Thursday, July 10, 2008

Brett Favre Soapbox Time II

Hey folks.

So when we left my last rant, I was talking about how (in my opinion of course) it seemed that people felt the need to tear Aaron Rodgers down while proposing that Favre should be allowed to play again. And how unnecessary it is because all you really need to do to make your case is point to Favre's stats.

Now, as easy as that case to make may be, Green Bay isn't seeing it that way. And as promised, here is my take on why.

How many times have we been through this retiring/not retiring dance with Favre now? Three times or four, I've lost count.

Well, I can guarantee you the Packers management hasn't. In fact, there was a nearly audible sigh of relief when he finally called it a day this winter. Not so much because he was leaving, but more so that he had not only made a decision, but done it in a timely manner.

In other words, the Pack knew early for once whether Favre was returning. They were left with options. Sign a vet. Draft a top stud. Trade for one of the above. Roll with Rodgers.

WHAT they did wasn't as important as the very fact that for once they had choice. For the last few years, they couldn't move on because Favre couldn't make up his mind.

Now, I'm fine with Favre's misgivings. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to sit at home hearing about OTAs from friends still playing, catching reports on NFLN. Maybe even harder could have been the news that not only was Green Bay not in shambles after his departure but they were confident. That must have felt weird to him.

Meanwhile, Green Bay was indeed moving on and confidently. Right or wrong, they embraced the Rodgers era, backing him up for the most part with a rookie draft pick. They were moving on.

It had to feel weird for all involved.

But here we are, just short of Training Camp and BANG - we're back where we are every Green Bay off-season.

The Brett Favre waffle. Again, I don't blame the man. Not a bit. And as I have said before, I am positive he can still bring it . And that the Packers - in my opinion though I am not alone - have a better shot at winning a Super Bowl with Favre at the helm. That's the facts - Rodgers could be a great QB. Favre we already know is a great QB.

But the Packers have to be wondering: If we take him back, if we replace Rodgers (thereby pretty much assuring Rodgers leaves as a Free Agent in two years) and say we don't win a Super Bowl - will we just keep doing this dance?

When is enough, enough? For the Packers, now enough is enough. They want to know if Rodgers is the guy or if they need to rely on Brohm. Or if they need to do something else to solidify the future.

Pundits like to rail about how the team shouldn't care about the future - the future is NOW dammit and Favre will win now! But I think the team disagrees. Green Bay is very young at a few positions - the team likely feels it has a responsibility to the future to know whether the QBs they have will cut it.

I bet if Favre hadn't spent the last three years waffling, we'd see a much different reaction from the franchise. I bet if Favre had been stalwart in his decisions prior and come back and played each year with no real drama, this would be a much different situation. I am willing to be that if he hadn't done this act for the past several years, the Packers would have said 'Aw, Favre's always been straight with us. Never left us twisting in the wind. He made a mistake. Let's help him out.' But he hasn't been that guy, leaving the team hanging well into the off-season more than once. And there are no guarantees he won't go through this again and again, finally leaving the team in a lurch if he drags it on into OTAs and past all the best free agents and draft picks, only to call it quits.

I don't think it's a fair reaction (though understandable). I think Favre has earned some leeway. But I look at the situation and think that the Packers are well within their rights to choose to move on. Now, they may have to activate him and then it gets ugly. But let's save that for another day when/if it happens.

Back to the here and now: Yes, Favre likely gives the Green Bay Packers the best chance to win short term. But he has been inconsistent and contradicting every off-season for the last three years or so. The franchise doesn't seem to ever know where they stand. At the end of the day, the team seems to feel like if Favre can't make a decision on this, they'll do it for him.

Right or wrong, I really can't blame them.

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