Brett Favre is obviously a great topic for debate. Everyone has feelings on him one way or another, and it’s fascinating to hear what everyone has to say about it. The discussion quickly turns to Packers’ GM Ted Thompson and his role in the Favre fiasco.
I will agree with anyone that says that Thompson is partially to blame. He is indeed, and there’s no getting around that. However, many people think he is solely to blame, Favre’s camp included. For those that think Favre is blameless in the past few years, you are dead wrong. All you need to do is look at the facts of his career in Green Bay for the truth.
Favre supporters like to think he is the one that resurrected the Green Bay Packers as a franchise. That simply isn’t true. Don’t get me wrong, Favre was an amazing player, and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Blind loyalists to Favre give him too much credit for things he shouldn’t be getting credit for.
No one will ever forget when the Packers made it to Super Bowl 31. I was a senior in high school and it was one of the most special times in my life. Going into every game, you knew the Packers were going to win, there was little doubt about it, and to finally see the Packers crowned champions of the NFL is a memory I will take with me to my grave.
Supporters of Favre will say that he is the reason the Packers came back to prominence and without him, it never would have happened. While I will agree that he was a very important piece to the puzzle, don’t for one minute think he was the piece that brought it together.
At best, Favre barely makes the top five as most important people in bringing the Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay. Bob Harlan deserves the most credit for hiring Ron Wolf. Harlan knew he needed new life breathed into the organization. He found that breath with Wolf, who would come in second.
Wolf had the most involvement with everyone in restoring the glory to Titletown. He named Mike Holmgren as coach to replace Lindy Infante, traded a first round pick for Favre when he was rotting away on Atlanta’s bench, and signed Reggie White, the biggest free agency signing in the history of the league.
Holmgren gets credit for reigning Favre in, and harnessing him into an effective West Coast offense quarterback. While Favre still had the riverboat gambler quality that everyone fell in love with, Holmgren was able to use Favre’s arm and guts in an efficient manner that translated into unparalleled success in the 1990’s.
Once Favre lost Holmgren, he became a completely different quarterback, but I’ll get into that in part two.
Reggie White was literally a God-send for the Green Bay Packers. His arrival in Green Bay gave the Packers instant credibility as a viable threat to win a Super Bowl. Reggie White would become the leader of the defense while Favre would lead the offense.
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