So ex-Packers legend Brett Favre signed with the Minnesota Vikings ending his "retirement" to join the Packers most hated rivals (sorry Bears fans). This is the worst nightmare for any and all Packers fans right? Wrong, and i'm going to explain why it could be a positive thing for the Packers.
Brett Favre has every right to come out of "retirement" if he wants to. No other type of employment, except for sports, decides when you have to retire. He will be 40 this year and played at a high level until hurting his arm late last season. The Jets were 8-3 and had the look of a team that could make a run deep into the playoffs.
The Packers made a tough BUSINESS decision when it came to trading Favre to clear the way for Aaron Rodgers last off season, but it was the right one. Favre took it personal. He took it as a slap on the face from Ted Thompson, the Packers G.M./VP of Player Personnel. Favre has long had a rift with Thompson and after Thompson traded him to the Jets instead of Minnesota or Tampa Bay, it only made matters worse.
Rodgers on the other hand proved that he was more then capable of becoming a very good NFL signal caller. He had a better statistical year then Favre and has since became of the NFL's brightest young quarterbacks and the unquestioned leader of the Packers.
On name value alone the Vikings seem to be the NFC North's front runners but the Bears and especially the Packers will have a lot to say about that.
The Vikings will now have to deal with the media pressure that comes along with Favre. Will he retire after one year? By coming late is he able to not divide a locker room? Will the Vikings players welcome in with open arms? Can he save Brad Childress's job? Is his unretirement only for revenge against Thompson and the Packers?
While the Packers don't have to worry about it any longer. They will how ever be asked their thoughts on Favre coming back to Lambeau the week leading up to the Monday Night Football game the two teams play (on October 5th). They can expect to be bombarded with questions about Favre and the way he left the Packers and how it effected the team and it' s players last season. The media will look for a reaction or a quote especially from Rodgers, Donald Driver and Mike McCarthy. But the Packers no longer have the distraction called Brett Favre.
The Packers offense under Rodgers will be no different then in the past under Favre, other then less interceptions, throwing into double coverage or locking into one receiver and forcing the ball into him only to throw a pic. Rodgers takes what he is given and will use the "check down". The Packers believe the running game will be better as well because the Packers think they have a much better offensive line then in past years.
It will be interesting to see the Vikings offense under the direction of Favre. Will he change running plays at the line to take a chance to go deep? How will he use rookie Percy Harvin? Will Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, one of the best combo's in the NFL have as many carries? Can Favre play the whole year? He said he didn't think so, but then again Favre said it so take it for what it's worth.
The Packers new defense will be much improved and Favre has had trouble with blitzing defenses and the 3-4 in the past. Dom Capers will mix up the coverage's and the blitz packages and force Favre to make mistakes or take chances, something that will play into the Packers ball hawking secondary hands.
The Vikings have a great defensive line, as long as the Williams' boys are not suspended for the 4 games for using an illegal substance, which I think they will. The secondary is not that good and has a lot of question marks, other then Antwan Winfield. The linebackers have question marks as well. The Packers have seen their defensive scheme for the past four years, while the Vikings have yet to see the Packers play in the 3-4.
Many people think Favre is coming back to "stick it" to Ted Thompson and if that is the case then the Vikings are in trouble. The locker room will be fractured with him coming in. Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels have to be upset. They have spent all off season being told that they would be competing for the starting job and now they realize they have been lied to by Brad Childress. Rosenfels, who was traded for and told he could compete for that starting spot, didn't look bad in the pre season opener and has to be upset. "For me, personally, this wasn't what I was hoping for." Rosenfels said today when asked his thoughts on Favre coming to the Vikings.
The Packers don't have that problem in their locker room. They all know Rodgers is the starter and support him 120%. They trust the coaches and the staff. The same can not be said in Minnesota. If Childress and his staff lied to his quarterbacks, and team for that matter, about closing the door on Favre why would they be honest with any of the other players?
A mutual friend told me Jackson wants out, "He (Jackson) is not at all happy with what went on and, if he didn't already, has asked for a way out of Minnesota" he said. This is speculation on my part, but Ted Thompson liked him coming out of the draft and with the Packers back-up quarterback situation not exactly the best in the NFL, may have interest in him should he be released.
Also keep this in mind, Favre has a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder according to Ed Werder of ESPN and of course those "cracked ribs". That may play a roll down the road for Favre and the Vikings if he starts to have his late season struggles as he has had the past few years. Rodgers doesn't have those issues, infact he is injury free and got stronger this off season.
The NFC North is the "hot" quarterback division now with Rodgers, Favre, the Bears Jay Cutler and the Lions Matt Stafford. Did you know that Rodgers is now the longest tenured starting quarterback in the division with all 16 starts under his belt? It's true.
My personal feeling is Favre has let down nearly every Packers fan including me. He could do no wrong in most Packers fans eyes, but now he has committed the ultimate betrayal. While I understand his wanting to play, which I have no issue with, I can't understand the way he has handled himself the past three or four off seasons when it comes to his retirement.
I was a Packers fan before Favre and continued to be after him. My loyalty is to the "G" on the side of the helmet, not the name on the back of the jersey. Always has been, always will be. I don't wish Favre harm but like Nick Barnett said when told Favre will be a Viking "Would I like to hit him? Hell yeah, I'd like to hit him." Barnett said playfully, turning to the camera. "I want to get a nice little shot on you, Brett. I said it. Put it on the bulletin board."
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