Favre does remain the "MAN"


Nov 23, 2005
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Fontana, CA
Favre remains the man
Coaches not ready to hand Rodgers reins
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Would Favre ever concede such a move?

"No," offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski said emphatically. "It's because he's too much a competitor. I don't know one guy who is worth his salt who will say, 'Then I won't do it.' He's a competitor. Believe me, that loss right there (to the St. Louis Rams) hurt him as much as any loss he's ever had in this organization."

For now, it appears there is no "move on with Rodgers" debate inside the offices at Lambeau Field. Favre remains in charge, and Rodgers remains the understudy, for 2006.

But what happens after this bye week?

None of the coaches seems to find it remarkable that Favre has remained in peak health. Leading up to the 2005 season, Favre was excused from minicamps because of personal issues. But leading up to this season, Favre took part in most of the work, and there was a lot of it. He went through all of training camp, even if he cut back to one practice a day on the double days.

It's not totally out of the realm of coaching options to rest an aging player. Defensive linemen sometimes get such breaks to save their knees. But there has been no such easing up for 37-year-old Favre. His only rest came after he suffered a stinger and head injury at Philadelphia, and this week because of the bye.

Rather than planning for Favre to cut back as the season wears on, the Packers prefer to evaluate Favre day to day.

"It just matters where we are as a football team, where he is with his health," coach Mike McCarthy said. "If rest is the best thing for him or anybody else, then we will act accordingly."

Favre has thrown 203 passes in five games to lead the NFL, by far. He's on pace to surpass his career high of 607 last season, which also was tops in the NFL.

Throwing more than 40 balls a game also doesn't seem to have worn out Favre or that arm.

"I don't think there's any problem in that regard," said Tom Clements, a first-year quarterback coach in Green Bay and Favre's sixth position coach with the Packers. "He's in good shape, he still moves well for being 37 years old, and his arm: He doesn't get tired throwing that ball. He's an unusual player."

The team seems to have no concern about Favre wearing out mentally.

"That more of an issue during training camp," Clements said. "Once the season starts, even though you may have run the plays thousands of times over your career, you're facing a different opponent each week and you have to study that opponent and get ready to play."

The continued losing might be getting to Favre, though. He struggled through a 20-minute news conference after the loss to the Rams, trying to come up with answers and explanations for his team's futility. The Packers behind Favre have lost 16 games since September 2005, more than the entire seasons of 2000, 2001 and 2002 combined.

"He's not used to this," Jagodzinski said. "He's not used to where it's at. It's a new thing for him."

Meanwhile, the Packers are trying to keep the waiting game from getting old for Rodgers. After showing improvement in the exhibition season, Rodgers now doesn't get much work with the starting offense unless Favre takes rare practice time off. But he must prepare for the unexpected.

"Well, he's only one play away from being 'the guy,' " Jagodzinski said. "This goes back to the quarterback school we had in the spring. I told him then, 'You know what? At the most inopportune time, you are going to be the guy. If you don't prepare that way, you're going to be in trouble.' And I tell you, he has prepared. He works on his throws when he's running the defensive look team and he's running through all his reads. So he's getting work.

"Aaron is going to have an opportunity some day."

Coaches don't think boredom is setting in for Rodgers, who is very bright but also still only 24 years old. A quarterback has to learn, interpret and convey so much information that the coaches hope these early years of study will only help him.

For example, for a play, Favre must first read the personnel group coming in, and in the huddle might say something like, "Zebra is coming in, zip wide right, two jet flanker drive."

Then Favre has to give the snap count and then perhaps call a protection adjustment if he sees a blitz.

"This is before the ball is even snapped," Jagodzinski said. "You see how much information that he's got to process?

"You listen to Brett talk when he was young, with (Mike) Holmgren. Holmgren used to get mad at him because Brett didn't know the protections. He just threw it. And Holmgren said, 'Why did you just throw it away?' And Brett said, 'I thought I was going to get hit.' Holmgren said, 'But you were protected.' Brett says, 'How the hell did I know that?' "

Favre, who took over as starter quickly in his first season with the Packers, didn't have the luxury of learning it just in practice. He had to figure it out in the games. Rodgers is making his development his focus.

"Aaron has a lot of potential," Clements said. "He has all the physical abilities. He's smart. It's just a matter of getting experience. He certainly has a big up side."


Dec 30, 2005
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thanks for posting this, hedder but i think winni beat ya to it. not sure if it was the same one or not. :D

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