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.