Category: Packer Reports

Favre on HBO with Joe Buck

Brett Favre will appear with Fox sportscaster Joe Buck live tonight on HBO, 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central. Buck says he booked Favre in April to be his first guest on the première of his new HBO sports talk show "Joe Buck Live". It will be a live interview with Favre in-studio in New York.
 
It's good timing. We'll hear from Favre if he has in fact recently undergone arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder to relieve pain from a torn tendon. And we'll be able to gauge his interest in playing this season for the Vikings, which at this point hinges on how the arm feels, and how much the Vikings will pay him. Wouldn't it be great if Favre got the entire hour and just unloaded?
 
I think Brett Favre had a growing sense of frustration with the Green Bay Packers organization that dates back to 1999. How is that possible? Forget about how much money they paid him. Forget about how he was coddled somewhat during the Mike Sherman years. Forget that he worked for a class organization, surrounded by quality people in the front office, and run by a gifted leader like Bob Harlan. I think Brett Favre feels the organization did not do everything in its power to get him back to a Super Bowl so he could retire. In 1999, after having fallen short the previous season to the 49ers in the post-season by a TD pass from Steve Young to Terrell Owens, Mike Holmgren's run in Green Bay came to a close.
 
Here's is what I think Brett Favre really feels about his last decade in Green Bay. Favre speaking: "So in '99, now it's 'Can Favre still win without Holmgren?' And who do we hire? Ray Rhodes. Good guy, but he wasn't ready to be a head coach. The Eagles got Andy Reid. Why didn't we lock – up Andy and promise to give him a job after Mike left? Look at the Rams. Kurt Warner got Dick Vermeil. Vermeil got Kurt a big 'ol offensive line, a hall of fame running back and two quality receivers, and they won a Super Bowl. What did I get in '99? Ray Rhodes. After Dorsey Levens went down, do you know who I had at running back that year? Bazil Mitchell and…oh, what the hell is his name….De'Mond? Yeh, that's it. De'Mond Parker! Receivers? Shucks, Derrick Mayes? Billy Schroeder?
 
I was 29 then, in the peak of my career, my thumb all busted up. And we've got Mike Wahle lined up at tackle getting killed! The Patriots? They hired Bill Belichick. He goes with Bledsoe, then Tom Brady, and puts veterans around him, and guess what? They go to 4 Super Bowls! Not with a bunch 'a rookies! Veterans who know this game, and know what it takes to win.
 
So Ron Wolf bails out, after he hired Mike Sherman. Good guy. Smart guy. But never coached. So it takes him while to sort things out, but we're winning, we just can't close the deal. Our defense turns awful at times, and I'm expected to bail us out week after week.  We went through, what three or four defensive coordinators? Later we all figured out Mike's (Sherman) not a GM. He picked a punter one year in the 3rd round on draft day. I couldn't believe that. Almost feel out of my chair. Meanwhile the Vikings had gotten Randy Moss for Dante Culpepper. The Bears build a tough defense around Urlacher. Got a good coach in Lovie Smith.
 
And I'm sitting there, at (age) 36, and we hire Ted Thompson. And here we go again, re-inventing the team all over again. Ted goes and cuts half of the veterans, my teammates. He lets guys go that don't even make sense to me, like our kicker, Ryan Longwell. I try to back up him (Ted) up with the Javon Walker thing, and I end up taking all the heat. But does he do anything to help me? No. Randy Moss was right there, and they blew it. They totally blew it. Ted's very first pick in Green Bay is a quarterback. Aaron Rodgers. Halfway through that season, I'm handing off to Samkon Gado. We've got no running backs, no body can play guard. I've got Donald (Driver) and Bubba (Franks) to throw to, and that's about it. And we go 4 & 12, and once again, it's my fault, because I threw 29 picks.
So we fire Mike (Sherman), and hire Mike McCarthy, and I have to re-learn an offense, there is a whole new coaching staff, and a bunch of young fellas in the huddle. Keep in mind, my family has lost most of their homes after Katrina. Deanna's going through Chemo for breast cacner. Her brother gets killed riding his ATV. My kids are getting teased at school because we're losing. 15 years of winning, but it's my fault. It's just….(deep sigh)… ya know?
 
We were told Bob Harlan was going to be stepping down. And then four days before he's supposed to take over they fire J.J. (John Jones). Ok, fine. I love Bob anyway. Never understood why he had to go if he didn't want to. So they hired Mark Murphy. Fine. Whatever. It's just I don't understand why it was so difficult for them, the Packers, to say "hey, we're going to do everything we can to get the best coach, the best players around Brett, whatever it takes, so he can win it all one more time."  I mean get a coach who had coached before like Mooch (Steve Mariucci) or (Bill) Parcels. Tony Dungy. You know, somebody that has done this before. You know, I watched some of the Super Bowl (43). Not to take anything way from Donald, or Greg Jennings, but gosh, watching Kurt Warner with a guy like Larry Fitzgerald. Can you imagine if they'd got a guy like that for me? Heavens.
 
We didn't even have a  running back going into camp my last year there in Green Bay. We had no clue. We let Ahman Green go. Fine. Did we get anybody first to replace him? No. Vernand Morency?  Ah, what the heck was his name…the kid from Northwestern…nice kid…the one that got robbed….ah…shoot….Noah. Yeh, Noah Herron. That's what we had at running back in training camp. And the kid the picked in the draft, Brandon Jackson. So we get Ryan Grant after he get's cut by the Giants in September.
 
We go 13 & 3 in the regular season, and believe me, nobody was more surprised about that than me. And I'm standing there in January on the sidelines at the NFC Championship. We're in Green Bay. It's 4 below. We all thought for sure we'd be in Dallas facing the Cowboys. The ground is frozen, my hands are killing me. And there's 'ol Eli (Manning) handing off the ball to big 'ol Brandon Jacobs, who about killed Charles Woodson on like the first play of the game. And I'm looking down the sideline, and we've got their (the Giants) #4 running back, who we didn't get into a game until half-way through the season. They've got a veteran offensive line, including Grey Ruegammer, a guy we cut. I've got kids, 'cept for Chad Clifton, who has bad knees, and Mark Tauscher.
 
Look, I know I've got to share some of the blame. Throwing 6 picks in the playoffs against the Rams in St. Louis. The pick in overtime against the Eagles, but we wouldn't have to had worry about it thanks to "4th & 26". And that ball I threw to Donald that got picked off against the Giants.But how many times did I save that team? How many games did we win because I was able to pull a rabbit out of the hat?
 
And I mean, really, what did I have to work with after Mike Holmgren left? I was there, ready to go for 17 years. In shape, practiced, didn't miss a game, didn't cause trouble. Didn't do anything to shed a bad light on the organization. For the most part, I think I kept my mouth shut. I went through three head coaches that had never been a head coach before. I went through dozens of teammates.  Then I get a GM who only drafts kids, hardly ever went after a real free agent except Charles Woodson.
 
So, in the end, I'd had enough. Decided I'd tried everything I could to help the Packers win one again, but things were just never going to change there. And I thought, you know, maybe, if I felt like it, and wanted to play again, I could hook up with somebody who acted more like the were serious about making a run at a Super Bowl, and all they needed was a quarterback. You know, I know the Cowboys haven't won one in awhile, but God bless Jerry Jones. Every year, that guy does what ever it takes, pulls out all the stops to put together an all-star line-up. I just wish I could've gotten a little bit more of that in Green Bay. Then, who knows?"
 
End of precidicted Favre mind probe. That's what I think has really been on the mind of Brett Favre. I dismiss his crazy passing decisions that lead to interceptions. His annual off-season antics of slipping bits and pieces of information to ESPN does not matter. His ability to create a never-ending drama with family, friends, NFL teams? Don't care. Cleary, none of that matters to Favre anymore.
 
I sat in Favre press conferences for 17 years. I Remember talking to him as a kid in the locker room, and in the spotlight at the Super Bowl last year in Phoenix as he picked up an Award. The story is: what is Favre's motivation at this point? It is more than just a jock who can't shut it off.  He's a disgruntled employee who cares about winning. After 17 years Favre thinks he knows as much or more about how to run a football team than his immediate supervisors. I think this is what Favre said during his six hour meeting with Mike McCarthy last summer in McCarthy's office, with the national meeting waiting outside. McCarthy emerged saying "Put it this way, Brett's not in the right frame of mind to return to the Green Bay Packers."
 
Now we have to see how much Favre is willing to reveal tonight on HBO, or what ever new twists and turns he'll toss out in this saga, as he continues to wrestle with how and when to finish his playing career.

Mike Clemens

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Mike Clemens