Favre calls Mooch critics 'cowardly'

Brett Favre stirred it up Wednesday by flying to the defense of his good friend and mentor Steve Mariucci. Green Bay's star QB was asked his views on the criticism the Niners' coach has taken regarding his "conservative" offensive philosophy from star players such as Terrell Owens and Jeff Garcia. "It upsets me when I see some of the guys do that," Favre said. "I think it's very unfair to Mooch. Be a man and go face to face with him ... Don't do it in the paper. That's kind of cowardly."

Favre, who developed into a star while Mariucci was his quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, didn't stop there.

"I love to throw the football as much as anyone and I love to put up numbers and all that stuff. It's great," Favre said. "But, the bottom line is winning. As a coach, put yourself in his position. You are going to do whatever you feel is best to help your team win. The bottom line is you have to respect that."

Owens has been publicly critical of Mariucci's coaching approach and tactical strategy several times in the past two seasons. While not attacking Mariucci as directly, Garcia also has criticized the team's offensive strategy and approach at times over the same span.

Favre said that would never happen if he was the quarterback on a team Mooch was coaching.

"For me, to ever step up to the plate and criticize my coaches or coach, would be ridiculous," Favre said. "Whether I believe it is right or it is wrong, I never felt that criticizing publicly has ever done any good for anyone. If you have a beef with him, go to his office and tell him you have a problem with what's going on."

When asked Wednesday if Favre indeed generally would go to the coaches rather than newspapers when he wanted to air some dissatisfaction, Mariucci responded, "Not generally. Always."

That line of questioning led to Mariucci coming to Garcia's defense. Mariucci said that Garcia also comes to coaches with his complaints and the Niners' quarterback has been unfairly portrayed in the media for simply expressing some of his viewpoints. Mariucci stressed that fact to beat writers later in the day after he was read some of Favre's comments.

Garcia also explained his position on the perception of some of his previous comments.

"I think when you (media) guys ask questions and you're asking us to search for answers, and sometimes things become hypothetical and we're trying to search for answers to your questions, it comes out as bashing the coach," Garcia said. "And in no way do I ever want to bash the coach or put the coach in a corner in the sense of criticizing him.

"More so than anything, we try to search for answers as to how to make this team better, how to make this offense better, and that's what it comes down to. It's never a sense of demeaning anybody or wanting to criticize anybody. I just think it's one of those things sometimes that you're looking for answers, and the way it may come out, it may be negative toward somebody. And I don't think it's necessarily meant to be that way."


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