Butler counts Favre among his career highlights

Part 2 of a series.<p> Long-time Packer safety LeRoy Butler saw a lot of teammates come and go during his 12-year tenure. One stands out above the rest, even though they were never actually on the field at the same time. In Part 2 of our series, Butler reminisces about quarterback Brett Favre.<P>

Butler recounted his favorite Favre story for a reporter from the Kenosha News when he visited the small southeastern Wisconsin city recently for an appearance at a charity event. Butler has fond memories of the then-27-year-old QB on the brink of a championship:

"Probably beating Carolina in Lambeau Field to go to the Super Bowl. He was very tense before the game, and he just knew the next game would be the Super Bowl," Butler said. "I remember he was saying he would go out and play the very best he can play. He had (Carolina linebacker) Kevin Greene running right at him to sack him, and Kevin Green grabbed him. Green is 6-4, 250, a big guy. Brett stiff-armed him and just stepped up and threw a pass to Dorsey Levens down the sideline for a touchdown. And I said ‘Man, that was an unbelievable play.' Any other quarterback would have just went down, but he hung in there for the team and made a great play."

Since Favre isn't entertaining anymore retirement talk, maybe Butler has an opinion on the subject. Butler is two years older than Favre, and was pushed into retirement by a shoulder injury, so he can offer some insight.

"Well, I think he's probably coming to the end of his years – probably one more year, maybe two. But the scary thing about it is they don't have any backup right now if he does leave. I think he hinted about leaving last year, but he loves the game," Butler said.

"So only he really knows, but he doesn't put a timetable on it because he can still throw the ball just as good as the younger guys. So I'd be very surprised if he played more than two more, but at the same time, if you can win that helps you. But if for some reason the Packers started to lose, after that, he'd say ‘Well, that was it.' "

After Chris Jacke's departure following the Super Bowl Championship season, Butler was left as the only holdover from the Lindy Infante Era. That means he has a special perspective on Favre, because he was with the Packers when they were less than solid at QB, to put it mildly. Also, Butler saw Favre in his "green" form when he broke in with the Pack in '92 following a rookie year on the Atlanta bench.

"I think the different thing about Brett is that he got in by an injury," Butler said. "(Don) Majkowski got injured up at Lambeau. We were playing Cincinnati and Favre drove us for the winning touchdown. The touchdown throw he made to Kitrick Taylor was one of the best throws I've ever seen by a young guy. He just pump faked one way, came back and put the ball right on a dime. That was the beginning of Brett Favre right there.

"I think right there he knew he had the skill to play in the NFL and continue to do some of the great things, winning a championship and being one of the top quarterbacks of all time."

Tomorrow: Part III, The Lambeau Leap.

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