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Bart Starr on Brett's Return :

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers Fan Forum' started by WinnipegPackFan, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    Sep 22, 2005
    Starr says returning Favre has 'many good years left'

    April 27, 2006

    BY CHRIS JENKINS Advertisement

    MILWAUKEE -- Brett Favre certainly isn't the first star quarterback to have a difficult time deciding when the time is right to step aside.

    Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath are considered prime examples of NFL legends who held on too long. And Favre's fellow Green Bay Packers icon, Bart Starr, includes himself on that list.

    ''In hindsight, I should have done it sooner,'' Starr said of his retirement from the Packers in 1971. ''But I have no regrets.''

    Starr said he kept playing through chronic injuries out of loyalty to new coach Phil Bengtson, who was put in the impossible position of replacing Vince Lombardi. The sentiment was nice, but the results weren't.

    ''My performance went downhill,'' Starr said from his office in Birmingham, Ala.

    But Starr isn't drawing a comparison between the way his career ended and Favre's decision to return to the Packers next season, which was announced by the team Wednesday. Starr doesn't think Favre, 36, is making a mistake.

    ''He's got as many good years left as he wants to,'' said Starr, who won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls with the Packers.

    Favre, who is expected to take part in the Packers' first minicamp beginning May 5, threw a career-worst 29 interceptions last season, causing some to wonder whether his skills were beginning to erode. But Starr said fans shouldn't read too much into the way Favre played last season because the Packers were beset by injuries and free-agent losses.

    ''Last year, no disrespect to anyone, he just didn't have a team around him,'' Starr said.

    That's perhaps the most confusing part of Favre's decision to return. As he waffled about his football future this offseason, he all but demanded that general manager Ted Thompson improve the team by making a splash in free agency. But beyond retaining their own key free agents, including running back Ahman Green and defensive end Aaron Kampman, and adding a few role players, the Packers generally had not been active during free agency.

    That changed Wednesday, when the Packers agreed to terms with defensive back Charles Woodson. But one free-agent signing isn't going to turn around a 4-12 team. So why did Favre come back?

    ''This is a decision that he and his family have to make,'' Starr said. ''Outsiders can't understand everything that goes into it.''

    Favre began waffling about his future toward the end of last season, kicking off retirement speculation that is becoming a winter ritual in Wisconsin. But the so-called ''Favre Watch'' grew to epic proportions in 2006, with Favre taking nearly four months to make a final decision.

    Packers president and CEO Bob Harlan said he grew more confident Favre would return as the process dragged on.

    ''Every time I would see him in his television interviews, it just looked to me like he had that desire to play,'' Harlan said. ''I think he's looking forward to it, and I think he's going to be ready.''


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