made at the NFL Honors show in February obviously got the ball rolling.

Favre also acknowledged that he has had discussions with Packers president Mark Murphy and also recognized that Murphy walked into a “hornet’s nest” when he took over as president and CEO for Bob Harlan. He also said he played for a lot of great coaches “that branched out” and mentioned Mike McCarthy as being among them.

Packers fans know Favre better than anyone.  The phrase “I am sorry” has never been in his repertoire. Most can probably count on one hand the amount of times Favre has admitted to fault on anything, whether on the football field or in life.  The Favre heard in the interview sounded like an older and wiser gunslinger. 

18

March

Packers President Mark Murphy on Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers were reunited at the NFL Awards show this winter.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel beat writer Tom Silverstein caught up with Packers president Mark Murphy on Monday at the NFL Owners meetings in Phoenix.

As a favor to bloggers and online media outlets, Murphy talked about two Packers that generate a ton of clicks and web traffic: Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

On the former, Murphy says progress has been made toward getting Favre’s jersey retired in Green Bay. On the latter, Murphy said cash will not be a problem in extending Aaron Rodgers’ contract.

On Favre:

“I don’t want to put a deadline on it, but it’s going to happen,” Murphy said. “It’s got to be sitting down, the organization, whether it’s myself or others, sitting down with him and working on the timing on it.”

On Rodgers:

“A priority as an organization…We all want to see it get done,” Murphy said. He did not know the progress of talks between Rodgers’ representatives and Packers negotiator Russ Ball.

Here’s hoping we see Favre’s number enshrined forever at Lambeau Field and Rodgers locked up to a long-term deal sooner rather than later.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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17

February

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

As I get older, I can’t tell if I’m getting soft, getting smarter, or both.

I was always one of those people who wasn’t bothered by the use of American Indian imagery and slang for team logos and nicknames. I went to school at St. Cloud State University (the Harvard of the Midwest), which was in a hockey conference with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

The Fighting Sioux nickname has been debated endlessly in North Dakota and Minnesota for years. Some say it’s offensive to American Indians and should be scrapped. Others say it’s honorable and should be kept.

In college, I proudly supported keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname. I was the guy at parties who had one too many Keystone Lights and got into fierce political debates. When someone said that the Fighting Sioux nickname should be changed, I would shout them down while cracking open another can of Keystone.

I’ve grown up a lot since then. Most importantly, I now drink good beer, not Keystone Light. Almost as importantly, I now hate American Indian team logos and nicknames.

The Fighting Sioux nickname is bad enough, but nothing gets me going more than the Washington Redskins.

I mean, seriously. The Redskins?! How is it ok to name your team after an obvious racial slur? The fact that our nation’s capital still refers to its professional football team as the Redskins in the year 2013 makes me embarrassed to be a football fan.

Nicknames like the Braves, Fighting Illini or Fighting Sioux are questionable enough, but at least they aren’t blatant racial slurs.

Of course the people in my life who knew me during my pro-offensive-Native American-nickname days are stunned by my change of heart. They ask me when I became so politically correct, why I turned into a weak-ass liberal, or why I care either way.

I tell them it’s got nothing to do with being PC, and it sure as hell has nothing to do with liberal or conservative politics.

10

February

Surviving Sunday: Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Should it matter that Aaron Rodgers probably didn’t check in with the Packers before doing his schtick with Brett Favre last weekend?

It shouldn’t.

I doubt Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy really cares about that kind of thing. And if for some reason they do, they shouldn’t.

If Rodgers wants to run off and do commercials, play in celebrity golf tournaments, host Saturday Night Live or share the stage with his predecessor, so be it. I don’t think public relations are at the top of McCarthy’s and Thompson’s list of offseason priorities. To those two, the only PR they need to worry about is winning in 2013.

Unless Favre goes completely crazy and tries another comeback, No. 4 has nothing to do with how the Packers will play next season.

I could see Mark Murphy maybe being a little irked. As the team president, part of his job is to try and manage the team’s image and handle situations like when to welcome Favre back into the Packers family. Perhaps Murphy had a plan on how to approach the issue, and Rodgers deviated from the plan without asking first.

Or maybe he didn’t. Who knows?

Either way, I’m glad it happened. I’m looking forward to the day when Packers fans can cheer Favre again and remember all the great things he did for this organization. After a few years of uncertainty, it looks like that day might actually happen sometime in the near future.

If it took the current Packers quarterback to deviate from the plan a bit to make it happen, so be it.

Packers News and Notes

  • Tyler Dunne at he Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel got in touch with Jermichael Finley to discuss the tight end’s future. Finley thinks is “50/50″ that he’ll remain with the Packers. Unless Ted Thompson can get a second-day draft pick for Finley, I think he stays. Finley is too much of an asset to just cut loose for nothing. Want to read more on Finley? Check out Zach Kruse’s excellent post at CheesheadTV.com.
  • Damn. The Packers schedule is tough next season. Non-division road opponents include the Giants, Cowboys, Bengals, Ravens and 49ers, all teams with a legit shot of making the postseason. Because it’s the offseson and I’m bored, here’s my early game-by-game prediction for 2013: Home wins: Bears, Vikings, Lions, Redskins, Steelers, Browns. Road wins: Lions, Giants, Bengals, Ravens. I guess I’m seeing 10-6 for the time being. Hopefully I find at least one more win in there somewhere over the next seven months.