Archive for the ‘Rodgers’ Category

‘Bidding war’ for Favre?

August 6, 2008

Green Bay Press Gazette is reporting that part of the reason for the delay in TT’s press conference today is that there is apparently a bidding war going on between the Jets and the Bucs for Favre. The fact that 2 teams want him and are apparently bidding against one another does score some points for the Packers management here. While I’m still waiting to see what really happened with all this, I must say there is slight comfort at the thought that we may end up getting something in return for Favre leaving…that is of course, if Favre actually ends up playing and reporting to that team’s camp.

Steve will immediately rip this apart – but I hope Favre goes to the Jets and we somehow get both a draft pick or two AND Chad Pennington out of it. Despite being a popular guy to rip on lately, I’m telling you, he’s still got something left. He doesn’t have the greatest arm and is injury prone, but there is something about him mentally that could make him a valuable player to acquire. And, as much faith as I still have in Mike McCarthy to develop QBs, I would feel way more comfortable going into the season with at least one QB who has NFL experience.

STEVE ADDS: No, I like the Pennington part of a deal. He’s a veteran, and he’d be a backup. (Plus, the fact that he throws noodles isn’t as big a liability in our offense.) Could mentor Rodgers. My only concern is that the Jets would see it as giving up their likely starter and I think (and the Packers would think) that he’s an add-on, with the draft being far more important.

ANDY ADDS: What? are you warming to the Pennington in Green and Gold idea? You used to Washington DC me (cut me off immediately) every time I would mention his name! It’s interesting PFT has a story up here, claiming Mangini doesn’t know yet who the starter is – my guess is there may be a reason for this. I sure hope we don’t get Clemens somehow (which I would highly doubt)…that guy rots.

Writing on the wall

August 5, 2008

Perhaps I am overreacting here to some information in Jay Glazer’s most recent piece (actually, that is exactly what I’m doing – I’m a blogger). Read the whole piece here. Following is one tiny event I think might actually be very telling:

Favre emerged from the stadium’s loading dock exit at 2:34 p.m. EDT Tuesday, hugging Packers senior security advisor Jerry Parins before getting in his SUV and driving away. Shortly after, an SUV driven by Packers general manager Ted Thompson left the gate heading in the same direction.

I think it’s significant that he hugged Jerry Parins. Why would he hug the security advisor? I know Favre is rather affectionate, but this seems like something one does when saying goodbye. Sure, perhaps it means that he just isn’t sure when he’ll see his friend Jerry again. But more likely, I think it means that he knows he’s not likely to be around Lambeau anymore.

Also significant in this article is this line:

The continued disagreement on Favre’s role could accelerate trade talks, perhaps with the Minnesota Vikings – something Packers officials have suspected Favre wanted all along but have been firmly opposed to giving him.

Why would Packer officials suspect this “all along” and Glazer write this if there weren’t something behind it. More evidence for Steve’s Favre-to-Vikings post.

Divorce talks back on – Favre/McCarthy not on same page

August 5, 2008

Jay Glazer from Fox Sports reports here that Brett Favre met with Mike McCarthy last night for so long that McCarthy had to cancel his 8:15pm press conference. (I was tuned in to the press conference starting at about 8pm last night and was able to hear the reporters in the room. What initially sounded like regular conversation, I soon realized, was reporters practicing the asking of their particular questions – out loud. Brother Steve, you never told me you people do this. You journalists are odd, talking to yourselves like that). Anyway, Favre met with McCarthy and it apparently was amicable, but they still can’t see eye to eye.

Favre apparently noted on several occasions that he’s worried about messing up team chemistry (something that on its face may seem altruistic, but it could also be further evidence that he may be trying to wiggle out of this to play for the Vikes. “You know, I’ve been feeling bad about all this and just don’t want to disrupt the team any further. I guess I should just play for the Vikings then”). Among other things, Favre apparently now is in line with Rodgers being the starting QB.

I just can’t help but think something else is going on. It seemed McCarthy’s tactic last night may have still been to steer Favre away and Favre’s tactic may have still been to figure out a way to play for the Vikings. He apparently reiterated his desire to play within the division. When Favre first said this to Greta a few weeks ago, he even added “for obvious reasons”. What are those “obvious reasons”? To stick it to TT, the team, and all of Packer Nation? I just don’t get why he’d insist on playing within the division when it seems like such a jackass stance for someone who has been the face of the Packers for nearly 15 years (he wasn’t the face his first two years, Holmgren was). I guess what I struggle with most is that in Favre’s mind, there appear to be just 2 options: 1) starting for the Packers or 2) playing for the Vikings. It just doesn’t make sense – if he really loves this team and organization etc, you’d think he would rule out playing for Minnesota (unless again, he’s so ticked off about something we don’t know about, which I continue to believe is what happened).

Why did TT tell Rodgers he was the guy “no matter what”

August 4, 2008

The D-List (Milwaukee’s ESPN radio program in the morning) were talking this morning re whether the team’s/Mark Murphy’s recent words indicated that the team was softening its stance or not. In talking about it, they discussed how difficult it would be to go back now, and then pointed out that Ted Thompson told Aaron Rodgers the day after Favre retired that Rodgers was the guy, and TT apparently added “no matter what”.

First of all, why would you ever say “no matter what” and be so definitive about something that isn’t a very definitive thing. I think TT set himself up for some of this misery by saying this so soon after Favre retired. Now, I know Rodgers at the time was not only the most sensible option, but the only option, so I don’t blame the team for looking in his direction. But what if a draft pick came in and lit up camp or a veteran became available somehow who fit the system perfectly? But I think TT telling Rodgers he was the guy “no matter what” served to paint the team into a corner – especially should Favre want to play again, which of course is exactly what happened. I think a lot of this comes down to TT being stubborn and not wanting to go back on his promise to Rodgers. And I think that is partly why Rodgers was so certain back in June (read Steve’s previous post) that he was still the guy despite Favre’s growing itch. He was promised the starting job. And this is just part of why I feel badly for Aaron Rodgers.

But the bigger issue I have with this is that it was Ted Thompson who told Rodgers this. Listen, I’m glad we have a GM who seems to have an understanding of talent etc and that he’s really into his job. And despite my recent criticism of him, there are still many reasons why I think he’s a good GM. But it’s none of his business to declare a player a starter “no matter what”. That is Mike McCarthy’s decision. If McCarthy would have declared this back in March, I would have thought it was premature, especially if he said “no matter what”, but I wouldn’t have written a post about it because that’s his call. I just am frustrated that it was TT who apparently made this call to Rodgers immediately after Favre’s retirement to make this premature promise.

The only excuse I could see for this would be if TT was just fuming at the time because he had just learned that it was the Vikings and Favre’s interest in playing for the Vikings that prompted Favre to want to unretire.

Rodgers: 100% Certain that Favre Is Done with Packers

August 4, 2008

Ouch. How certain was Aaron Rodgers that Brett Favre would never play another down in a Green Bay Packer uniform? “100 percent.” That was June 27, 2008, just a few days before the Favre news broke. The conversation went like this.

Jim Rome: As far as Brett goes, are you convinced that he’s played his last down?

Rodgers: In Green Bay? For sure. 100 percent. I really don’t see him coming back with another team, but when it comes to, you know, training camp and maybe getting that itch again — who knows? But as far as Green Bay, we’re moving forward with the guys we got.

And:

“I don’t know what’s going to happen when training camp rolls around. But as far as Green Bay is concerned, we’re just moving on without him.”

Bedard dead wrong – Rodgers got loud ovation

August 3, 2008

Not sure what game Bedard was watching but Aaron Rodgers got a loud ovation when he ran onto the field at Lambeau tonight. Loud. And, when they just gave away his jersey (can’t believe I’m still tuned into this thing), there was another loud ovation and lots of excitement.

Tim Van Vooren from Fox 6 was just talking in fact about how Rodgers was so well received by fans tonight. Bedard’s wrong here and overstating a particular moment of the night when Rodgers had just thrown his 7th consecutive horrendous pass or so and the fans kind of booed. It wasn’t a Philadelphia Eagle fan “we all totally hate you right now, let’s fight” boo – it was a relatively tame boo that said “wow, if you’re supposed to be our guy, we sure don’t want to see a string of crappy passes like that during the season”. Sure, it’s odd anytime Packer fans boo, but that sure as hell better not be the story of the night.

Suggestion for Favre situation

July 30, 2008

Should Favre be given chance to compete for the starting job? This is a question that I have been considering the last few days. I didn’t want to have to consider this, but it’s a legit question right now. I find it somewhat curious that the Packers have maintained the stance that Favre cannot compete for the starting job. I know it’s a hard-line stance that they developed mostly due to Favre’s wavering and the significant issues this continues to present. And, I understand that the team had made a decision to move forward which has led to subsequent, key organizational decisions (like implementing Rodgers-specific plays, figuring life with $12M more in cap space, drafting 2 QBs…despite TT always stating he doesn’t draft for need…).

But not allowing Favre to compete for the starting spot would seem to fly in the face of McCarthy’s philosophy of “open competition”. Every year we hear about the various open competitions going on. There was an open competition between Mason Crosby and Dave Rayner last year and despite Rayner being a solid incumbent who competed at a high level, Crosby was able to beat him out because it was “open”. The Poppinga/Chillar battle has apparently been an “open” competition as have the never-ending battles for the guard spots. There is an open punter competition and right now at least an open RB competition. There is an open competition at safety with Rouse factoring in and an open competition for the 3rd cornerback spot. There is an open competition at WR, at TE, etc.

So, it would seem to me that one reasonable compromise would be to have the Packers tell Favre he can compete for the starting job against Rodgers (and Brohm) and that in exchange for doing so, the team would like Favre to agree to restructuring his contract to a 1 year $8 million deal and an a clear agreement now that Favre would make any retirement decision at the end of this season by February of 2009 (after the Super Bowl) at the latest. If the money isn’t critical to Favre, he’d agreed to this as a way of apologizing for his part in this mess. And this would enable Favre to start waffling now. And, let’s face it, while Favre was great last year, he’s old for an NFL player and he may be getting to a playing age where a younger guy may finally catch up with him and be able to outperform him. Having an open competition would also enable Rodgers (and Brohm) a real chance to simply outperform Favre in camp and win the job. Frankly, it’s what Rodgers would have to do right now anywhere else in the entire NFL if he weren’t a Packer – so it makes some sense. If he is indeed so well-versed in the offense as they say and the offense flows really well through him, he would have the opportunity to start which would still be an improvement from last year where he didn’t have this opportunity.

(Interesting note: one guy you have to feel for in all of this is Matt Flynn. He was probably all fired up to come to Green Bay where he could fight for the #2 spot, but if Favre does return, he may end up being the odd man out. I’ll bet Flynn’s family and friends are pulling hard for a Favre retirement or a last-minute trade!)

(Interesting note #2: interesting candor by some other players re their preferences (in McGinn’s jsonline article this morning, like Ryan Pickett very clearly wanting Favre to come back).

Wilde: Evidence Packers are divided

July 30, 2008

First of all, read the previous post re the use of the word literally. Very funny. Many people use this word incorrectly and it can make you look pretty silly when you do – so read up.

Now, onto the article here, by Jason Wilde. Some very interesting interviews. He talks about specific players who appear to lean one way or the other on the Favre/Rodgers thing. Not really too surprising I guess, but interesting. He says that generally the younger players prefer Rodgers and some of the veterans want Favre back. He quotes James Jones as saying outright that he has a better relationship with Rodgers, Jennings as remaining neutral and Driver being clearly happy Favre may return. But the most interesting quote was from Charles Woodson. While Wilde’s take is that Woodson is “torn”, my guess is that he is not, that he is squarely in the Favre camp but he was being diplomatic at the end of the quote just in case Rodgers is the guy. Here it is, you decide:

“My feeling is, he never should’ve retired. I don’t believe in being pressured to retire. This is Brett Favre. You don’t pressure Brett Favre into retiring. So you wish he never had retired,” Woodson said. “(Then again), my opinion is, OK, we’ve seen Brett play, we know what he can do. We’ve seen him have bad years, bad games, too. We haven’t seen anything of A-Rod for a whole season. So how do we know what we gain or what we lose unless we see him?

“I’ve seen enough of (Rodgers) in practice to know he can play. Now is just the thing of going out and being a consistent. You don’t know until you get further down the line, but I think he’s going to be all right.”

One important note that backs up my belief that Woodson is a Favre guy is that at McCarthy’s press conference on Monday night when it was announced Favre had filed, a reporter (possibly Wilde) asked about whether the team was divided. The reporter asked “with players like Charles Woodson chanting ‘Brett Favre, Brett Favre’ in the background, do you have concerns the locker room will be divided?” Now, I wouldn’t put it past Charles to have done this in a joking way, perhaps with Rodgers around, but I get the sense that he feels Favre was pressured into retirement and it wasn’t right. I also believe that’s how Driver and probably a good number of others feel. It makes me wonder a little bit about how these other possible supporters of Favre view Thompson overall.

While the present divide is concerning, I don’t think it will take down the team, unless the decision re who will start is dragged out until just before the season starts. I have confidence in Mike McCarthy’s leadership skills and believe he will be able to get the team to rally behind whoever is named the starter.

UPDATE: Thanks to Aaron at cheesheadtv.com for this correction:

The NYT made it pretty clear that Woodson’s chant was a joke…

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/sports/football/30favre.html?ref=sports
News of Favre’s reinstatement request spread quickly among Packers players. As a gag, the veteran cornerback Charles Woodson started a “We Want Brett” chant as he walked by the sizable group of reporters awaiting McCarthy’s postpractice briefing.

“Just having a little fun,” Woodson said at his locker. “I knew you guys would get a kick out of that.”

Jsonline also reporting Favre to camp

July 25, 2008

Jsonline is also reporting that a source indicates Favre is planning to come to camp for the Packers and that he will be signing his reinstatement papers. The thought by Tom Silverstein apparently is that Favre either is pushing this whole thing further so he can be traded or that Favre may just want to return to the Packers and be accepting of the stated order of QBs (Rodgers #1). I continue to be surprised by how this is all playing out, but maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by anything anymore.

I have a hard time picturing Favre on the sidelines for the Packers. It would be very awkward to have Rodgers running around out there starting when Favre’s healthy – especially in light of the year Favre had last year. What if Favre outperforms Rodgers in camp? What if he works harder than in the past and demonstrates a commitment to the team? What if Rodgers tweaks a hammy? What if McCarthy eventually believes Favre should be the starter but TT won’t allow it? Too many questions. Too ugly.

As much as it seemed impossible to me a few months ago, it almost seems more likely at this point that Favre will be playing in another uniform come September. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he plays really well considering his tendency to thrive in adverse situations.

Stay tuned…

Ryan Grant re Favre/Rodgers on Mike and Mike

July 21, 2008

This morning on Mike and Mike in the morning, ESPN radio, Ryan Grant spoke a bit re the QB issue in Green Bay. While he appropriately steered clear of taking shots at anyone, one theme I sensed from his comments was that teammates appear to have some sympathy for Rodgers here and that Grant (and he implied others) believe Rodgers has handled all of this very well. If Rodgers can maintain his cool re all of this (though certainly his comments before the Favre comeback story took over were a little concerning), I think it will bode well for team chemistry if he indeed ends up being the starter in 2008. While there are likely some players (likely veterans) who may identify with Favre here and feel like he’s been poorly treated (former Packer Leroy Butler is one), my guess is that ultimately, if Rodgers steps in as the guy, the team will pick up where it left off prior to all of this, by rallying around him.

Because I didn’t catch the whole Ryan Grant interview though, I’m not sure if they talked about his contract situation. If not, it’s probably because we all know what he would have said anyway “they are working on it and I’m confident we can reach an agreement. I want to play for the Packers and I’m letting my agent work on that”. Anyway, there is one week before training camp and Grant and 9 draftees have not signed yet. Let’s get this done Grant/team…


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