Archive for the ‘Rodgers’ Category

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 for this correction:

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

Response to Steve’s Favre Interview II post

July 15, 2008

I’m falling in line with many who are questioning Favre at this point and agree with much of what Brother Steve has written on the matter. I worry that he’s become somewhat selfish over time, and part of me can see the functionality of standing up to him.

However, I disagree with parts of the last post. I do think that those 3 points of difference Favre had with Ted Thompson are significant in that they shed light on why Favre’s brother, Favre himself and the now simply out of control Al Jones keep pointing their fingers at TT. It also validates my suspicion (something we’ve written about before) that TT and Favre have not seen eye to eye now for a few years. And it also begs the questions: what else have they differed on and how big is the rift between them right now.

I agree with Brother Steve that Favre is not the GM and on one level, these 3 instances should viewed as Favre and TT simply disagreeing. And taken separately, each issue alone is probably not a big deal. But cumulatively, over time, I could see how Favre would feel a bit frustrated when he believes in something and TT seemingly disregards his thoughts. While he’s not the GM, he has clearly been the most important figure in Green Bay for some time now. That is undeniable. And he has earned that – so he should have some sway at least – more than a Tyrone Culver for example. I agree with Steve that signing Mariucci may not have been a great idea as McCarthy has more than proven his abilities already (and Mariucci was not stellar in his coaching efforts). Favre was off there and if he were off on the other 2, I’d chalk it up to him having no clue re personnel stuff. But I disagree re the other 2 issues: clearly Moss can still play and clearly the O-Line suffered dramatically when Wahle and Rivera left. I think Brother Steve arguing that Moss may not have fit in the locker room is a weak argument – Moss went on to have one of the best seasons ever by a receiver and I think it’s not unreasonable to assume he would have been very good with the Pack too. Favre was right on that one. And, Favre was partially right too on the O-Line issue. The O-Line has been a source of weakness for the last 2 years mostly (with the second half of last season sort of excepted). I don’t think Rivera should have been re-signed, but Wahle definitely should have. We still don’t know who our left guard is 3 years later. At the time, Wahle was a snubbed pro-bowler and a major reason Mike Sherman’s incredibly predictable run game somehow flourished back in the day.

And I also take issue with Favre weighing in only on issues that affect him. Of course he’d do that – if he started saying we need a new safety and a better punter, then he’d be imposing his thoughts on areas that he doesn’t know as much about. It makes sense for him to offer suggestions on matters that affect him.

As we all become more aware of the interpersonal dynamics at play between Favre and TT and Favre and MM, it helps give us more insight into the complexity of Favre’s retirement decision. That said, I still don’t see how this stuff would have influenced him as much as it seemingly did. If he wanted to play, he could have played, by all accounts. He had the support of fans, family, teammates, the coach at least…

I’ve found myself in a curious position today – wavering like Favre from understanding Favre’s position of just wanting to play now and regretting his retirement decision and the teams’ position of just wanting to bring some resolution to this by moving on with a decision they’ve already made. Perhaps in one of the next few posts, we’ll focus in on some possible solutions to this mess – again, as aspiring GMs, we need to think more re how to move forward.

Favre to Miami for Jason Taylor?

July 11, 2008

Read this from Speculation that one scenario might have Favre going to Miami for Jason Taylor. Now, while I have lobbied for Favre’s return based mostly on the fact that he’s our best QB, if this scenario played out, I wouldn’t be as devastated by all of this. Taylor would be a high quality pick-up and Favre would apparently get his wish to play more. I do agree with Brother Steve that if it turns out to be true that Favre waffled a few times prior to deciding on retirement, it does make the Packers stance more acceptable (and TT less culpable). I just hope for more info soon and a statement from Favre so that we can get a sense for where this may go.

Favre asks for release – crap…

July 11, 2008

Read here from Chris Mortensen at ESPN. This is not what I was hoping would happen. This is monumental news. Now the Packers have to do something.

What I thought a few weeks ago to be unlikely is playing out right in front of us: Brett Favre may play for another team. It makes me feel sick frankly.

As we’ve maintained here at Packergeeks, we’re not pleased with how Favre has handled this whole thing. He should have stated clearly that he wanted to play again in some kind of press conference. (Though I do wonder if he chose not to do this when he got the impression that perhaps the team didn’t want him back). He has now cast himself in a somewhat selfish light as he goes on to pursue life with another team.

Ted Thompson again, is also at fault for this. His lack of communication at the least I’m sure has made the entire retirement process more difficult for Favre. Sure, Favre’s his own man and can make his own decisions, but when you get the strong feeling that the GM of your team doesn’t want you there, it has to have somewhat of an effect on you. I think we’ll find out as this plays out that somewhere along the way, Favre and TT had a big falling out – where TT may have even said directly to Favre that he wants to move on without him – that he wants him to retire.

One of the things that continues to surprise me re this situation is TT’s lack of effort to encourage Favre to return because TT has proven to have a good take on talent. Favre is a great player and still is the best QB on this team. It is just extra surprising to me that a GM who handles other matters seemingly so well, has been so rigid, removed and absent the last few weeks during such a critical time for the team.

Brother Steve is on the phone right now saying that he’s pissed that Favre would ask for a straight release without allowing the Packers to at least try to get something for him. He’s also pissed at TT thinking this all may be an ego move on TT’s part because Rodgers is his man. Steve notes that if the Packers were to win a Super Bowl with Favre, everyone would talk about Favre. But if they win with Rodgers, everyone will talk about TT.

This is just so ugly. Now what? The Vikings? The Bears?

I need several beers…

Favre situation could hurt Packer locker room

July 8, 2008

Readers Joshywoshy and Arealpackerfan both make a similar, solid point when evaluating this whole Favre situation. They both mention that the locker room will suffer and that essentially, this whole matter could end up being quite divisive among teammates, fans and even staff (I think it’s safe to say it already has been divisive). This is becoming a major concern. One of the things that has happened this off-season is that the Packers and fans have rallied around Rodgers as our hope for the future. Not only has Rodgers done well so far stepping into this role, but the team, fans and staff have all developed sincere excitement that Rodgers is the new man. To have Favre drop this on us now, puts that positive momentum on hold at least for now. It immediately brings with it a budding QB controversy and destabilizes what had become a stable, positive environment under Rodgers.

So, I can understand the many arguments that I’ve heard from our readers and on radio noting that it’s at least unfortunate for Rodgers and team chemistry that this is happening right now. And, I can also understand why readers are frustrated by Favre’s timing and his indirect communication on this matter. In fact, I think Favre apparently leaking comeback rumors out there to see how his return might be received is not too different from back in junior high when you’d tell your friend to tell his cousin to tell the best friend of a hot chick that you like her. Just come out with it.

At the same time, if TT truly did tell Favre “I’m on vacation..” and then didn’t respond to him otherwise, I think that’s really bad form. TT doesn’t need to have a prepared response and all that – right now he just needs to listen to the Hall of Fame QB who has been the face of the organization for 17 years. I’ll admit, this would be a bit different for me right now if Favre had 12 TDs and 19 INTs last year and the Packers finished 9-7, just shy of the playoffs. I’d be squarely in the camp of wanting to move on with Rodgers. But the Packers finished 14-4, went way further than ANYONE predicted and most “experts” credited Favre with leading them to this accomplishment. To me, his clear demonstration last year of the fact that he can still play very well is the reason TT needs to deal with this and deal with this right now. I don’t know if it means Favre should be welcomed back open arms – but TT should AT LEAST TALK TO THE GUY to see what the hell is going on! Sorry Ted, I know it’s hard work, especially when you’re good at what you do (for the most part), but being the GM of the Packers IS a damn vacation!! It’s the best job one could have!  So do your job TT and handle this matter before it gets further out of control.

More Favre, Ted Thompson analysis from ESPN

July 7, 2008

Read here for an article by Gene Wojciechowski from He makes a similar case to the one I made a few posts ago (in fact, does Gene W read packergeeks???) – indicating TT has not wanted Favre back. I think this is well written and he makes a sensible argument (of course I think that…dumb sentence, please disregard). The only area of disagreement I have with him is when he implies that there will be a huge drop-off in play from Favre to Rodgers. As I’ve said before, I think Rodgers is going to be an effective NFL QB in a different way from Favre. But right now, I’d still rather have Favre as the QB for this team as I believe he gives us the best chance to win it all. And as Gene W argues, it is TT’s job to make sure the Packers, from a personnel standpoint, are fielding the best team. Though again, I suspect that part of what may be happening here is that TT genuinely believes Rodgers, right now, is better than Favre for this team. While I would disagree with this, a small part of me does recognize that TT has shown himself to be a solid evaluator of talent, so who knows, I suppose it’s possible TT ends up being right – and that Rodgers comes in and dominates.

Ted Thompson wanted Favre out

July 3, 2008

(The initial part of this post was first drafted back in March, around Favre’s retirement time, but it was not posted because Steve wanted to “do more research”…I’m trying purge Steve of his journalist tendencies and have them give way to blogger tendencies, but no dice. We’ve actually both thought that TT has wanted Favre out now for a while – dating back to last year. We’re writing this now because if this Favre thing is pushed further, I’m pretty convinced we’ll all see that TT never wanted Favre back anyway – TT did everything he could to make it clear to Favre that TT was ready for the Favre era to end).

Here it is. Steve and I have been speculating about this really ever since the 2006 season ended. We have reached the conclusion that by his actions (or inactions), his words and even his non-verbals (counselor-speak), TT has made it relatively clear to fans and I’m sure Favre, that he was actually NOT indifferent to Favre’s retirement decision (which was the public impression he conveyed), but that he just didn’t want Favre on the team anymore, period. We have been monitoring this scenario the whole off-season like most NFL fans with a suspicious eye cast toward TT. Following is our argument.

  • Prior to Favre’s retirement, TT responded to a reporter wondering if TT had encouraged Favre to come back by saying something to the effect of: Favre is a 38 year old man, he can make his own decisions. TT handled this reporter’s question in a dismissive fashion.
  • Mike McCarthy never spoke inclusively of TT whenever alluding to efforts to encourage Favre to come back. On a good number of occasions, MM was clear that he wanted Favre to come back, but MM never indicated “we” or never mentioned TT when referring to Favre (that I am aware of).
  • TT being extra clear once Favre did retire that Rodgers is the guy. Sure, this is a logical thing to say considering he was back-up last year and has learned now for 3 years behind Favre etc. But it was interesting that this was simply declared by TT right after Favre retired when the modern-day response for coaches/GMs to any talk of who will start is “it’s an open competition” etc.
  • TT’s handling of the locker situation – wanting a clear, tangible reminder to all that Favre is done.
  • TT making sure Favre’s retirement ceremony would take place as soon as possible – the first game of the season.
  • TT drafting 2 QBs in the draft. For a guy who “never drafts for need”, this appears to be an extra obvious message to Favre that the team is attempting to move on.
  • TT’s non-verbals during the whole retirement announcement process. I got a fairly strong sense that he simply was not that INTO the whole retirement, tribute, adoration period like most of the rest of the football world.
  • The straight comments from Favre’s family and agent that it was clear the Packers didn’t want him back. They said it then and they’ve said it as recently as yesterday (WISN news and FOX 6 both carried phone conversations with family members indicating the Packers didn’t do enough to convince Favre that he was wanted back). Given that McCarthy is on record stating he and Clements tried hard to convince Favre, when Favre and family members say “the Packers” didn’t do enough, clearly, this leaves only one person in a position power for them to be referring to: TT.
  • Rodgers is TT’s guy. TT drafted him and has pushed for Rodgers to succeed and one day be the guy.
  • The fact that Jason Wilde and many other writers are pointing out that the Packers likely won’t take Favre back. How Favre’s potential return is handled is something that is determined by TT ultimately and so when these writers state that they have inside sources indicating Favre’s return would not be welcomed by the Packers, what they are saying essentially is that TT does not want him back. Period.

I know there are those of you out there who may be frustrated that I am posting this and seemingly siding with Favre. That’s not quite true. While I wouldn’t be averse to Favre returning because I think he could lead this team to the Super Bowl, and while I do think TT has not wanted Favre on the team for a while now, I do think Favre has handled this situation poorly. A quiet part of me hopes that what he said today, that this is all just a rumor, is true so that he can preserve his well-deserved legacy and the Packers can move forward with an exciting young QB.

Both sides have handled this poorly. Both sides, in fact, are meta-messaging. What is meta-messaging? Well, frankly, it is a method of communication often exhibited by females. (Sorry female packergeeks readers, I’m just regurgitating info I learned from a communication seminar once…given by a female). The basic premise is that women, for whatever reason, sometimes do not communicate directly what is it they want or what it is they are thinking. For example, if your wife wants to stop at the ice cream shop she won’t say, “let’s stop there and get ice cream”. Instead, she says, as you drive by, “boy it’s sure crowded there, perfect summer night, those people seem to be enjoying themselves”. A few blocks later, the husband, who as usual was not being a good listener, realizes maybe his wife meant she wanted ice cream. When he asks if this is the case, his wife responds, pouting, “no, it’s too late now anyway”. Then wife is mad and husband is frustrated.

Anyway, my point is this: both TT and Favre are meta-messaging and we as fans are left to devour internet rumors and speculation in hopes of uncovering the truth. If either would just come out and say what’s really going on, maybe this whole thing could move forward in a more constructive way. But both sides are afraid to say something likely because they don’t want to look bad in the eyes of NFL/Packer fans. Problem is, this growing uncertainty re the truth is fostering some pretty strong reactions from fans – just listen to any sports talk radio station.

Here’s my best effort at the real truth here: after Favre’s poor 2005 season, TT wanted Favre out. Then due to the excitement generated by the strong finish at the end of the 2006 season, TT decided for PR reasons that he shouldn’t push Favre out like he had been planning to do, but instead gave barely noticeable support to a Favre return. Then, after the 2007 season, TT had further resolved to get Favre out (though it’s hard to imagine why a GM would want to usher out the 4th rated passer who took his team to the NFC Championship game). Throughout the off-season, TT did his best to dodge public questions re his stance on Favre’s return for 2008. But the truth is, he has wanted him out for a while now and when Favre finally decided to retire, TT moved swiftly (as we’ve pointed out above) to move on. Now, I suspect that Favre is actually just putting out feelers to see how a possible return would be received by the team/fans. I wonder a bit if he is intentionally trying to put pressure on the fans to put pressure on TT and the team to welcome him back. I don’t suspect he is itching to play elsewhere (as it seems only really crappy teams have major QB needs).

Either way, this situation is just not sitting well with me or really, any of the fans who have weighed in on this. (Oh, and by the way, read this from Rob Demovsky today – our guess is you’ll see more and more articles like this as it all shakes out).

Here comes Rodgers

May 22, 2008

Greg Bedard’s article this morning at jsonline gives us a good look into the kind of leader Rodgers may be. Over the last couple of years, I’ll admit, I was definitely in the camp that said Favre can pretty much do whatever he wants, he’s older than everyone on the team, he deserves it, he’s given this team more than just about any Packer in history, etc etc. But a small part of me did wish that he were a bit more involved with the team off the field. Again, I don’t fault him for it. But reading this article does get me somewhat pumped for the Rodgers era. It is refreshing to hear that he values the “team” concept so much and that his regular gatherings are a way for the players to get to know one another better. Like any workplace, these kinds of events can really improve the morale of a team as well as the overall connectedness. Perhaps most importantly, getting to know teammates outside of work tends to ease communication while at work – so good for Rodgers, good leaders should step up like this.

I was interested to read Rodgers’ comments re him assuming he’s the starting QB as well as his established-veteran-like relationship with the other two QBs. I think this is a reflection of the confidence he has and how he projects that confidence. For the most part, I’m just fine with this. But I couldn’t help but wonder a bit if it might be a bit presumptuous for him to assume he’s the starting QB (even if TT, MM and all of Packer Nation is saying this). Maybe MM and TT have told him that unless he’s injured he will definitely be the guy – I don’t know that. But a part of me wonders what would happen should Brohm shine in camp and preseason, pick up the offense well and look better than Rodgers. Could it even be possible that for the first time in 17 years, we’d have a QB controversy in Green Bay??

I also wondered a bit re Rodgers’ comment re not being injury-prone. I know he hasn’t played enough for us to determine conclusively now that he is an injury-prone player. At the same time, I think it’s fair to say so far in his career his injury history is not good and that fans have some reason to be concerned re future injury issues.