Don’t look now, but Brett Favre might be an exceptional football coach.
Now in his second season as the offensive coordinator for Oak Grove (Miss.) High, the legendary NFL passer has helped lead his team to the first state championship game berth in school history. After being recruited into the role by Oak Grove head coach Nevil Barr — a longtime friend of Favre — the former Packers great truly hit his coaching stride in his second season, transforming Oak Grove quarterback Kirk McCarty into an offensive force.
In his senior season, McCarty has thrown for 3,782 yards and 42 touchdowns, leading Oak Grove to a 13-1 record. Most recently, he passed for 412 yards in Oak Grove’s 45-14 dismantling of Meridian High in a Mississippi High School Athletic Association Class 6A state semifinal.
According to a coaching profile of Favre by USA Today earlier in the 2013 season, the NFL legend can juggle being actively engaged in calling plays and taking a backseat to Barr’s offensive strategy. He considers himself a teaching coach, and said that he actively avoids insulting any players in any way.
"I don't beat the kids up," Favre told USA Today. "I never knock them down. I never pick on them. I think a lot of coaches have done that. I don’t believe in harassing, hazing, bullying, any of those things. I believe in building them up with a lot of confidence."
While Favre has been most active in molding McCarty, he also acknowledged struggling to limit the amount of information he sends out to the players under his supervision. Favre has been the catalyst behind Oak Grove’s successful use of a more advanced spread offense, but there are times when he has to hold back on advice he gives to avoid overwhelming his own players.
"That's been the toughest thing for me," Favre said. "I spent 20 years in the NFL, where I was always scheming. You had all kinds of time with philosophy and changing plays. You don’t have that kind of time here, not to mention these kids are really inexperienced.
"I'm always looking at the defense, and the Rolodex is rolling. There are things I can see that I can do, but it’s a lot different. I have to process in a real short amount of time what we can do, not what I can do."
That winnowing process appears to have improved as Favre has grown more comfortable with his role. While there’s no sense that the passing great is looking for a larger coaching role, there’s also no indication that he will hang up his whistle if Oak Grove captures its first state crown on Friday.
If Oak Grove does win, Favre will add another title to his illustrious career. It may not be a Super Bowl, but a Mississippi Class 6A title would still look pretty good on the gunslinger's résumé.
"Who knows if I'll do it next year," Favre told USA Today. "I really don't know. It's been a lot of fun. I enjoy it, it's easy and it's not too time-consuming."
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