Let me begin by saying that I am a huge Brett Favre fan. I never would have thought he would be playing for anyone other than the green and gold.
But the team comes first—above any individual—even if that individual is a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer and three-time NFL Most Valuable Player.
This past offseason, Favre put the Packers' organization in a lose-lose situation. Either take Favre back for a year or possibly two (thus losing Rodgers), or trade the greatest player to ever wear a Packers jersey and hand over the reins to an unknown commodity in Aaron Rodgers.
GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy never wavered. They drafted Rodgers for a reason and had seen three years of his abilities every day in practice.
While the mainstream media was clamoring over Favre’s every offseason interview, the Packers had a season to get ready for. Favre had retired, while Rodgers and company were going through minicamps and two-a-days on a daily basis.
There was no turning back; too much had taken place to bring Lord Favre back to the team. Thompson knew this and stood firm, even when countless fans and media members were condemning him for his absurd decision to go with Rodgers.
The decision to keep Rodgers over Favre was not a move based on who’s the better quarterback. The Packers best chance to win this season was with Favre at the helm. Though, there are times when you must think long-term.
If you bring back Favre, you say goodbye to Rodgers. There is no way Rodgers re-signs with the Packers after being repeatedly slapped in the face. You need to see what you have in Rodgers before it’s too late. If Favre came back, it would have been Super Bowl or bust.
With a year, maybe two left in the tank, Favre would be your last hope. Two years later would have been a rebuilding year, with either a rookie quarterback or the signing of an aging veteran. Rodgers would be long gone.
Fast-forward now to Week Six in the NFL. The Packers are tied for first in the weak NFC North division, while the Jets are now 3-2 and are in better shape to make the playoffs than they would have been with Chad Pennington.
Rodgers has proven that the Packers can still win now. Meanwhile, the future looks very bright, with a possible 10 plus years of Rodgers at quarterback (barring injury, which Rodgers has been susceptible to early in his career).
I’m not saying Rodgers is the next coming of Favre or Brady, but Rodgers has proven to be a solid starting quarterback through the first six games of the season (14 total TD, 4 INT).
Rodgers has hit the open man while not forcing the issue. He has also shown the toughness and leadership that the quarterback position commands, by playing through a sprained shoulder and leading by example.
He has gotten the ball out of his hands early and has shown the necessary velocity to get the ball down field. He shows a nice touch on the deep ball and gives his playmakers a chance to make a play on the ball. This has been shown by having at least one completion of over 40 yards in each game.
The biggest difference between Favre and Rodgers is that I can now watch an entire game not waiting for the foolish interception.
Turnovers can change the whole complexion of a game. There was always one or two times in each game when Favre would throw a ball that had everybody thinking, “Why would you throw that ball?”
No longer do I get worried when the quarterback drops back to pass. Rodgers may not win a game all by himself, but he certainly won’t single-handedly lose the game. Favre has the tendency to have the mindset of being able to make every throw and putting the team on his shoulders.
This was seen by his two interceptions near the goal line which he threw up for grabs and his fumble that was returned for a touchdown against Cincinnati this past Sunday. Against the Chargers in Week Three he continuously threw it into traffic to the other team.
The Packers have weapons on offense, with budding star Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Ryan Grant, and rookie wide receiver Jordy Nelson. There is no reason to force the issue, and Rodgers knows this.
If nothing else, I now have two teams to watch on Sunday. I still root for Favre, but I sure don’t miss the up-to-date, play-by-play tracker of Favre’s every movement. I could care less if he had to run a lap in practice for fumbling a snap, that his coach gave his newborn son the middle name Brett, or how his ankle feels after every play when he walks off the field.
The Jets fans can live through that daily soap opera.
Ted Thompson stuck to his guns and believed in Aaron Rodgers. The franchise is in a better position than they would be if Favre were at quarterback.