Wednesday, April 26, 2006

One more for Number 4

So the siege of Hattiesburg is apparently over, and Brett Favre has decided to return for one more year as the signal-caller and public face of the Green Bay Packers. So what should we think about this?

I’m guessing a lot of Packers fans are feeling ambivalent about Favre’s return. I cannot overstate my gratitude for his 14 mostly spectacular years at the helm. No one has been more fun to watch. Favre is, I think, the greatest Packer of them all. But still you wonder….

The glories of the consecutive Super Bowl runs are now a decade past and while the Packers have challenged as recently as 2004, it’s difficult to see how Favre can lead one last charge for the championship without more help than the Packers can currently provide. We are at draft time and it’s highly likely that the Packers will be looking for a defender, perhaps A. J. Hawk, to be the first round pick. Favre will operate behind a patchwork offensive line that has strong tackles and little else. Javon Walker wants out. Ahman Green is likely gassed and while the Samkon Gado saga had its entertainment value, it’s hard to see Gado as a full-time runner.

The Packers weren’t necessarily as terrible as their 4-12 record indicated; other than a horrific thrashing in Baltimore, many of the losses were close. But it would take an especially cock-eyed optimist to think that 4-12 can turn into 9-7, or even 11-5, which is the record the Pack will likely need to make the playoffs. My best guess is Favre can get the Packers to maybe 7-9, and that’s not good enough. I fear Favre will regret returning and he may even tarnish his legacy by having another interception-filled year as he tries to compensate for his team’s myriad shortcomings. And that would be too bad, because I prefer to remember 1996. But it hasn’t been 1996 for a long time.


stinger said...

I would be more ambivalent about it myself, but the thought of Aaron Rodgers becoming the starter this year absolutely frightens me. So, just based on that, I am glad Favre is back. As for the fears that this could tarnish his legacy, I don't think it will that much. Nothing is going to change the fact that Favre is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer. Nothing is going to change the fact that he played an integral part in bringing the Lombardi Trophy home. Nothing is going to change the ungodly stats he has put up over his career, while almost never having a stud WR to throw the ball to at all. He has made so many players better over the years. I still think he can do that, despite his throwing 29 picks last year. And even if he reverts to 2005 form, there is still no question that Favre is the best QB the Packers ever had.

Are the Packers going to be all that good this year? Not bloody likely. The only reason I could see them putting up a decent record is because they play a weak schedule. They only play 4 games against playoff teams from last year, and two of those are at Lambeau. So, just having Favre back makes this upcoming season just a bit more palatable. Otherwise, the Pack was a 3-13 team at best. Aaron Rodgers is junk. He is a Jeff Tedford QB, and exactly ZERO Jeff Tedford QBs have had even good careers (I know, Dilfer has a ring...he can thank Ray Lewis and the Ravens D for that). Rodgers slipped to 24 for a reason.

And one positive side effect of Favre coming back: the Pack signed Charles Woodson, who instantly makes the secondary a lot better. One of the reasons Woodson is signing with the Packers is because of Favre coming back.

Anonymous said...

Charles Woodson???????
I'd rather take a chance (pardon the ABBA pun) on the former Badger Jim Leonard from northern Wisconsin that was recently all Big Ten. Excuse me, but the last all Big Ten D-Back from Wisconsin turned out to be a pro-bowler, and I don't mean he favored the one-time bartender at the Big Ten Pub on Regent St.,

Mark said...

Hey Stinger,

I hear you. Re Rodgers, I know, I know, but we'll need to find out whether he's just a Tedfordite sooner or later. Well, we'll see what Brett has left.

Mark said...

Yo anonymous,

The last all Big Ten d-back was an all-pro? Must have missed the announcement of Jamar Fletcher's all-pro season. Or did you mean Troy Vincent.

Nothing but trouble on Regent Street. But you likely knew that....