Brett Favre: Quit Playing Games With My Heart
Enough is enough.
As a die-hard Packers fan, raised in the state of Wisconsin for seven years of my life and half the obsession with the team being directly linked to my love for Favre, I have to say I'm sick of this roller coaster ride he keeps playing with me and the rest of the Packers fans.
I wish it could have been different. I wish it could have been Favre throwing that winning touchdown in the Super Bowl with 35 seconds left in the game, upsetting the heavily favored New England Patriots and putting his and the team's stamp in NFL history books, as well as a stamp in the Patriots' history books.
There wasn't a better feeling than watching Favre throw that overtime winner on Monday Night Football against the Broncos just to follow that up the next week against the Chiefs, giving the Packers the lead late in the game twice to eventually win that game, too. And then the Seattle playoff game where six consecutive TD drives made not reaching the Super Bowl and winning simply unimaginable.
Even early in the Giants playoff game, throwing what I assumed to be a back breaker to Donald Driver which he took 90 yards to the house, had me all smiles. But then, that INT at the end of the game, that just hurt ... bad.
How could you end the season like that on such a poor throw, such a poor decision? And if that's not enough, the man retires after having, statistically, one of the best seasons of his Hall-of-Fame career.
And if THAT'S not enough, less than a month before training camp, he's pulling this crap about unretirement, about asking for his release from the Green Bay Packers. The PR hit both he and the organization will receive is going to be ridiculous. The man is stubborn.
Anywho, I'm completely convinced that Aaron Rodgers will not just adequately replace Brett Favre as the starter. He will take the team FARTHER than Brett did. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, it won't be do or die. The team won't ride on his arm. The team will win or lose as a whole.
You might not get the the overtime thriller on MNF from Rodgers, but you won't get the overtime heart-breaker in the NFC Championship at Lambeau, either.
Rodgers has been schooled for three years, fresh out of college, in Mike McCarthy’s offseason quarterback school. When it comes to professional football, Rodgers knows nothing but what MM has given him. Favre has been schooled in Favre-ball, and MM has simply tweaked that style of play when it comes to Favre, but Favre was still playing like Favre always has ... recklessly.
As thrilling as it was seeing Favre connect on those long bombs, it was agonizing watching him wind up for the throw and releasing it as I sat tensely, waiting for the TV camera to pan to the lone Packer receiver lost in a herd of triple coverage, usually.
And for as many long-bomb throws Favre actually connected on last year, the Packers' receivers and coaches have continually revealed that Rodgers has much better touch and accuracy on his deep throws.
Rodgers is BETTER than Favre when it comes to throwing deep, and, having been drilled with MM's teachings, his decisions to throw the deep ball or not will be much more disciplined than Favre's.
Another aspect of Rodger's game that is clearly superior to Favre's is his mobility. Just imagine bootlegs, QB draws, first down scrambles, route running (ok maybe I'm getting ahead of myself) and the simple knowledge that the QB of the Green Bay Packers is not a sitting duck in the pocket.
Imagine if Rodgers actually had defensive coaches committing a defender to "spy" on Rodgers to make sure he doesn't get loose and run for yards. That'd be one less man in coverage, which is something the passing game could easily exploit. Or if that defender remains in coverage, then Run Aaron Run!
As good as Brett has been over the years at side-stepping defenders when they are right in his face, he doesn't have the wheels that Aaron Rodgers has.
Besides the actual differences in talent between the two quarterbacks, the realization is that this Packers offense is loaded with talent. That wasn't the case a few years ago, when Brett struggled mightily in '05 and to a lesser extent in '06 as well.
This offense is built for a quarterback to succeed, and the defense is up there with the best in the NFL, so they have the offense's back if Rodgers and co. hit a few bumps in the road.
And not only that, but the special teams play has been a focus of Ted Thompson's the last few drafts, especially last year's, so the Packer's offense will be working with a shorter field than the opposition in most cases. The offensive line has been addressed every year in the draft.
Going into training camp, the Packers have tremendous depth and competition that will undoubtedly result in improved guard play. The running game found itself when Ryan Grant came on the scene, and there has been nothing but praise for backup Brandon Jackson, so again, depth is solid.
The tight end position is probably the weakest position on the offense, but it does have Donald Lee, who the organization felt compelled to give an extension to for his hard work and production. It also has a healthy Humphrey and rookie Finley, both of who reek of potential.
And of course, there is the wide receiver position. Led by three-time Pro Bowler Donald Driver and deep threat Greg Jennings, the team will most likely go right back to those multiple WR packages with impressive possession receiver James Jones and top draft pick Jordy Nelson.
Even the No. 5 receiver, Ruvell Martin, could be a No. 3 or even No. 2 on a bad team. Simply put: the wide receiver position is stacked and is, pound for pound, the BEST in the league, hands down. What does all this spell for the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers? S-U-C-C-E-S-S.
One last point to hit on about whether Favre or Rodgers should be the quarterback of the Packers is this: commitment.
This isn't the first attempt at unretiring Favre has made since March. One month after his retirement announcement, Favre told Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy he wanted to return. After discussions within the organization, they agreed to welcome Favre back as the starter for the Packers.
It was still early enough in the offseason and it was believed Favre could still offer plenty to the team. Even though it would not be easy to inform Rodgers of this, it was still somewhat reasonable at that time.
The Packers planned on sending out a private jet to pick up Favre. They planned a conference and official statement to announce the return of Favre. And two days before all this was supposed to go down, Favre calls to tell the organization that he changed his mind and wanted to remain retired.
How can a team expect 100 percent commitment after that, not to mention every offseason for the past half a decade that Favre has flirted heavily with retirement?
Rodgers, on the other hand, has spent the past two offseasons in Green Bay, from the first offseason workout to the last minicamp practice. Not only that, but Rodgers has welcomed teammates over to his own house regularly on Wednesdays to eat and hang out.
Rodgers invited James Jones over the offseason to his home in San Diego to get some extra work in and create more chemistry between the quarterback and No. 3 WR.
Rodgers is one of the guys. He's a locker room favorite, not because of what he once did a decade ago, but because of what he's doing now. He's putting an effort into being a great teammate.
Favre doesn't even dress with the guys in the same locker room and spends every chance he gets back at his home in Mississippi, away from the Packers' offseason workout program, away from his teammates and coaches.
Rodgers shows an exponential commitment to the Packers, day in and day out, three years on the bench and all, while Favre see-saws more than a "great leader" should.
When it comes down to it, the future is Rodgers, the past is Favre, and the present, even though it looks to be overwhelmingly Rodgers', is still undecided.
I'm for the Aaron Rodgers era. At some point, the organization has to move on, and that has already happened the SECOND time Favre decided to retire. The offense has been tweaked towards Rodgers' skill set, the team has been mentally preparing itself and getting comfortable with Rodgers as the quarterback.
Also, how would this go down with Rodgers if Favre was brought back as the starter at this point in the offseason, weeks away from entering training camp for the first time as a starter? The organization is stuck in a tough spot, knowing criticism will follow no matter what course of action it decides to take.
But really, it should never have come to this in the first place.
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