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Packers 2007 Preview: Favre Riding Into Sunset?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007...ll-brett-favre-ride-off-into-the-sunset/#cont

    Packers 2007 Preview: Will Brett Favre Ride Off Into the Sunset?

    2006 Offense: Things were rough right out of the starting gate for the Green Bay Packers in 2006. They were completely shut down at home by the Chicago Bears in week one and many thought they were doomed from the start. Although the offense began to pick things up in week two, it fell back down to earth in week four against the Eagles when they managed only three field goals. Following another loss to the Rams in week five, the Packers were 1-4 and any hope seemed lost. However, Brett Favre and Donald Driver had other ideas. The two of them went on to carry an offense that ranked ninth overall in yards per game -- no thanks to their 23rd ranked rushing attack.

    2006 Defense: The Packers defense, with the help of rookie linebacker A.J. Hawk, had a somewhat solid 2006 campaign. Statistically, they really didn't appear to be very good, but much of that blame can be placed on their special teams. Although they ranked 25th in opponents points scored, they didn't give up a ton of yards and were near the top of the league in sacks and interceptions. Additionally, they had one of, if not the best third down defense in the entire NFL.

    2006 Special Teams: As noted above, many of the Packers hardships can be blamed on the special teams unit. The punt and kickoff coverage was average at best, while the actual return units were almost useless. And it didn't help that Dave Rayner missed nine field goals and an extra point.

    Coaching: First year coach Mike McCarthy and his staff did an admirable job considering they were handed a team with 15 rookies and four second-year players. There is usually a one-year transition time when a new coach takes over, but that wasn't the case in Green Bay. It seemed like the team really took to McCarthy's philosophy and game-planning after week five.

    Draft: The Packers were able to stock up on young talent in the 2007 NFL Draft. They made 11 selections and each one of them filled a hole or added depth where it needed to be. Perhaps even more impressive is that the first three selections, DT Justin Harrell, RB Brandon Jackson and WR James Jones, all appear to be studs of the future. Additionally, kicker Mason Crosby, linebacker Desmond Bishop and safety Aaron Rouse all have the ability to join the previous group as future Packers stars. All in all, it was a great draft.

    New Additions: Green Bay made very little noise in the free agent market in 2007. In fact, the only significant addition came when they signed cornerback Frank Walker, who was previously with the New York Giants. Walker's role will be strictly as a nickel corner.

    Three Keys:

    1) Can the Packers get off to a fast start? A fast start may be the difference between a playoff appearance and missing out because of strength of schedule -- as was the case last season.

    2) Can Brandon Jackson carry the load? Although Vernand Morency will receive his fair share of the carries, Jackson is the key to a successful running game in Green Bay.

    3) Will Brett Favre cause a distraction? Although it hasn't been announced, this is likely to be Favre's last season (for real this time). The Packers would really benefit it if this didn't turn into the drama Tiki Barber's Giants retirement did.

    Prediction: It won't take much to reach the playoffs in the NFC and that will be a good thing for the Packers. I, personally, believe Brandon Jackson will handle the load just fine and that it will be enough to push Green Bay over the edge. Favre will get one final playoff shot after the Packers go 9-7.
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    http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070828/PKR01/708280535/1989

    Favre not exactly mellowing with age: QB knows he needs to temper his occasional frustration with his inexperienced teammates

    Brett Favre and Mike McCarthy were watching film the other day of last season's blowout loss at Philadelphia, but they just as easily could have been viewing tape from Thursday's preseason loss to Jacksonville. It was during that film session when McCarthy offered perhaps the most succinct advice anyone has given Favre during the latter stages of his career. "He was like, 'You know, you've got to relax. You've got to settle down,'" Favre recalled on Monday. "And I realize that." Implementing that might be more difficult than realizing it for the ultracompetitive quarterback, who knows he's running out of chances to make one more playoff run.

    Relaxed would not be among the words to use when describing Favre's demeanor during a rough stretch against the Jaguars. Playing with a group of young, inexperienced receivers, Favre was visibly upset with mistakes by rookie receiver James Jones, who has been one of the stars of this training camp. On the game's third play from scrimmage, Favre wanted to get rid of the ball quickly against a blitz, but Jones failed to break off his route in order to allow the quarterback to make a quick throw before he was sacked. Two series later, on a third-and-9 play, Jones stopped running on a crossing route, and Favre's throw went well beyond Jones, killing the drive. After both plays, Favre threw his hands up in the air and made gestures indicating he was upset with the way Jones had run those routes. "I think my experience and my success here and in this game serves me well, but at times, it can work against me," Favre said during a 16-minute session with reporters following Monday's practice. "My patience is a lot thinner than it used to be." However, during the same news conference, Favre questioned whether he's "overly dramatic out there."


    Then, Favre showed a light-heartedness that has become rare during his news conferences in recent years, when he feigned the same kind of gestures he made during the game. "You're coming up with a good story," said the 37-year-old Favre, who is about to begin his 17th NFL season. "Favre is letting it get to him." Still, Favre admitted he's not always the happy-go-lucky, locker-room prankster he was during his younger years. "I've grown out of that, really," Favre said. "I've grown up. In fact, there's times when I felt like I need to get back to that kid at heart. Back then, it was much easier to goof around and be a knucklehead, because that's what I was. There was a lot of older guys, and you looked to them as a leader, so you're going to kind of put everyone at ease by joking around." Perhaps Favre feels disconnected from a team that has only four other players over 30, or maybe he feels an obligation to be more of a mentor than a friend. "I have to enjoy the game, and understand that these guys will make mistakes," Favre said. "I think my position on this team is to produce and be concerned only with my position, first and foremost, but it's to lead these other guys. I know there's a correct way and an incorrect way, but I think it's kind of fuzzy in between. I don't want to be a coach on the field because it's hard enough to play, and I don't want to show frustration. But there's only 16 games, and one play can determine not only a game, but it could determine a season. That's kind of where I'm coming from."

    For his part, Jones claimed in the locker room on Monday that he wasn't bothered by Favre's display of frustration against the Jaguars. "Especially with a young team, I wouldn't see why he wouldn't get frustrated," Jones said. "But it's a learning process. It's just my first year, and I'm sure Favre understands it's my first year, so we're going to make mistakes. I don't look at (Favre's gestures) in any type of way. That's just being competitive and being in the heat of the moment. When something bad happens, right there it's your reaction. Once we get off the field, we talk about it and learn from it. "Shoot, we can't just smile at it every time something goes wrong."


    Other than Donald Driver, Favre has a bunch of inexperienced receivers in his stable. Jones has flashed, perhaps more than No. 2 receiver Greg Jennings did a year ago. With Driver out at least for the preseason finale on Thursday at Tennessee due a sprained foot, Favre has gotten more work with his younger receivers that the Packers hope eases some of his angst. "It's coming along," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "We're not in midseason form by any stretch, but we've seen some progress."
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    http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007...kers-teammates-i-have-nothing-in-common-with/

    Brett Favre on Packers Teammates: 'I Have Nothing in Common With the Younger Guys'

    Packers quarterback Brett Favre will turn 38 this season, making him more than a decade older than most of his teammates -- the average age of the players on the Packers roster is just over 25, making them the youngest team in the league. In an interview on NFL Network's Total Access, Favre indicated just how big a difference there is, from a personality standpoint, between him and his teammates: "I have nothing in common with the younger guys," Favre said. "But in this business it's not about making friends, and I understand that. It's about winning football games, and I know that as well as anyone...."There's a lot of guys on this team calling me sir, which is kind of odd, and I correct them quickly. ... I hear a lot of 'Hey, I had your poster on my wall when I was in third grade.'" "Hey, I had your poster on my wall when I was in third grade" is on the very short list of things that a rookie could say to a veteran teammate that makes the rookie think he's just paid the ultimate compliment and make the veteran want to pound the rookie into oblivion.
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    http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/207393

    Packers: Another chemistry lesson:Finally, Brett Favre understands how it must have felt.

    Surrounded by still-learning, mistake-making youngsters, the Green Bay Packers veteran quarterback now knows why former coach Mike Holmgren had to start using Rogaine (and probably Grecian Formula, too) in the mid-1990s: Talented but unpredictable young players will make you pull your hair out, and turn what you have left gray. "My patience is a lot thinner now than it used to be," Favre said Monday afternoon as he prepared for Thursday night's preseason finale at Tennessee. "Now I see what my coaches went through early in my career. Especially a guy like Mike Holmgren, who'd coached (Hall of Fame quarterbacks) Steve Young and Joe Montana (in San Francisco) and seen it done over and over again the right way — and then all of a sudden he gets Brett Favre, who's a gunslinger and all this stuff, and he had to be patient. "Now, he wasn't very patient. He allowed me to continue to play, but he was not very patient. And I find myself sometimes preaching some of the things he taught me. Some of the things that were said to me throughout my career by other coaches, I find myself using."

    Like in last week's loss to Jacksonville, for example, when rookie wide receiver James Jones made two route-running mistakes and ended up on the receiving end of what Favre called "constructive" on-field criticism. Second-year receiver Greg Jennings also drew Favre's ire. On one play, Favre was sacked because Jones ran a "go" when he should have broken off the route because of the coverage. Later, Jones stopped on a route across the middle, leading to an incompletion. Another Favre pass fell incomplete when Jennings turned one way and Favre threw the other. Jones' mistakes sullied another otherwise impressive night. He caught six passes for 80 yards and leads the team with 16 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns. The miscommunication with Jennings came after he had caught his first two passes of the preseason. "It was a mistake on my part. A bad play by me," Jones said. "You learn from it. That's why the chemistry you get with each other is so important. And we'll get that with each other."

    To that end, Favre lobbied coach Mike McCarthy to let him play a few series against the Titans on Thursday night, especially with No. 1 receiver Donald Driver sidelined by a sprained right foot. With Driver out, Jennings and Jones will start and Ruvell Martin, Carlyle Holiday and late-blooming rookie fifth-round pick David Clowney all should see playing time with Favre. "I know Mike initially was against it, but it gives me a chance to play with these younger guys because we're going to have to play together (during the regular season)," said Favre, who in three games has completed 23 of 39 passes for 211 yards, with one touchdown, no interceptions and an 82.3 quarterback rating. "There's still some things we have to work out, but the only way you work them out is you play together. "To be honest with you, I'd prefer to play the whole game. Every bit of time on the field I can get is very valuable to me."

    All three times Favre has spoken to reporters during training camp, he has brought up how critical chemistry is with his receivers, bemoaning the fact that Driver is the only receiver he feels he can trust completely. Given Jones' impressive camp, it's vital the two get on the same page with the regular-season opener Sept. 9 against Philadelphia. "I don't know if it's just isolated to James Jones. There's times when a veteran receiver, when you're running a read-route and you're giving guys options to do different things, is going to make mistakes, too," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "To sit here and say we're going to have flawless execution from a rookie from Week 1, I don't know that we get flawless execution out of anybody." Which means Favre has to be careful showing his on-field frustration — he snapped off his chinstrap in disgust after the sack, and demonstratively chewed out Jones after the aborted route — and deal with it the right way.

    "I have to enjoy the game (and) understand that some of these guys will make mistakes," Favre admitted. "I know there's a correct way and I know there's an incorrect way (to deal with those mistakes), but it's kind of fuzzy in between. I don't want to be a coach on the field, because it's hard enough to play, and I don't want to show frustration, but there's only 16 games. And one play can determine not only a game, but it could determine a season. "Unlike baseball and basketball, where you can be in a slump for a 10-game stretch and come out of it and you're fine, you can't do that in football. That's where I'm coming from."
     
  2. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    I keep hearing it over and over and over about the receivers Brett has to throw to and how young they are and how inexperienced they are and on and on.

    Yet when you compare his receivers to other teams I just don't see the big deal. Donald Driver vs. whoever. Donald almost always wins.

    Greg Jennings vs whoever. On the top of the best receiving teams he loses to their #2 but he's also as good as most any other #2. Other than Indy and a few others he's right there.

    James Jones looks to have as much talent as any #3 out there and Brett hasn't had any problem finding him. He has missed a couple of routes but on the other hand he hasn't dropped a single pass yet. The guys a great #3. A strong and sure handed #3. It's as good as it get's.

    Backups Martin and Holiday were both there last year. Both contributed and I recall both making important catches at critical times to help win ball games.

    Yet in almost every article it's like Brett has nobody he is familiar with or with any talent to throw to. Even Bubba's holding onto the ball and not just falling down after he catches it.

    I don't buy it.
     
  3. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    Of course if the Packers WR's do, in fact, play well it will be a huge "surprise" to so many sportswriters. Oh my, what a BIG surprise the Packers passing game is and how these guys have come thru.

    Truly amazing isn't it?

    Not really. Just because you got it WRONG in the first place doesn't mean it's an amazing set of circumstances now.
     
  4. Raider Pride

    Raider Pride Cheesehead

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    T.T. This is not right.

    Brett is a future first round HOF member of this organization.

    Trade some of the young players for older veteren players that he has somthing in common with. He has earned it.

    "The New R.P."
     
  5. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    I think the receivers are pretty good. Maybe the 2nd best trio in the division after the Lions. However the Tight Ends and Running Backs is a huge concern which hurts the Pack's offense

    I think the 9-7 prediction is fair. I think they'll probably go 8-8 again. I think 7-9 at the very least and at best 9-7.
     
  6. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I think so much of how well our Offense does this year will depend on how well we do on 1st downs.

    Last year, we were near the bottom of league in average gains on first down. That really makes things tough on second and third down.

    If we can improve that aspect of our game, I think our O will be able to hold its own. Obviously it won't be as good as the 2003/2004 O, but it'll be solid nonetheless.
     
  7. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    UPDATED.
     
  8. retiredgrampa

    retiredgrampa Cheesehead

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    Hey new RP!! I must admit I liked your opinions better when you were the old RP. I'm going to assume you were being sarcastic about getting old guys just for Favre. Actually, I find Favre's comments to be self-serving and patronizing. He's swallowed too many of those compliments from Favrenation and believes his is the only knowledgeable opinion. His mates would never say it but his ego must grate on many of them. It certainly grates on me. JMO.
     
  9. Yared-Yam

    Yared-Yam Cheesehead

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    Older doesn't mean you're better.

    I don't think it's wise to trade young talent just so Favre can someone to talk to.
     
  10. Yared-Yam

    Yared-Yam Cheesehead

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    I agree with you on that.

    As for the veterans, there's plenty of them on the team for Favre to talk to.

    Tauscher / Clifton / Driver / Kampman / Harris / Woodson / Manuel

    Perhaps he's just upset that his hunting partner and heir-apparent got undeservedly released.
     
  11. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Favre is just being his amusing "iconic aging sports hero self." He is the leader of this team, amusing predictable critics not withstanding. As journalists have noted for 2 years, he does look a bit isolated especially Thursday night at times. It goes with the territory with a very green huddle epitomized by Wrs Jennings/Jones making "Espn News" mistakes leading to Favre's dramatics.

    On ESPN radio [Tuesday am] about the NFC North and if there might be a surprise team, Morty said it was GB because of their D, but he also said it was a shame nothing has been done to surround Favre with talent.

    I am reminded of the final 2006 game...the difference between being competitive vs being a true winner along with RB A. Green's postdraft comments. The preview article's final three points say it all about what needs to happen and the rookies/Jennings/etc. better set up.


    Amusingly, I liked his final interview comment Thursday night, "It is, it is."
     

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