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Favre remains team's top gun

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IPBprez, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    http://www.jsonline.com/packer/news/jul05/340466.asp

    Favre remains team's top gun

    QB makes Packers a contender
    By ROB REISCHEL
    Special to Packer Plus
    Posted: July 14, 2005

    Green Bay - His starting guards departed for greener pastures, well at least greener bank accounts. His best wide receiver might not report to training camp and his team's defense was utterly defenseless a year ago.

    But most seem reluctant to completely dismiss the Green Bay Packers as playoff contenders. And the overwhelming reason why remains their legendary gunslinger, quarterback Brett Favre.

    "As long as that guy's here, I think we've got a chance," linebacker Na'il Diggs said. "It's probably oversimplifying it, but I think it's true."

    Few would argue.

    The fact of the matter is without Favre, Green Bay might be one of the five worst teams in football. With him, the Packers have won three consecutive NFC North Division championships, have one of the league's best offenses and can't be ruled out in 2005 - despite suffering heavy free-agent losses this past off-season.

    Favre turns 36 on Oct. 10, an age where many quarterbacks have begun an inevitable decline. But it could be argued that Favre was even better in 2004 than previous seasons.

    Favre's 4,088 passing yards were his most since 1999 (4,091). His quarterback rating of 92.4 was his best since 2001 (94.1). And his completion percentage (64.1) was the second best of his career, topped only by his 2003 mark of 65.4.

    "Pro Football Weekly," considered by many to be the Bible of football publications, ranked Favre as the 31st best player in the game and the fifth-best quarterback in football a year ago. This year, PFW ranks Favre as the seventh-best player in the game and behind only Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb among quarterbacks.

    "He's an all-time great, right?" said wide receiver Donald Driver. "He'll be in the Hall of Fame as soon as he's eligible."

    That's for sure.

    Favre's arm remains as strong as ever. He's one of the best leaders to ever wear a Packer uniform. And the folks in Canton should already be working on his bust.

    Favre still makes mistakes that are inexcusable for a player with his experience, like the four-interception performance he had in last year's playoff loss to Minnesota or the interception he threw against Philadelphia in the 2003 NFC Division playoff loss. He also looked old and feeble with his flip pass when he had crossed the line of scrimmage in Green Bay's playoff loss to the Vikings.

    But few players in the game give you a better chance to win each Sunday than Favre does.

    Favre, who contemplated retirement the first two months of the off-season, was told by Packers head coach Mike Sherman to skip the team's two off-season minicamps. Instead, he spent the off-season working with a personal trainer in hopes of improving his conditioning.

    Quarterbacks can lose their skills rapidly when they reach the age Favre is at. But if that doesn't happen, the Packers should be competitive despite their off-season losses and defensive shortcomings.

    "He's probably in the best shape he's been in in recent years," Sherman said during the team's last minicamp. "I just want him knocking the door down when he comes here in July, ready for the season."

    If that happens, Favre's assault on the NFL record book - where most marks are held by Dan Marino - will continue.

    Favre enters 2005 with 376 career touchdown passes, second all-time to Marino's 420. Favre has averaged 1.80 touchdown passes per game throughout his career, meaning it would take him 24.46 games to catch Marino. So if Favre stays on the pace he's at, he would throw his 420th TD pass shortly before halftime in the ninth game of the 2006 season.

    Favre's 4,306 career pass completions place him second to Marino's 4,967. Favre has averaged 20.60 completions a game during his career, which means he'd need 32.08 games to catch Marino.

    That would be the season-opener in 2007, a date most believe Favre will have retired by.

    But Favre averaged 21.63 completions in 2004, and if he maintains that pace, he'd catch Marino in 30.56 games. That would be midway through the 15th game of the 2006 season.

    Favre is third in all-time passing yards (49,734). And at his pace of roughly 238.0 passing yards per game, he'd need approximately 49 games to catch Marino's mark of 61,361. Favre is also third in career passing attempts (7,003) and would need roughly 40.4 games to catch Marino (8,358).

    The one record that probably means the most to Favre, though, is the one he already has. Favre has started 205 consecutive games, which is now nearly double the old mark of 116 set by Philadelphia's Ron Jaworski. Indianapolis' Peyton Manning (112) has never missed a start and could challenge Favre's mark down the road. But as long as Favre keeps playing, Manning can't gain any ground.

    "I don't know how much it means to you while you're going through it," Green Bay quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell said during the off-season. "You're really not in it to pile up your stats.

    "His durability stat is one that's important to him and then the wins are the ones that are important. I think once he's done and he decides to sit back one day and see what he's accomplished, I think it will kind of sink in and mean a lot more to him."

    The battle to be Favre's backup will be an interesting one.

    Green Bay took California's Aaron Rodgers with the 24th overall selection in April's draft. Rodgers was the Packers' first No. 1 draft choice at the position in 24 years, but looked overwhelmed at the team's June minicamp.

    Fourth-year man Craig Nall backed Favre up last season and compiled an astronomical 139.4 quarterback rating. But whether he can hold off Rodgers during camp will be one of the more interesting story lines.

    "No matter who wins that job, we're going to be real good and real deep at quarterback," Packers offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said. "And I think that will show up in pre-season. We'll be a better pre-season team because of the depth at our quarterback spot. We'll win more plays in the second half because of that position."

    Rodgers didn't appear ready to play winning football at the Packers' last minicamp, though. He was bogged down mentally and thinking instead of just playing.

    The result was several of his throws sailed and he was indecisive in his reads.

    "I did throw a lot of high balls," said Rodgers, who posted scores of 35 on the Wonderlic test and 1,310 on his SAT's. "I've always said you throw from the ground up, from your feet up. And when you're not confident in your reads, you're late on stuff, you rush stuff, your feet are out of position and the ball goes high. And until I get my timing down on these plays, I will throw some high balls.

    "It was frustrating at times, especially early on. But . . . I got a lot better mentally. Once I get that, the physical part will play into it."

    Rodgers, who left California after his junior season, completed 66.1% of his passes and set a Pacific-10 record with a 1.95 career interception percentage. But he was wild and erratic during the June minicamp, and Rossley believes he knows why.

    "He knew what he was doing (in college)," Rossley said of Rodgers. "As he learns, his accuracy will get better. The one thing we didn't see is the accuracy that we all saw in college. I think that that's just a part of being overloaded with the thinking.

    "He needs reps. When he first came here, individual drills, he was sharp and on top of his throws. As things started to run together a little bit, the motions and formations and progressions, his head was spinning a little bit."

    If Rodgers' head continues to spin, Nall might hold onto the backup job. Nall completed 69.7% of his passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns last season. And he's the only Packer quarterback to throw as many as 33 passes in a season without an interception.

    Nall, who's better in games than he is practices, has survived challenges from Akili Smith and Tim Couch the past two seasons just to make the roster. So the presence of Rodgers isn't likely to faze him.

    The odd man out figures to be fourth-year pro J.T. O'Sullivan, who came to the Packers last season in the Mike McKenzie trade. Green Bay might try and trade O'Sullivan rather than cut him. Or, the Packers might find there's more interest in Nall, trade him instead and keep O'Sullivan.

    One thing you can bank on is Favre isn't going anywhere - yet. And that means Packer Nation has reason for optimism in 2005.

    "We're all pretty glad he didn't retire," running back Tony Fisher said. "I don't really want to think of what life would be without Brett."

    =======================================

    I'd like to see us run with a tandem team of Quarterbacks for the next two years.... Several Teams are doing that this year... and they are the ones which will succeed more than most expect.

    Now, let's find us a backup Grady Jackson - only much younger! - two of 'em / side-by-side
     
  2. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    Favre a dying breed

    The Green Bay Packers have the last of a breed in quarterback Brett Favre. A player who is a superstar and also is as humble and lovable as a person can get. Favre could have been the biggest star in sports if he wanted to market himself as such, but that is not in Favre's nature. Neither is holding up his teammates by holding out of training camp.

    Favre knew way back when that the money would take care of itself if he continued to perform. Favre has surely gotten more guaranteed money than any other Packers player in the history of the team. He's had more money turn into bonuses than most players make in a career. All because he was willing to earn it.

    The man is loyal to a "T" and much smarter than his country boy image displays. He is a throwback to NFL of the 1950's -- hit and get hit.Play the game to win but have fun doing it.

    Favre cares about his teammates and not the almighty dollar, which is probably why he is one of the richest players to ever play sports. Something Minnesota safety Darren Sharper apparently failed to realize when he criticized Favre for commenting on holdout receiver Javon Walker.

    Sharper never earned his money in Green Bay. His bonehead plays outnumbered his big plays by a wide margin the last two years and I'm sure Favre is quietly licking his chops waiting for the chance to hang five TD passes on the big-mouthed Sharper.

    Favre leads by example and apparently Walker and newly disgruntled Grady Jackson chose not to follow. That or the money has clouded their vision. I believe it's the later. Few superstar players play the game for the reasons Favre plays does these days. I can probably count them on one hand, starting with Donavan McNabb of the Eagles and Jerry Rice of the Broncos. Tom Brady can also be included in this dwindling breed.

    More and more superstar athletes are becoming the "pay me or trade me type." They don't want to work for the money like Favre and the above mentioned. Their motto is pay me big now, set me up for life and watch me fade away like Antonio Freeman or Cletidus Hunt. Money is already in the bank so play not to get hurt. In the NFL you make your money in bonuses and not yearly salary.

    Of the holdouts, it would be nice to see Walker come to his senses and report. The Packers could use him, but rookie Terrance Murphy was extremely impressive in minicamp and looked much further along than Walker did at that stage. Walker caught 20-some balls his first year when he received over a million-dollar signing bonus in addition to his yearly salary. Didn't see him giving any back for not performing up to his contract, did you?

    All this holdout does is show that Walker is not the next Jerry Rice. And Grady Jackson, what the hell is he thinking? You can't throw a dead cat out the window and not hit an aging, overweight, oft-injured defensive lineman. He deserves a raise about as much as I deserve to make his salary this year. I wonder what color the sun is in Drew Rosenhaus' world? I bet he answers green.

    Hopefully this is the last time I address this issue in my columns, which by the way, will be once again appearing regularly. Training camps starts in full force in two weeks and the Packers focus should be on winning the Super Bowl for their legendary quarterback while he grooms his successor along the way.

    The Packers offense looks to be top five material with or without Walker, Ahman Green is back and healthy after an injury filled year. Green is probably one of the most underpaid borderline superstars in the game. Funny, but I bet he reports to camp on time. Anyway, with the improvement of the defense which I think will be substantial, this team is certainly capable of improving on last year's 10 wins. I will explain why I feel this way in future columns. Ridicule me if you must. I can take it.

    By Al Davis
    Email Me at - packernet@gmail.com
     
  3. vixtalkn

    vixtalkn Cheesehead

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  4. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    C'mon now Vix - we're pushin' the envelope now....
    Besides, I'm old enough to remember Tarkenton gettin' the same treatment up in your neck of the woods...

    Name me other QB's who play the game like a Linebacker.....
     
  5. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    lol nice pic
     
  6. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    prez-

    Vixtalkn is a Packer fan.
     
  7. Philtration

    Philtration Cheesehead

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    Not only is Favre the Packers top gun, but he may end up their only gun. He is at that age when any injury can linger all year and you never want your season riding on the sholders of just one player no matter who that player is or how old they are.
     
  8. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    Real cool Vix.

    I dont know but that smells of blasphemy.

    God would get you for that - Maude.
     
  9. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    We know Phil.
     
  10. Philtration

    Philtration Cheesehead

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    Just checking
     
  11. vixtalkn

    vixtalkn Cheesehead

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    Prez--

    :eek:mg: You think I'm a YIKES fan?

    Too funny.
     
  12. PackerTraxx

    PackerTraxx Cheesehead

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    At least the Packers know they have one gun. The Bears and Lions don't know if they have any.
     
  13. carol k

    carol k Cheesehead

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    IBPrez---I couldn't agree more with your statements about Favre being a dying breed. That is so true. It is too bad that the NFL doesn't have more players of Favre's caliber. I wish he could play forever, but that is a futile wish.
     
  14. ArizonaPackerFan

    ArizonaPackerFan Cheesehead

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    I think the Packers right now without Favre would struggle similar to the way the Falcons did 2 years ago when Vick was injured. Favre helps make everyone around him better.
     
  15. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    Sorry 'bout that - I guess I was up too late - obviously thinking of something else I had been discussing....
    Hmmm... vix doesn't translate over to vikes, eh? curious that.... no problem! :shock:
     

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