Friday, January 14, 2011
Brett Favre series - Part 3
Brett Favre was at his best when Mike Holmgren was his head coach, not only with statistics, but with winning. Favre won his only Super Bowl when coached by Holmgren, and Holmgren never let anybody forget how much he had to work to get Favre to act like a leader. Holmgren openly questioned Favre's ability to lead a football team, and he was slow to give Favre a captain's position. Holmgren kept Favre in check, and immediately after he left, Favre's numbers and wins suffered greatly. Since Favre never made it back to the Super Bowl without Holmgren, it is safe to say that Favre got there and won more because of Holmgren and the number one ranked defense than his play.
Favre, the focal point of every Packers team, was known to struggle at the end of big games because he would run wild. Once Holmgren left Green Bay to coach Seattle, Favre had control of the team. The Packers hired coaches that would cater to Favre's needs, and would be more “yes men” then coaches (not just head coaches but quarterbacks coaches, offensive coordinators, etc). Ray Rhodes let Favre do what he wanted, never even bothering to bring up what he thought should be done. (Rhodes was fired after one season, finishing with a record of 8-8.) Mike Sherman approached Favre very differently. At first Sherman tried to bring Favre in and change his way of thinking. Favre bought into it for the first few years, but Sherman became impatient with Favre because at the end of games Favre would throw away the game plan and make costly mistakes. Despite his stellar record, Sherman was eventually fired because of his feud with Favre.
If you do not believe me when I tell you that Favre would often make costly mistakes, or that he would throw errant passes at the end of games because he would get jittery, then ask yourself this: why was it that when Favre signed with the Vikings, every Packers fan predicted that he would do great in the regular season, but in the playoffs he would throw a game ending interception? After seeing Favre throw interception after interception in close games, Packers fans had grown accustomed to heartbreak. Do great quarterbacks throw game ending interceptions in overtime of a conference championship game? Do great quarterbacks throw six interceptions in the divisional round of the playoffs, including three that were returned for touchdowns?
Favre made some of the most spectacular passes, throws that would be silly to even dream of; but he also made of the most mind-boggling mistakes ever. Living with Favre was living life on the edge, and when you live life on the edge you sometimes take a pretty ugly fall.
Part four of the series will be up tomorrow night, don't forget to look for it!