Aaron Rodgers and The Legend of Brett Favre

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While writing my last article on the Packers Draft Strategy I argued that the reason for the huge difference in the drafting strategy and fortunes of the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers started exactly on April 23rd, 2005 at 12PM EST when the 2005 NFL draft officially opened “with the first overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers select: Alex Smith, quarterback, University of Utah”.

I thought about that for a while and decided that I couldn’t just blame the last 5 years of 49ers futility solely on Alex Smith.  To his credit I think he has managed to be a pretty decent quarterback when you factor in that he’s had a different offensive coordinator every season and had to deal with a carousel of playbooks and offensive philosophies.  Add in a fan base that decidedly doesn’t love him and a team that doesn’t really support him (how can you support any quarterback after he’s been benched and then thrown back in countless times?) That amount of discourse is bound to drag down even the best quarterback.  There had to be something else that factored into it.

Obviously the 2004 49ers were a mess, having the 1st overall pick in the draft is evidence enough, but in reality the Packers probably overachieved in 2004.   The 2004 squad was filled with aging stars with heavy contracts and a disastrous 2004 draft only made matters worse where the former GM Mike Sherman probably reached for cornerback Ahmad Caroll in the 1st round (who was cut 2 years later) and definitely reached for punter B.J. Sanders in the 3rd (lasted only 1 season).  In 2005, the Packers fell drastically to 4-12, their worst record since 1991.  2005 also marked the first year of Ted Thompson’s salary cap /youth movement rebuilding project, with popular but highly paid players like Mike Wahle, Marco Riveria and Darren Sharper leaving the team.

So both teams really were in somewhat of a mess, with only the Packers’ record masking many of the issues.  But in terms of raw talent and ability, in 2005 there wasn’t much of a difference between Smith and Rodgers; many predicted that either one could go as the 1st overall pick and the other wasn’t likely to last much longer.  So what was the difference between the development of Smith and Rodgers?

 

In two words: Brett Favre.

 

Now this angle has a long and storied history, which every analyst, sportswriter and fan has written about ad nauseam.  In my opinion, it’s not Brett Favre himself that helped Aaron Rodgers become the quarterback that he is today, it’s the “Legend of Brett Favre”.

Coming into the 2005 season, Brett Farve was maybe one step under Lombardi and Lambeau; he was a living god on the football field.  Being the quarterback who brought the downtrodden Packers back into victory after 20 years of ineptitude and winning a Super Bowl will do that for you.  It didn’t matter that he never followed the game plan and that he had a propensity to throw interceptions at the worst times; it almost endeared him more to the fans, he was the “gunslinger” and the “riverboat gambler”.

Basically Favre could do no wrong; his interceptions weren’t stupid they were just “gambles” even though really they were just stupid.  The media was quick to deflect blame away from Favre, his poor play was mostly attributed to other players, the stadium or the weather, anything but Favre himself.

And naturally the player who bought in most to the “Legend of Brett Favre” was Favre himself.  So when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005, it’s obvious why Favre gave him the cold shoulder; Favre was the Green Bay Packers, beloved by the fans and the media and here was his heir apparent, ready to take that all away from him.  Most people wouldn’t be happy in that situation.

Under those circumstances, it’s pretty easy to see why Favre’s and Rodgers’ relationship was considered “professional” at best.  Favre wasn’t in the mood to foster his heir apparent, and if anything, Rodgers playing poorly only meant that the “Legend of Brett Favre” would grow bigger.  So when Favre was finally traded away, what was his biggest contribution to the development of Aaron Rodgers?  You guessed it, the “Legend of Brett Favre”.  It was the legend and myth that Brett Favre was the best quarterback since sliced bread and not Favre himself that gave Aaron Rodgers the time and the drive to succeed.

 

  • The “Legend of Brett Favre” forced Rodgers to sit and watch: No matter how poorly Favre was playing, Favre was never going to be benched or cut, it was Brett Favre for Christ sakes.   The best that Rodgers could ever hope for (because Favre never sat out a game due to injuries either) was the preseason and mop up duty, not exactly the glory that a 1st round quarterback dreams about.  Nevertheless, it gave Rodgers the time to develop.
  • The “Legend of Brett Favre” was better than Rodgers: At some point in Rodger’s 3 years of apprenticeship under Favre he became as good, if not better than Favre.  But that didn’t matter because the myth of Brett Favre was perfect.  It didn’t really matter if Rodgers was better than Favre, because the “Legend of Brett Favre” was better than either one of them.
  • The “Legend of Brett Favre” forced Rodgers to be humble: Even while Favre was steadily declining in ability, the “Legend of Brett Favre” persisted. Rodgers came to the realization that he would never be able to replace the “Legend of Favre” (its not like Steve Young made people forget about Joe Montana), and that he would forever be compared to the “Legend of Favre”.  Even now, Rodgers is being compared to Farve circa 1996, when he was at his prime instead of Farve circa 2010, which was one of the worse in his career.
  • The “Legend of Brett Favre” drove Rodgers to be better: just because the myth of Brett Favre humbled Rodgers doesn’t mean that he lost his drive; if anything it seemed to make Rodgers drive even stronger, while he could never be better than the myth of Brett Favre, he could be better than Favre himself, and in 2008 he proved to GM Ted Thompson that he was good enough to the point where Thompson was able to trade away Favre, much to the outrage of the “Legend of Brett Favre”.

 

Compare that to the situation Alex Smith found himself in.  As the 1st overall pick he was expected to be the immediate face of the franchise and lead the 49ers back to victory; Alex Smith the player didn’t earn a starting spot, Alex Smith the “2005 1st overall draft pick” and Alex Smith the “six year, 49.5 million dollar contract” earned it.  Where does his drive come from?  He was probably better than Tim Rattay before even being drafted, he already had the biggest contract at that time and he was already famous as the 1st overall draft pick.

Ironically, Smith’s career was probably at its pinnacle before he even stepped onto the field; realistically, the only 1st overall quarterback who has eclipsed his 1st overall status in the last 15 yeras is Peyton Manning and maybe Eli Manning and maybe Micheal Vick.  For Smith there wasn’t the push of a legend to advance his development, and without a legend to hold him out of the lineup, he was probably forced to start way ahead of schedule.  That led to losses, which lead to coaching changes, which lead to more losses and you can see a vicious cycle starting.

Many people wonder what would have happened if Aaron Rodgers had gotten to play for his hometown team instead of Alex Smith.  I’ve always wondered how Alex Smith might be playing now if he had sat behind the “Legend of Brett Favre”.

 

 

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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  • FireMMNow

    i do not think it is debatable that if rodgers had to play immediately his career could look much different. he was able to step into a great situation. good young talent on offense, a HC that had his system firmly in place and a GM that believed in him. if he had to play as a rookie with that aging rag tag bunch who knows how we would see him today. if a QB starts poorly as a rookie it take a LONG time to overcome the “inconsistent” or “not a winner” monickers.

    • Chad Toporski

      I think Rodgers also had the opportunity to work on his leadership abilities while heading up the second team offense in practices. I think Rodgers’ talent as a leader is often overshadowed by his athletic talents, yet as we see in Jay Cutler, being a leader is just as important.

  • http://Orlando Simzap

    A lot of #4’s backups became better QB’s as a result of seeing his bonhomie in the pocket first hand. #4 would have been the starter if he hadn’t retired the first time so that was a big help to #12 and the Pack. #4 wasn’t the same QB when he left as ’96 because his edge was in his physical ability more than mental and that was eroding. He gave it everything he had while he was here and that’s the legend that won’t die.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I’m not entirely sure Favre would have been the starter after he un-retired the first time. Thompson claimed that there would be a quarterback competition between Favre and Rodgers. That’s an awfully brazen statement considering its likely to tear the team (and the state of Wisconsin) apart. In my mind, with the fact that Favre was ultimately traded away points to Thompson’s conviction that Rodgers was the guy at that point.

  • CWood21

    How true is the whole “Legend of Brett Favre” thing. There are still Packer fans who are under it’s spell, those who believe that Brett Favre can do no wrong.

  • Jeff

    I think there is one big missing piece to this all. Yes Aaron is now a success and has to be given many props for all he has done. But Mike McCarthy molds and makes QB’s. Let’s credit MIke and QB coach. One wonders if A Smith had been presented to McCarthy back then if his career would have been much different. I think it would have been.

    • FireMMNow

      MM did coach alex smith didnt he?

      • CWood21

        You, sir, are correct. MM was OC in SF for Smith’s rookie season.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        He was the 49ers OC in 2005. As a first-year, first-time OC, he was probably concentrating more on developing his offense as opposed to developing his rookie quarterback

        • FireMMNow

          one year is not enough time no matter what, but i am sure plenty of time was spent with the #1 overall pick in the draft and MMs best chance at keeping his job.

        • Oppy

          Pretty sure Mike McCarthy was the OC in New Orleans for a number of years before SF, where the offense set many different (then) franchise marks under him. I’ll have to check to confirm.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Well Norv Turner isn’t a terrible coach either, but I agree having no consistency in the football organization is bound to retard a quarterback’s development

  • FireMMNow

    Vic Ketchman wrote an article about his top 10 QBs of all time. Interesting to see that #4 is not on the list. here is the list:

    10. Marino
    9. Manning
    8. Staubach
    7. Elway
    6. Bradshaw
    5. Starr
    4. Brady
    3. Otto Graham
    2. Montana
    1. Unitas

    I do not know how you can put Manning and Marino on the list and not Favre. And I am not a person living under the favre spell. I am well aware of his shortcomings. He broke all of Marinos meaningful records. He is similar to Manning in that he has once championship but still has the records that peyton has yet to break. Manning is great, but we saw last year what happens when his supporting cast starts to erode a little bit. Favre faced a similar issue during his career.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I have my issues with having top 10 all time QB rankings, its not as if the position is a static one; who knows how well Unitas or Graham would do now and who knows how Manning or Brady would do back then. Quarterbacks have to get lucky with who the play with, just look at Archie Manning, but they also have to be lucky with how their talent matches with the environment of the game. Ten years ago, Ryan Mallet would probably have been one of the first QBs drafted, but now the league is shifting towards more mobile quarterbacks (Newton, Kapernick, Locker)

      • FireMMNow

        yeah, i have no idea how to rank the top 10 QBs of all time. but i just do not know how you put peyton and marino ahead of favre. maybe none of the three should be on the list, but if you are going to put marino on there due to his passing numbers then you really should put favre at 9 in my opinion due to him breaking marino’s records and winning a championship. lists like this are usually pretty stupid, but is the offseason.

    • Jer

      Favre and Manning are basically the same player in a lot of ways. Both are extremely durable, both have put up rediculous stats and will be #1 and #2 in most catagories by the time they both retire, both have won 1 SB and lost another, both have “won” a high percentage of games in the regular season, then been inconsistent in the playoffs.

      Manning of course makes far fewer boneheaded plays, but perhaps doesn’t create like Favre did.

      So on any list, I think it makes sense to put them within one slot of each other. They’re basically tied in my book.

      I don’t know if I’d put Bradshaw on the list, but he was a little before my time. I think I would put Favre ahead of Marino. Not sure sure about Starbauch. So maybe 7th or 8th is about right for Favre.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        Bradshaw and Staubach absolutely belong. Staubach would be higher on the list if he had a longer career.

        • Pete Kliman

          Let’s play the IF game with Favre and then let’s see the list.He played a third of his games in weather better suited for hockey.His first few years, he was running for his life because the O line was horrendous and so was most of the team.If he had a semblance of the Pack D of 2010 for a few years ,the dynasty would be unrivaled.Look what he did as an old man without his scrambling ability, when he had a good defense ,offense and played indoors. Most people remember the INT and forget the sack of potatoes on the left side of the line and the ,I believe 4 fumbles.It was a testament to Favre’s toughness it was a close game at the end. Finally There’s only one question for me . Who’s # 1 ,Elway or Favre ? I consider myself a good judge because I saw them all play many times with the exception of Graham.

          • Thomas Hobbes

            I think you have to admit that 2009 and 2010 were both statistical anomalies for Favre, Favre did way better than he should have in 2009 and way worse in 2010. In my opinion the quarterback has the ability to transcend any team deficiencies; quarterbacks can win with a crappy running game, a crappy offensive line, a crappy receiver game and even a crappy defense.

  • PackersRS

    I really, really do not like this take on the subject.

    You are basically saying that if not for the “legend of brett favre” Rodgers wouldn’t be where he is right now.

    Which is completely bull. It wasn’t the “legend” on the gym busting his ass, on the film room before and after everybody… It was Rodgers perfecting himself.

    And as far as drive, there was plenty of fuel even before Favre. Being passed by every college, a teacher in Berkeley that said he would never ammount to nothing, falling during draft day…

    I understand the impact of the environment in molding a person, but most of the credit is for Rodgers. Tons of people would crumble in the first adversity. If they didn’t get any major scholarships, they would pursue other career. If they fell during draft day, they could get depressed and never get back. If they had someone like Favre and all the tensions and incredibly high expectations on him, they could fail miserably. Most people would.

    Rodgers is where he’s at because of him.

    • FireMMNow

      i agree with a lot of what you are saying, but i think the article is saying that due to the myth of favre’s greatness rodgers was allowed to grow and spend that time in the film room without having to be a starter. there are plenty of hard working talented players that do not make it in the NFL because they come along at the wrong time. kurt warner had to play in the arena league before he got his chance. 50% of making it in the NFL is talent and work ethic, the other 50% is getting the right shot at the right time.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      That actually wasn’t my point; basically I see a lot of “Aaron Rodgers learned under Brett Favre for 3 years and that’s why he’s so great”. My point is that Favre really didn’t have that much to do with Rodgers development, in reality the persona of Favre did more to help Rodgers along that Favre himself. For instance, in 2005 the Packers went 4-12, a abysmal season. And yet there was no serious talk about trying out the rookie at any point, it was Brett Favre’s team even if he was terrible. Rodgers’ own personal make up has a lot to do with his success and I’m not disclaiming that, but I think he learned more from the Favre circa 1996 instead of Favre circa 2005-2008

      • PackersRS

        Well, I thought the “Rodgers learned under Favre” rhetoric had been already debunked… Only crazy people with a very clear agenda are still spewing that crap. Now that Rodgers has proven he can win a playoff game and can win a SB while playing at a high level, all that’s left for them is try to somehow credit Favre for Rodgers’ accomplishments.

        Now, what I’m arguing is that it’s borderline irrelevant that Rodgers spent 3 years not playing. He would’ve been great the same way.

        To say otherwise, that somehow he would’ve struggled and, say, Smith would be a great QB if they had been in inverted situations is to discredit everything that Rodgers has done to put himself in this position…

      • http://Orlando Simzap

        The question you have to ask is why were so many of #4’s backups good starting QB in the league. He didn’t mentor any of them and they had different coaches. I think his poise in the pocket and preperation were examples they could follow. I agree totally with the point of the article that if #12 had to start immediately he would have been a bigger flop than Smith. I remember his first two seasons here and the O-line was decimated to boot.

        • PackersRS

          Because both Wolf and TT were great QB evaluators and the Packer always had great QB coaches, from Chucky to McCarthy and Tom Clements. Certainly not because of a guy that didn’t bother to teach them anything.

          • Thomas Hobbes

            Well one thing that is considerably different from any other position is that you can only have one quarterback. As far as I know no team has ever operated a quarterback tandem in the modern era. Obviously team chemistry and chain of command are the prime reasons for this, but from a incumbent quarterback’s standpoint, what’s the point of grooming your replacement? For other positions, it makes sense to help other players in your position develop, running backs are thought to have longer careers in a running back by committee stable and wide receivers typically have higher production when they line up with other talented receivers. But that isn’t the case with quarterbacks since everyone quarterback whose not the incumbent is directly trying to replace the incumbent. From the incumbent quarterback’s perspective, grooming another quarterback doesn’t make the team any better and doesn’t increase the chance of winning. Sure the team might win more games in the future, but at that point, the incumbent has already been replaced so it doesn’t really help him.

            • PackersRS

              The first Patriots’ SB win had Bledsoe and Brady in a QB controversy… But it wasn’t a tandem per se.

              As far as grooming QBs, it was to get a backup. They wanted someone capable that had been in their system for 3 years. But they got good deals on guys, so they let them go. Not because they wanted to groom for the future…

              • Thomas Hobbes

                But even in the case with Bledsoe and Brady, it’s not as if Bledsoe and Brady split snaps. The only occasion I can think of that happening recently is with the Smiths in SF, but that was more due to the ineptitude of Singletary than anything else, and its not as if it work anyways.

                I agree, in terms of a team perspective, groom a heir or a back-up is especially important, but from a incumbent quarterbacks perspective, having a capable quarterback on the bench serves no benefit to the quarterback himself.

              • http://Orlando simzap

                Tom Landry and Paul Brown tried hard to make tandem QB’s work and it was a miserable failure. But a good backup can be invaluable because most QB’s have injuries during a campaign.

  • Jer

    I like that you differentiate between Favre the player and Favre the legend. Rodgers competing with Favre the player was difficult enough but he had to compete with Favre the legend, which is even harder.

    I compare it to a guy marrying a widow who lost her husband of 25 years. The guy may have spend half their marriage passed out drunk on the couch, but she’s only going to remember the good times, and so the new husband will always be 2nd in her heart even if he’s twice the man.

    Rodgers is in that same position. Every fan who still pines for Favre doesn’t remember the game killing INTs, they’re remembering the backhand flips and underhand tosses that resulted in impossible TDs and first downs. The nostalgia that has built up made them forget the bad and remember only the good.

    And then he goes and has a season in 2009 that should have had the words “results not typical” written on the bottom of the screen and his fans acted as if this how it had always been. Thank god he came back in 2010 so people could be reminded of that “other” Favre.

    • Pete Kliman

      I can tell you were watching the highlights on ESPN. Cases in point: in the Eagles playoff game the Pack could of scored a 100 pts ,the Eagles would of scored 101, in the Giants playoff game Burress was the road Runner and Harris the Willy E Coyote and the Giants Running game was methodically wearing down our D,as far as the Viking’s playoff game how many games are that close at the end after one team FUMBLES 4 TIMES.

      • PackersRS

        Ah, yes. And the Rams’ game it was the receivers’ fault, and in the Atlanta game it was the D’s fault for not stopping Vick, and in the home game against the Vikings it was somebody else’s fault.

        I’m telling you, Favre is the best player of all time, it’s because the team wasn’t good enough/it’s because of coincidence that Favre didn’t win more SBs!

        • http://Orlando simzap

          Packer RS you forgot to mention the coaching. We didn’t exactly have Holmgren in the games you cite.

          • toolkien

            True, it was Mike Sherman. Remind me again which legend of the Green Bay Packers tried to used his legendary status to protect Sherman with a comment during the 2005 shambles of a season that went “if he goes, I go”?

            I spent not a small amount of time trying to split that hair that it wasn’t Favre’s fault that he was turning the ball over 2.75 times per playoff exit game in the 2000’s, it was Sherman and his pal Rossely. But as soon as Favre opened his big yap (and fired the first public shot over the bow of the USS Ted Thompson) and tried to protect Sherman and his job, then Favre sliced himself a full 1/3rd of the responsibilities of the early 2000’s playoff embarrassments. I had little ability (or further desire) to continue to split that hair.

            So many people lived in paralyzing fear that the Packers would slide back into the 70’s and 80’s doldrums if Favre left. They failed to realize that WE ALREADY WERE BACK INTO THOSE DOLDRUMS. How did those years come about? Too many Packer legends were still in place (Parins) or brought back (Starr, Gregg) and the Packers drifted along. So what was so different between – a few years on after Lombardi – hiring Starr as coach and ten years on from the 90’s success having Favre trying to compose the team his way? The only difference is Favre didn’t stop playing, he just tried to merge it into a player/executive mix. And the same results were at hand. Thompson was brought in to remedy the situation. Favre was more than able to ride the new train, he just didn’t want to. If it wasn’t his way, then he’d take his ball and go home. One can only imagine what the Packers made to Favre’s order would have been like, but I don’t envision it would have been better than the hey day of Packers’ mediocrity of the early 80’s.

            Nothing can undo the facts that from 1998 to 2006, the period between the NFC Championship Game appearances, the Packers had the best record in the NFC and had the best record in all of the NFL playing “home conference” playoff caliber teams in the regular season. If there was a team that should have made at least some sort of consistent splash in the playoffs it should have been the Pack. Yet they had a series of embarrassing playoff exits. How did the team consistently play well overall, yet collapse in the playoffs? Perhaps it had something to do with Favre having a 121 QB rating in 4 playoff wins and a 64 QB rating in 6 playoff losses in the 2000’s (including his Vikings sojourn)? I SUPPOSE 2 or 3 different Packer teams and a completely different team in the Vikings could have serially collapsed around The Great One, but it does stretch the imagination.

            I don’t think it’s coincidental that many of the cast of characters that passed through the Packers over the last two decades enjoyed success superior to that of Favre and those associated with him. The “Packers West” (Holmgren, Hasselbeck, Ted Thompson) fashioned a SB appearance in 2005, Gruden won a SB, Reid mad 4 straight NFC championship games and a SB appearance with pretty much the Packer model, the Packers three years passed his contribution win it all, while Sherman, Mangini, and Childress all had to invest in heavy bond resume paper, and the Jets and Vikings players and fans got to suck monkey butt.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Well in part its the media, who decidedly loves Favre more than maybe any other modern QB and part of it is human nature, people almost always try to remember the good side of people they adore/cheer for/like etc.

      • http://Orlando simzap

        Hobbs, the media loved the way #4 played. All out and too emotional. IMHO

  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Mike Sherman lost his job in part because Ted Thompson did not believe that he and Tom Rossley/Darrell Bevell could develop Aaron Rodgers. McCarthy’s stint as QB coach under Ray Rhodes in ’99, and his ability to develop Aaron Brooks, refine Rich Gannon’s game before that, et. al. is what got him the Packers job.

    Rodgers was not very good in preseason in 2005 and 2006, first starting to tear it up after he’d been under the tutelage of McCarthy and Clements for a year and a half.

    If Rodgers had been taken first by SF, he would have likely flopped as well (unless McCarthy had more time as OC in SF for him to develop without having to play/start).

    P.S. Count the number of “Farve” mis-spellings in this article ;)

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Ah my bad, I always get Brent’s last name mixed up.

  • Curley2808

    I’m not sure Rodgers ever believed he would one day be the starting QB in GB, but he wanted to be able to be a starting QB somewhere, so he worked as hard as possible to make that a viable possibility. MM’s “knock” on Rodgers, coming out of Cal, was his “arm strength,” and SF chose Smith (don’t know if that was the sole consideration or not.) When MM, ironically, became HC of the Packers and found himself with a starting QB he had little influence over, and a backup that he felt lacked arm strength, he and his staff started working on Rodgers. They determined it was a lack of LEG strength that prevented him from making the long throws. Over time they built him up in the training room and discovered that, not only was he accurate (strong point in the draft), but now he could put the ball anywhere on the field. An ideal combination. During Rodger’s 3rd year as a backup, MM stated that Rodger’s next progression as a QB could only come from playing, and that he “needed” to play. Favre picked a bad time to “retire” because MM/TT felt Rodgers “needed” to get under center now or we would lose him the following year. The “Legend of Favre” put a lot of pressure on Rodgers and, as he’s shown throughout his life, if you say he’s not “good enough” he’ll do everything he can to prove you wrong. He did (again.)

    • Thomas Hobbes

      http://www.webcitation.org/5w2fU2O58 Actually a pretty interesting read, apparently it came down to personality. It also mentions that Nolan was the man who wanted Smith, I’m not sure what McCarthy or the GM thought, but at least we know that Nolan wanted Smith

      • Curley2808

        This article from the San Jose Sun Times (a local Bay Area newspaper) offers a good insight into SF’s decision, thanks for bringing it up. However it came to be, things didn’t work out for SF’s HC or QB. Kudos to TT for bringing in MM and AR, it’s been a match made in heaven. Kudos to MM for improving AR’s fundamentals and developing his body strength so AR would be “viable” as a starting QB. Favre’s best contribution to AR’s development was by not showing up for OTA’s until mandated to do so for the start of official training camp. This gave MM and AR lots of time and reps to work with each other. I guess that makes AR part of the “Legacy of Favre.” LOL!

        • Curley2808

          …sorry, San Jose Mercury News not Sun Times.

  • Taryn

    IMO,every QB needs to sit and learn at least two years.The success of any QB is a co-ordinated idea of a team that drafts one,must have the HC,OC and pre-accepted/committed scheme of offense inducive to the drafted QBs talent and trainable ability.
    I don’t buy into the “Legend of Favre”as a reason for Rodgers evident success but more into the TT genious and forsight of Rodgers talent and trainable ability and the pre-meditated balls of having made and sticking with a decision he knew would be treason on his part to the “Favre Realm”knowing his(Favres) end was near.
    TT on that day saved us from Favre whether we accept it or not.
    Besides,never award credit to a teacher who makes his only student sit in the hall during class.
    Rodgers is like Abe Lincoln,he picked up the books and took the tests on his own and screwed the teacher.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I used to think that as well, but then Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Sam Bradford did considerably better than I would have imagined in their first year. You can maybe make the argument that organizational stability helped a lot, which does not bode well for Ponder.

      • Taryn

        Balt and Atl had some serious stability over-all and proven talent to offset the rookie QB bad play.
        I will give Bradford the nod as he did play well through his ablity for a franchise re-building.
        Amother point is the respective divisions and schedule each was a cakewalk,at least for Flacco and Ryan.
        I don’t even want to talk Sanchez,defense allowed many to overlook his shortcomings.

        • Thomas Hobbes

          I guess it ends up sort of being a chicken in the egg scenario, obviously a good quarterback is essential for team stability, but does team stability lead a quarterback to be good, or does a good quarterback lead to a stable team?

        • http://Orlando simzap

          Don’t forget what a help a good running game is and you can include Rothlisberger.

  • McGregor

    Pardon me while I laugh out loud at the stupid premise of this entire article. Rodgers never earned or worked for his job. It was literally handed to him. He had zero competition in camp. As a previous poster mentioned, at times Favre was surrounded by some awful players, running for his
    life constantly and I don’t recall the Packer media whining and moaning about it the same way the year Rodgers was getting sacked. AR was beat up for ONE season and that’s all we heard. The SB season was successful not just because of him and if Matthews does not make the great play in the final seconds..we AINT talking about AR. Just one more game that he stood on the sidelines while the defense won/saved the game. What’s really amusing is the desperate way some Packer fans still try to limit and diminish everything Favre did as a Packer. Their juvenile mantra is Favre=bad guy…Rodgers=good guy. Rodgers will never eliminate #4 from the equation, no matter what he does. He lacks the brilliance, drama, joi de vivre and most of all the sheer on-field excitement. All this being said I still wish Rodgers and the Packers nothing but good luck and multiple championships.

    I just fail to understand the Favre bashing at this late date.

    You don’t want him..but you can’t get over him.

    Weird!

    • Taryn

      Rodgers had a tougher competition than many QBs ever have to endure and win.The non-competetion with Favre as a legit QB coming into the league and the hardest yet,the competition with himself to maintain the drive and take the crap of fact that he may never get a shot with Favre there.But,he won all the battles put to him via his own fortitude and desire and kept that chip on his shoulder and still has it there,Thank God.
      I loved Favre but I will not deny Rodgers what he earned and proved deserved.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      A non Packer fan wouldn’t understand. It’s complicated.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      If Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game (I dunno if I would put him up there, but I do think he was very very good), then having to replace him is hard enough. You also mention that Rodgers had no competition, but the entire point of the article was that the persona that Favre had built in Green Bay was his competition. Like you say: “Rodgers will never eliminate #4 from the equation, no matter what he does.” I whole heartedly agree, just like Montana and Young will forever been linked, so will Favre and Rodgers. If that’s the case, then Rodgers will always be compared with Favre, and that’s always going to be his competition.

    • toolkien

      1) The Packers did have a great D in 2010 and have had to temper the enthusiasm of a few Packer fans pointing at that the Packers’ winning point differential in both the NFCCG and the SB were supplied by pick 6’s. But it stands that Rodgers had a great SB, particularly if guys hadn’t dropped the ball it would have been off the charts. It was Rodgers who made that 33 yard throw to Jennings WHO WASN’T OPEN. It was the combination of a great defense and a near flawless Rodgers that won that Super Bowl. The Brett Favre of the last decade certainly would have been good for two picks during the game and the Packers don’t win. And everything being equal, the loss wouldn’t have been pinned on Favre, it would have been pinned on all the drops. When it came down to it, Rodgers made a play that Favre wouldn’t have, in that pressure situation.

      2) I think the premise is valid. Without Favre’s over hype built ability to hang onto the starting job like grim death, Rodgers probably would have been in earlier. Look at the decision the Patriots made between Brady and Bledsoe. Bledsoe had good to very good regular season numbers and was the presumed starter. Belichick obviously saw Bledsoe’s post season numbers and felt that he might as well stick with Brady and see what happened through the regular season and hope he would be superior in the playoffs. I guess he was right. But HOW did this decision even come to be? Because Bledsoe was not diefied like Favre.

      Favre was a good to very good QB. He simply wasn’t that much ahead of the Bledsoes and the Esiasons of years past. He was lucky to have had the second best franchise team ever in the 1996 Pack, who also were far and away the best team of the 1996 season. Those who say that Favre didn’t have other guys to play with just aren’t paying attention. Esiason didn’t have much resembling a defense at all. The fact of the matter is the Packers had the best point differential and winning percentage in all of the NFL during the Favre Era, yet only had one championship, and only one other legit shot at another one, in all that time. You simply can’t do that without a bevy of other quality players. Simply, Favre was a good to very good REGULAR SEASON QB who played in a QB number inflating system and was poor in the playoffs. He was durable which contributed to his longevity. It is the longevity that separates him from the pack, but the average quality of a particular year, even with some fine talent, wasn’t much above about 15th best QB over the last 30 years. Without inordinately great talent and Mike Holmgren’s presence, Favre was a Bledsoe or an Esiason. Good to very good, but not great.

  • http://www.minecraftserverplus.com/index.php?action=profile;u=19366 Gilberto Sebert

    Hey captain, speaking of RSS once i tried to copy the URL from your blog feed button at the top and your Full RSS feed at the bottom and add it to a RSS Feed sidebar widget, it barfed on me.