Brett Favre Must Give a Little To Get a Lot

Chris ScheiCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2009

For the second year in a row, Brett Favre has lost respect in his locker room and lost respect among fans. For the second year in a row, he has divided an organization and a fan base.

But some don't care.

Late last season and into the offseason, there were rumblings in Green Bay that Packer players weren't happy about the way Brett Favre was treated. They weren't happy that while the quarterbacks sat in the film room studying, Brett was in his own private office, away from everyone else. Many of those comments from players were blown off, since the Packers were just beginning the playoffs.

The same has happened in New York, but New York is not Green Bay. No comments are blown off. Many will say Thomas Jones should've never said what he said to the media, and went to Favre himself, or just kept it in-house.

That's fine, I can agree with that. But the people saying that trying to make Favre the victim forget that last year, Deanna Favre set up an exclusive interview for her husband on Fox News, so Brett could go on national television to complain about how Ted Thompson didn't do what Brett wanted him to do.  

In search for a new coach after firing Eric Mangini, the Jets gave a call to Bill Cowher, only to be declined. Reports say that a source close to Cowher said that Cowher would not coach the Jets unless he was assured that Brett would not be there.

Now, I have a hard time believing "a source close to" stuff. But anyone who knows Bill Cowher's philosophy on coaching and handling players knows that Brett Favre is not the kind of player he would want to coach. Under Bill Cowher, he has 53 players. Not one legend and 52 players. Brett believes in the latter.

I can understand why Cowher (or anyone, for that matter) would not want the Jets' coaching job.

While Favre was in Green Bay, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy had one message—either you're 100 percent committed through the offseason and regular season, or you're not committed at all, and you won't play on this team.

And come hell or high water, they were not bluffing. Brett Favre tried retiring to skip mini-camps and offseason training but still come back in July, and Thompson was having none of it.

So Favre gets traded to New York, looked at as a savior. Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum introduce Favre to the media, both looking like 13-year-old girls who are meeting Brad Pitt for the first time.

The Jets start out 8-3 and talks of the Super Bowl begin. They had just got done winning at New England and At Tennessee in consecutive weeks. But Brett Favre wasn't happy. He went to the coaching staff complaining that the offense wasn't aggressive enough and that they needed to throw the ball down the field more.

The result? A 1-4 finish, with nine interceptions compared to only two touchdowns from Favre, and Eric Mangini losing his job. Mangini catered to the great Lord Favre, but Favre couldn't do it anymore. And Mangini paid the price.

So who would want to coach the Jets? After improving the offensive line through free agency, Thomas Jones had a great year and was the MVP of the team. The only problem is that if you ride the running game to a great record, Favre will not be happy, and will let the world know that you didn't do what he wanted you to do (just ask Ted Thompson).

If you cater to what Favre wants, he'll prove once more that he cannot be a down-the-field quarterback anymore, and his interceptions will cost you the season and your job (ask Eric Mangini or the Jets' players).

There is one way Favre could regain trust, confidence, and respect from his teammates again.

1.) Be a good teammate. I'm not talking about going to dinner or going to nightclubs with your teammates. He has a family to worry about. I'm talking about being at team functions with his team, not in his private office. Greg Jennings of the Packers was one of the main Packer players who said Favre was "unapproachable" with the Packers, and if he tried talking to Favre, he was essentially told to get lost. That must change.

2.) Realize that he is one member of a 53-player team. He is not the coach, he is not the general manager. He has as much say as to what players his team gets as the most recent seventh-round draft pick.

3.) Either play the game or don't. Brett Favre hasn't been fully committed to a team in at least four or five years. He loves playing on Sundays but wants nothing to do with preparing to play on Sundays. That must change.

4.) Understand that the name of his team is a hell of a lot more important the name on the back of his jersey.

In Green Bay, he had to be 100% committed to the team, just like every other player on that team. Favre didn't want to do that. He wanted to be as committed as he wanted to be. Brett Favre must be held accountable for the mistakes that he makes, and he must hold himself accountable.

Brett was upset with Eric Mangini because Eric would grill Favre in private and in front of teammates about interceptions he threw.

I used to get grilled in front of my teammates for fumbles. I used to get grilled in front of my teammates for turnovers in basketball. The team watches film of the game, and if the coach sees something wrong, you're going to hear it, teammates or not.

But, then again, I'm sure Favre wasn't used to that, having been able to sit in his private office. I wonder if he invited Barry Bonds over to show off his new pad. Barry was probably pretty upset, since Barry only had a recliner next to his locker, never his own office.

If another team ever signs Barry Bonds, you know what he'll want.