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Is it time? Feb 15th - Huntin' Season is offically over

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IPBprez, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    With all the constant hub-bub of where the road well traveled might be for Green Bay in Season 2006... most issues all hang on one event - Brett Favre, and will he or won't he.....?

    We were all told that it'd be better to just shut up and wait for it - he'll finally get around to wearin' his heart on his sleeve, as usual..... and then we'd know. BUT... we were also told to wait til 2/15 - as that was when Huntin' Season would be over, down in his neck o' da woods!

    Well dammit - that's gonna be in about 35 minutes, of the time at this posting. Here's a article from USA today, on the current standings at Lambeau House ----


    Inside Slant

    With the calendar changed to February, the two-minute drill is on in Green Bay.

    Although team officials contend that a deadline wasn't imposed, they're expecting to get an answer once and for all from Brett Favre on his future plans in the next four weeks. It's imperative they know by the onset of free agency March 3 whether their franchise quarterback will be going forward with a revamped regime that will set out to make amends for last season's 4-12 calamity.

    "Favre Watch" took on increased scrutiny in light of a few revealing comments he aired on ESPN last Sunday. It marked the first time Favre has spoken publicly since before the end of his first losing season in 14 years as the Packers' starter.

    In a nutshell, Favre, 36, hinted strongly that he will retire.

    "Yeah, I would say so," he responded, when asked whether he was leaning toward calling it quits. "If I had to pick right now, if someone said, 'Just make a damn decision and live with it,' I would say I'm not coming back."

    The utterance hardly sent up a red flag within team headquarters at Lambeau Field. Favre has sat there and contemplated that the previous three off-seasons - he later admitted he was dead set on retiring in the wake of a first-round playoff loss to Minnesota early last year, only to do an about-face two months later and announce he would be returning.

    "You have to put it in the context of the way he feels right now. He may feel different in a week," said Jeff Jagodzinski, the Packers' new offensive coordinator who previously was on the coaching staff and around Favre from 1999 to 2003.

    New head coach Mike McCarthy, who was Favre's quarterbacks coach in 1999, also didn't get worked up amid a workout as he watched the TV interview for the first time Monday morning.

    "I think he's at the period where most guys (at Favre's stage in his career) are," McCarthy said. "I was with Kansas City at the end of Joe Montana's playing days. They need time to get away and think about it because they know the commitment they need to make - physically, mentally, spiritually. The commitment as far as their family and everything. I didn't find it very alarming. I think (ESPN analyst) Sean Salisbury said it best afterwards, 'It's January.' We don't need to overreact to it."

    For McCarthy, much of what Favre disclosed in the interview was what he had heard three days earlier when he spent three hours with the quarterback at his sprawling off-season home in Hattiesburg, Miss. McCarthy's visit came on the heels of general manager Ted Thompson's passing through earlier in the week, coinciding with the business each tended to in scouting draft prospects during Senior Bowl practices in nearby Mobile, Ala.

    McCarthy said he and Favre spent considerable time discussing football. It was apparent to McCarthy that Favre remains confident in his physical abilities to keep playing and do so at a high level, never mind he endured his worst season as a pro with a franchise-record-tying and league-high 29 interceptions.

    Yet, what's holding Favre back and perhaps will drive him out of the game this year are issues unrelated to a body that remarkably hasn't broken down once since he took over the team's starting reins 13 1/2 years ago. A series of off-field setbacks — his father's dying of a heart attack in 2003, wife Deanna's coping with breast cancer in 2004 and family members being displaced in the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina before last season — has weighed heavily on Favre the last few years.

    "I still know I can play. I still love to play. But, there's just so much more to it than that now," Favre conceded. "I never thought it would get complicated. I never thought, mentally, I would give out mentally before I would physically.

    "To think that my mind would leave me before my body would, and I'm not saying that's happened completely ... (but) I know some of the off-the-field issues I've had to deal with have played a part in it. We have a daughter who will be graduating high school (in Mississippi) next year. It makes me realize how much older I am, how much more mature I'd like to think I am. There's issues that I deal with now during the season and during the off-season that take away from football."

    Then, Favre dropped the one startling revelation that will be linked as the precursor if he winds up retiring in the near future.

    "There's days I wake up and I say, 'You know what, I can't retire. It would be stupid. What will I do?' And, there's other days I go, 'What if it's crunch time, two minutes left, do you want the ball? I don't know if I do.'"

    McCarthy, among others in the organization, wasn't taken aback by what sure sounded like a three-time league MVP who has been sapped of any last ambition and more or less acknowledged his time is up.

    "He was just making a statement," McCarthy gathered. "If he's going to do it (play), he's going to do it like he's always done it. If not, it's time for him to hang up the cleats."

    While McCarthy and Thompson are in favor of having Favre back for at least one season, they aren't willing to let him sit on the decision — one that will dictate their approach in pursuing free agents with plenty of money to spend as well as how they will tackle the draft in late April. They also need closure on the issue sooner than later because of the extra time that will be required to prepare heir apparent Aaron Rodgers for the lead role should Favre indeed retire.

    "Obviously, if Brett's here, your (passing) package is going to be a little bit more extensive. If not, it's probably going to be pared back a little bit," Jagodzinski said.

    Favre, who went so far as to tell Thompson to "cut me loose" if an answer had to be rendered promptly, doesn't plan to leave the team hanging much longer.

    "I'd like to wait till training camp," he said half-jokingly. "But, I know I have to make the decision in the next month for their sake."

    NOTES, QUOTES

    To no one's surprise, late defensive end Reggie White gained enshrinement for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    He was on the ballot for the first time. White, who played six of his 15 NFL seasons with the Packers, will be inducted along with five others the weekend of Aug. 5-6 in Canton, Ohio. This year's class was announced Feb. 4 on the eve of Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

    White died at age 43 on Dec. 26, 2004, from a respiratory ailment.

    "This is a bittersweet day for me because I don't have the opportunity to personally congratulate him," retired Packers general manager Ron Wolf said. "I am happy, though, that from now on, we can refer to him as 'Hall of Famer Reggie White.'"

    Wolf scored a major coup with the signing of coveted free agent White, who had starred for Philadelphia, in 1993.

    "It's an amazing story. We were somehow able to convince Reggie to come and be part of (the team's storied) history," Wolf said. "In my opinion, he was one of the two best free agents ever available, along with Deion Sanders."

    In turn, White became the defensive and emotional leader of a team that went to back-to-back Super Bowls and won the league title during the 1996 season. He was The Associated Press' NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1998, his final season with the Packers.

    White holds the club record with 68.5 sacks. He will be the 21st Packer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The number of enshrinees is second to the Chicago Bears' 26. Wide receiver James Lofton was Green Bay's last inductee in 2003.

    White's widow, Sara, said she will consider presenting him at the induction ceremony. Two other candidates are son Jeremy and daughter Jecolia.

    —Head coach Mike McCarthy filled out his first coaching staff by hiring two assistants from the college ranks who have notable bloodlines.

    Shawn Slocum, son of former Texas A&M head coach R.C. Slocum, was tabbed to serve as an aide to first-year special teams coordinator Mike Stock. Slocum, 40, was the assistant head coach/linebackers coach at the University of Mississippi last year. He previously was a special teams coach at Texas A&M under his dad and at USC.

    Eric Lewis, 30, also will coach in the NFL for the first time in an unspecified role on defense. He's the son of Sherman Lewis, who was the Packers' offensive coordinator from 1992-99. Then-quarterbacks coach McCarthy worked alongside Sherman Lewis on Ray Rhodes' staff in 1999. Eric Lewis coached the secondary at Ball State the last three years. He had a school-record 37 pass breakups as a cornerback at San Diego State. McCarthy's staff numbers 20.

    The offensive assistants are Jeff Jagodzinski (coordinator), Tom Clements (quarterbacks), Edgar Bennett (running backs), Jimmy Robinson (wide receivers), Ben McAdoo (tight ends), Joe Philbin (line), James Campen (assistant line) and Ty Knott (quality control).

    The defensive assistants are Bob Sanders (coordinator), Robert Nunn (line), Carl Hairston (line), Winston Moss (linebackers), Lionel Washington (secondary), Kurt Schottenheimer (secondary) and Lewis. Stock and Slocum will direct the special teams.

    Brad Miller, who was the assistant special teams coach last year and on the Green Bay staff since 2001, wasn't retained. Rock Gullickson is the strength and conditioning coach, assisted by Mark Lovat and Brandon Johnson.

    —The Packers officially announced earlier signings of punters Jon Ryan and Ryan Dutton, guard Pete Traynor and defensive tackle Jerome Nichols to reserve/future contracts. Center Wayne Lucier, wide receiver Willie Quinney and tight end Thomas Gafford also were signed as free agents.

    Ryan, who led the Canadian Football League last season with a record gross average of 50.6 yards, and Dutton will compete with incumbent B.J. Sander and late-season pickup Ryan Flinn for the punting job in the offseason.

    "The ball really comes off his foot. He's used to kicking in all kinds of weather," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said of the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Ryan.

    Ryan, who played for Winnipeg in the CFL, worked out for the Packers in mid-January. He drew additional interest from the New York Giants and Cincinnati.

    The 6-4, 315-pound Lucier had starting stints at center and guard with the Giants in 2003 and '04. He didn't play last season after being waived by the Giants at the end of the preseason.

    The 6-foot, 187-pound Quinnie was on San Diego's practice squad last season. He had 46 receptions while playing in NFL Europe in 2004.

    —Lambeau Field will live up to its fabled nickname of the Frozen Tundra. A portion of the playing surface has been converted into a hockey rink for a college game Saturday afternoon pitting Wisconsin against Ohio State. A crowd of about 40,000 is expected. It's only the third time in recent years a professional or college hockey game will be played outdoors in North America. Michigan State played host to Michigan in 2001. Edmonton played host to Montreal in 2003 in what was billed as the NHL's first regular-season outdoor game.

    —Whether or not Brett Favre plays next season, the Packers will have a fresh, cerebral perspective at the quarterback position.

    Head coach Mike McCarthy filled out his offensive coaching staff with the hiring of passing guru Tom Clements as quarterbacks coach. Clements, 52, was fired as Buffalo's offensive coordinator after last season.

    Notable pupils with whom Clements has worked in previous NFL stops include Kansas City's Elvis Grbac, Pittsburgh's Tommy Maddox and Buffalo's J.P. Losman. Clements was a quarterback standout himself at Notre Dame, which he helped win a national title in 1973, and then during a lengthy, Hall of Fame-earning career in the Canadian Football League.

    Clements, a licensed attorney, brings no preconceived notions to Green Bay. He has never met Favre. Since the Bills were committed to 2004 first-round pick Losman, Clements didn't bother studying Aaron Rodgers ahead of last year's draft, when the Packers selected him late in the first round to be Favre's future replacement.

    "That's what I'll need to do these next couple of weeks — study him and see what kind of player he is," Clements said of Rodgers.

    The development of Rodgers, possibly at an accelerated rate if Favre decides to retire, is believed to have been the overriding factor in McCarthy's recruitment of Clements. More so than the advice Clements can lend from years of experience to Favre should he return.

    Clements is mindful he'll have a tall order on his hands if the torch is passed and Rodgers goes into next season as the starter.

    "You have a young guy as opposed to a veteran guy that's had a great deal of success. That is a big difference," Clements said. "But, the approach will be the same. You try to make sure that whoever's there is fundamentally sound and knows what we want to do and knows what we're trying to do offensively and knows what we're trying to do when we attack a defense. Just keep working on those things and working on them.

    "Obviously, you might have to spend a little more time with a younger guy as opposed to an older guy. But, the approach is pretty similar."

    —New defensive coordinator Bob Sanders is leaving open the possibility of moving middle linebacker Nick Barnett to the outside in the team's base 4-3 scheme.

    Barnett has started in the middle his first three years in the league and set a club record last season with 194 tackles.

    "The great thing about Nick is he's an excellent, excellent athlete and did a good job there (at) Mike linebacker, learning what to do. He's solid in there," Sanders said. "But, we'll evaluate that once we find out the guys that we have."

    The Packers could have both outside spots to fill. Strong-side incumbent Na'il Diggs, beset by knee injuries most of last season, didn't fit the scheme Sanders is carrying over from predecessor Jim Bates and might be released with a year left on his contract. Returning weak-side starter Robert Thomas missed six of the last seven games because of a thigh injury.

    —McCarthy said he will hold his first of three off-season minicamps following the April 29-30 draft, though dates haven't been firmed up.

    Teams with a new coaching staff are allowed an extra minicamp. McCarthy said he'd prefer to wait until after the draft to kick off the practice schedule because he wants to give the rookies ample time to get acclimated.

    —In light of Buffalo's decision to tap Dick Jauron over Mike Sherman for its head-coaching vacancy, the Packers figure to be forking over the full $3.2 million salary they owe their former coach this year.

    Sherman had two years left on his contract when he was fired Jan. 2, a day after Green Bay's 4-12 season concluded. Had Sherman been hired for another job, the Packers would be out only the difference between the two salaries.

    Incidentally, Sherman stands to be paid by the Packers about $1.2 million more than what McCarthy will earn in the first year of his three-year deal.

    Sherman isn't considered a candidate in Oakland, which has the only unfilled top coaching position in the league.

    QUOTE TO NOTE:
    "This is coming from the mom: "I know that boy hasn't made up his mind yet. Nobody knows what he's going to do, including him. It's a big decision." — Bonita Favre to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Feb. 4 about son and Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who's expected to decide whether to retire or return for a 16th NFL season before the start of free agency March 3.

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

    Notice that last line... geesh, ya think I spoke outta turn? Uuh, don't think so!

    Sorry for the long post - probably eat up your lunch break......

    There's alot more to the read, but waaay too much to be copying over here - just click on the link in the title and read at your leisure.
     
  2. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Good! I'm glad hunting is over. I was worried that Cheney might shoot Brett by 'accident' ...
     
  3. PackerTraxx

    PackerTraxx Cheesehead

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    C'Mon Brett make a two year committment. Let's go for another ring.
     
  4. carol k

    carol k Cheesehead

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    We will be cruising seeing Brett's mom and sister next Friday or Saturday at a hotel in Florida. They are going on the same cruise on which we are going. I am going to "bug" her about Brett. However, last year when she was on the cruise, she claimed she didn't know anymore than the rest of us did.
     
  5. 4packgirl

    4packgirl Cheesehead

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    i like traxx idea - 2 year commitment then retire in style - that'd be awesome!!
     
  6. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    I am looking at it as "No news is good news"...

    My thoughts, if Brett retires it will be before fan fest, if he stays he will announce it at fan fest...keeping fingers and toes crossed..:)
     
  7. GakkofNorway

    GakkofNorway Cheesehead

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    I thought that was TT's job.
     
  8. JbShell

    JbShell Cheesehead

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    why would you bother a poor womenn trying to enjoy a cruise that is flat out rude.
     
  9. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    It's the annual Packers cruise and the Favres are paid quite handsomely to attend (along with a number of players) so don't feel too sorry for them.
     
  10. GakkofNorway

    GakkofNorway Cheesehead

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    maybe we'll have a sex scandal as well :p
     
  11. JbShell

    JbShell Cheesehead

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    oh ok didnt know that sorry
     
  12. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Like she's not going to EXPECT to be asked that question? :wink:
    If Brett's Mom was smart........she'd just get a shirt that says "I don't know if my son is retiring or not!" and wear it the whole cruise!
     
  13. carol k

    carol k Cheesehead

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    They have a question and answer session where we can ask any questions we wish to ask. I was joking when I said, I was going to "bug" her. I am not a rude person. As I said, she was on the cruise last year and didn't seem to be bothered by people asking her about Brett. I like the idea of the shirt. Cute!!! This is not the Packerfantours cruise. We are going on the one sponsored by Fuzzy's. We started out with the Packerfantours, but when Donna--the original lady who planned the Packerfantour cruises--left, we decided to stick with her. She is one neat person.
     

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