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SI's Dan Pompei on Favre

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IndiPack, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. IndiPack

    IndiPack Cheesehead

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    Already cut and pasted 3 articles here today (I'll stop, I'll stop!), but this one from SI.com is particularly well written.



    Favre's picks don't mean he's rotten
    Dan Pompei
    August 3, 2006

    Those gray temples you can attribute to Brett Favre's age. That gimpy walk also is a byproduct of his 36 years.

    But those 29 interceptions from last season had more to do with youthful impetuousness than a deteriorating body. That is to say, the dude still can play. A lot better, in fact, than many of the NFL's starting quarterbacks.

    Before you join the chorus of those who say Favre should have retired, you should know some things about why he threw 12 more interceptions than any other quarterback last year. You probably already know the Packers went through receivers and running backs the way Paris Hilton has gone through boyfriends.

    You might not have realized that most of Favre's problems resulted from the desperation he felt as the Packers' season crumbled.

    Some compelling numbers:

    Only four of Favre's interceptions came when the Packers were winning.

    His passer rating was 86.5 when the Packers had a lead and 61.2 when they trailed.

    He threw 15 touchdown passes in the team's first eight games and only five in its last eight.

    His first quarter passer rating was 101.3; his fourth quarter passer rating was 50.0.

    The trend is obvious. As the lights kept growing dimmer for the Packers, both in the course of games and the season, Favre played with an absence of caution that was appropriate but rare, especially for a veteran. "In games when they're behind, a lot of quarterbacks pack it in and protect their stats," Packers general manager Ted Thompson says. "They say, 'I won't throw any more picks today.' Brett was still trying even when the odds were tall."

    Favre brought up the subject when he met with new quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. He told Clements there were many times he could have dumped off the ball for short completions instead of trying to push the ball downfield but that wouldn't have helped the Packers win. "He acknowledged he was taking chances he wouldn't have taken if the game was close or if we were ahead," Clements says.

    Favre went overboard taking chances. With him behind the wheel, what should have been fender benders became spectacular fiery crashes. In that regard, his play wasn't much different from what it had been in his early years in Green Bay.

    If you are looking for proof that Favre still can play, consider this: Only one of his interceptions came in the red zone. And he threw 11 touchdown passes from the 19-yard line in -- the tightest area on the field.

    When Favre was pondering retirement in the offseason, Thompson told Favre that if he quit, he shouldn't do it because he thought his skills were deteriorating. "I don't see any appreciable drop-off in terms of his physical ability to play the game," Thompson says.

    New Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, who was Favre's quarterbacks coach seven years ago, believes Favre has lost some rpms off his fastball -- but not enough to make a difference. "Back then, he was throwing it at a level I have never seen before," McCarthy says. "He still throws the ball very well."

    For Favre to be the best he can be in his 16th NFL season, he'll need help from his team. McCarthy, who I believe could be the best influence on Favre since Mike Holmgren left town, acknowledges he can help Favre by not panicking with the play-calling. If the Packers are trailing an opponent in 2006, coaches intend to stick with the game plan longer.

    The Packers will have to improve their running game, which ranked 30th in rushing average last season. They could be considerably better in that area because they imported a Broncos-style scheme and have Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport back from injuries.

    There is much less to be encouraged about with their receivers. After Donald Driver, the Packers have no one they can be sure of. Trading Javon Walker has left a vacancy, and Thompson would be wise to try to fill it by acquiring Ashley Lelie. Without better receiver play, Favre's interceptions total could be closer to his age than his shoe size.

    But with some support, Favre will be able to light up a game and a scoreboard with the best of them.


    Comments
    McCarthy better be an innovator
    Posted by tsnmember_139290 on Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:16 am

    Dan you supported your column well. You effectively pointed out Favre's effeciency last season with stats in different situations. From just watching him last yr #4 looked like he was pressing. You gotta love his abandon though. I hope that Brett doesn't grow too many more grey hairs this season because another disaster could be it for him. #4 kept the team guessing until the very last minute for his decision to play in '06. One thing will determine whether we get to witness more great play from Favre in the future. I believe that's the innovation of the offensive schemes. Mike McCarthy, QB guru, would be the one. Without specifically evaluating the talent around #4, I will sum it up this way. GB will struggle to move the football unless McCarthy installs some innovative schemes which maximize the less than stellar offensive talent.


    Favre Legacy
    Posted by thecoach99Blog on Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:42 am

    Winning a title is a tough thing to do, but putting up numbers over the long haul the way he has is not easy and I am hoping we see more of that this year.


    The only trend is that hes getting older and older
    Posted by GreatBlueHeronBlog on Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:43 am

    Sticking around to break Marino's record of 420TD's. Thats about the only reason left to play. Green Bay will be lucky to finish .500

    Hes still throwing interceptions this year too. Another 5 in practice the other day. The reason he tailed off in the 2nd half last year if hes just getting tired. It will repeat itself again this year as Green Bay is no better than last year. Its a long long season and hes just too old to finish strong.


    Favre
    Posted by unlv2005 on Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:41 pm

    What an appologist piece that was. Brett Favre looked like a rookie trusting his arm to much and not caring what happened. The Packers lost many close games last year and in several of those the difference between winning and losing was some patience and dicilpline from the "veteran" Favre. At a time when his team needed more steady conservative play, he threw caution to the wind, even when it was just plain reckless. Then he pulls his selfish, primadonna bs this offseason to the detriment of the team.I gotta love Pakcers fans also, who on 1 hand say Favre made Javon Walker and they won't miss him. These are the same people who last year said "you can't blame Favre, Javon Walker is out." Which way is it you homer cheeseheads? By the way, Walker looks spectacular in camp thus far, everyone is saying the Broncos fleeced the Pack. But have fun this season Packers, you'll be lucky to win 6 games and Favre will be horrible. And his statement about this Packer team being the most talented he's ever played on, that has to be one of the most ridiculous and plain stupid things an athlete has ever said.


    Favre
    Posted by Meat KidBlog on Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:44 pm

    Great article.

    The problem is, the Packers will probably be playing from behind a lot this year, just like they were last year. So the interceptions will likely continue.

    If Favre still looks healthy and in shape, as this article says, I might have to move Driver up on my draft board. But on draft day, I'm still going to avoid Favre like the plague.


    Key is WR's
    Posted by packerfanrafBlog on Thu Aug 03, 2006 01:26 pm

    There is no question that there is a lack of talent surronding Favre in Green Bay. After Driver there are no more reliable recievers. I think this thing could go two ways: the same as last year with Favre heaving up INT's over and over again, or it could be a tunr around year for the Pack. I think the defense won't be that bad this year with the additions of woodson and hawk, so the key will be the WR's. If Ferguson can stay healthy that would be great and draft choice Greg Jennings has lookde great in training camp so far, and of course if they aquired ashley lelie that would be a huge bonus. I'm going to take a chance on Favre this year, at least for the first few weeks and see what happens.


    Posted by CBP9671 on Thu Aug 03, 2006 01:36 pm

    I really don't expect the Favre's season to be that much better in 2006. Do I think he'll throw 29 picks this year? No. But he'll probably throw at least 20.
    The Packers haven't improved much. Favre is one year older. He's lost velocity on his throws. By his own account he doesn't feel like he use to. The WR corp is questionable. The running game may improve, but I doubt it'll be in the top 10.
    I think the Packer are outgunned by every team in their division....and their division is one of the NFL's weakest. They'll still struggle to score points, and Brett will still "press" to win games because he (and the Packers) will be playing from behind. AN 8-8 record would be a MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT. If Favre's TD to INT ratio was 1.5 to 1 I'd be really surprised.
     
  2. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Don't stop! Keep'em coming dude! The more the better!!
     
  3. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    good article... only 5 int's when leading. thats such a great stat.
     
  4. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    There is lots of statistical trickery going on in this article. I don't even know where to start. Here goes:

    1. The reason that only four of Favre's interceptions came when the Packers were winning is that THE PACKERS WERE USUALLY LOSING. It would've required some sort of miracle for Favre to throw more interceptions when they were winning, especially considering the fact that when you are leading in a game and you throw an interception, you usually are not leading for much longer. And since when is it okay to throw interceptions when you are losing anyway? If you are taking legitimate risks, presumably those risks are going to pay off at least SOME of the time. How many comebacks did Favre lead the Packers to last year? And it's not like the Packers were getting killed week-in and week-out. Most of those games were close.

    2. Favre's passer rating was considerably better last year when the Packers led than when they trailed, but wouldn't this be true for just about any quarterback? I mean, when your team is leading it probably means you are playing well, and when your team is losing it probably means that you're not playing so well. This stat gets us nowhere unless it is compared to the stats of other QB's, which Pompei doesn't do.

    3. He threw more touchdown passes early in the season than he did later on, but if this risk-taking was such a good strategy, shouldn't these numbers have been the other way around? Shouldn't all of those INT's have been balanced out by higher numbers of TD's?

    4. How is it a GOOD thing that Favre's first quarter passer rating was so much better than his fourth quarter passer rating? It only emphasizes the fact that he was pressing too much late in games and making bad decisions.

    I hate it that I end up dumping on Favre so much in this forum, but I'm trying to be realistic. He had a crappy season, okay? REALLY crappy. I expect him to do better this year. He was not the main reason the Packers did so poorly last year, but his response to the crisis was not exactly stellar. Maybe having a different coach will help him.
     
  5. TheStone

    TheStone Cheesehead

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    Good point!
     
  6. Since69

    Since69 Cheesehead

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    Well, to be fair... how many minutes were we leading last year?

    I like the 11 TDs-to-1 Int in the redzone better...
     

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