Yes, Brett Favre is talking to the media again. No, he's not thinking of unretiring. (At least, we think he's not). However, everybody's favorite gunslinger recently sat down with Deion Sanders of the NFL Network for a wide-ranging interview that included his take on the Saints' bounty scandal, in which he had more than a bit part as one of the quarterbacks who was allegedly targeted, specifically in the 2009 NFC championship game when he was playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
"People ask me about it at home, because everyone back home [in Mississippi] was Saints fans," Favre told Sanders. "I grew up a Saints fan, an hour from the Superdome.
"My feeling, and I mean this wholeheartedly, is that I really don't care. What bothers me is we didn't win the game. And they didn't take me out of the game. They came close, but a lot of people have come close. I'm too stubborn to come out. Plus, that was kind of a big game. I'm not going to sit the last three minutes. I'm going to go out there with bones sticking out of the skin, I'm going to finish it."
That was Favre's last shot at a Super Bowl. He played one more year in Minnesota before injuries and a declining team took him out of the race. Now a man of leisure, Favre felt more comfortable discussing the current quarterbacks he likes the most. For those wondering, Favre has no issue with Aaron Rodgers, the man who replaced him in Green Bay with great distinction.
"I knew when I left, this guy has all of the tools; he can beat you with his feet, he has a great arm, extremely accurate, handles the cast around him perfectly," Favre told Sanders. "That's the key sometimes, and that's what [Tom] Brady has done: regardless of who you put out there, he's good. That to me is the mark of a good quarterback."
As for Dallas' Tony Romo, perhaps the most similar to Favre in his tendency to improvise against the grain before and after a play has broken down, the future Hall of Famer sees a lot of the young Favre in Romo, of whom more is expected all the time. His comment on Romo was interesting in its seeming dismissal of the Cowboys' offensive coaching staff.
"Romo is probably more like me than any of those guys," Favre said. "Way too much is cast upon him — good, bad. It's Dallas and much is expected. He's carried those guys. But I'm watching last year — and I like Tony, I like the way he plays, at times he's underrated — but I'm watching and right before the snap, he's telling guys [to get into position and they don't know what they're doing.]
"How in the world are you going to have a positive play when the ball is coming and you're telling a guy [to get into position, the ball is snapped] and then he'll make something out of nothing. That's part of being a great quarterback is sometimes it's not going to go. As a coach, they would love to sit there and say, 'It's going to be five steps, you're going to hitch up into a perfect pocket, you're going to look at number one — no; you're going to go to number two — no.' It doesn't work that way."
Favre was more positive about Rex Ryan, the man who coaches the New York Jets Favre played for in 2008, and his ability to handle the Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez quarterback controversy.
"Tebow first of all will obviously handle it with class, regardless of what they try to put on him. I don't really know Mark that well, but he's handled himself well considering the circumstances. [New York] is a tough place but the right coach is there."
But Favre seemed most impressed with Drew Brees, the quarterback of those dastardly Saints.
"Brees is another one that is kind of like [Tom] Brady. Different player — size is different, the mechanics are different — but it's amazing what Brees does. Now, he has some pretty good guys around him, but I don't think it really matters. You take [Reggie] Bush out and you throw in [Darren] Sproles — they thrive."
Favre seemed more at peace with life after football than before, and his insights were interesting, leading me to wonder if he'd ever wind up in a booth calling games on television. Personally, I think he'd be outstanding as an analyst. Say what you will, but he's a good storyteller, he knows the game, and he definitely sees the world in a unique way.
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