Favre getting in top shape

Brett Favre is getting older, and a little wiser. Favre earlier this off-season asked Coach Mike Sherman if he could use the services of a personal trainer at his off-season home to get in better shape. The Packers gladly obliged and, thus far, the star quarterback feels the new workout regimen has made a big difference.

Favre, in a phone interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette, said that he wants to be in better condition for the upcoming season. He said events in his personal life over the past 17 months have taken its toll mentally and physically. He was seriously considering retiring after last season.

Favre's father, Irvin, died of a heart-attack in December of 2003. Last September, his brother-in-law Casey Tynes, was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Mississippi. Deanna Favre then was diagnosed with breast cancer, and has undergone treatments.

"It's been an awful lot," Favre said.

With that behind him, Favre, 35, says he is more excited now than ever before about playing football. The Packers hired a personal trainer to meet with him over a five-week period, which ends next week. The trainer will meet with Favre for two weeks in June and two weeks in July before the Packers begin their 2005 training camp.

"This Monday will be the start of the fifth week," Favre told the Press-Gazette. "We get after it every morning. I know that working out with medicine balls and physiology balls and stretching and running in place doesn't soul like much, but when you do it the right way, you find out how difficult it is.

"I'm over the soreness, that's behind me, but I feel so much better."

Favre, entering his 15th NFL season and 14th with the Packers, says he has dropped about three pounds and weighs 222. He said the biggest difference in the workouts have been cardiovascular in nature. He has been working on improving his strength and flexibility while putting minimal stress on his joints.

"I told him I wanted to have more endurance in games," Favre said. "I don't want to run a play or scramble around - say it's a play that takes longer than normal and I exhaust more energy - and not be ready to go on the next play.

"If I scramble one play, and I have to scramble on the next play, I don't want to just get away from a guy. I want to make a play."

Favre said he is unsure if he will be attending the June 1-9 mini-camp. He was excused by Sherman for the team's post-draft mini-camp so he could spend more time away from football. He said the time away from Green Bay has helped rejuvenate him for the upcoming season.

"Mike's whole feeling was that if you decide to come back, I want you to come back next season mentally busting down the door," Favre said. "He told me he wanted to keep me away from football and into my normal life as long as he could. So far, so good because the longer I'm away the more anxious I am to get back up there and play."

Favre's annual charity softball game for his Favre Fourward Foundation is set for June 5. So, it is very possible that Favre will attend the first few days of mini-camp in Green Bay and the charity event in Appleton before traveling back to Hattiesburg.

"Just because I hired a personal trainer and I've been going to these workouts ... but I feel better, and that's half the battle," Favre said. "At least after the season I won't say, 'I just don't feel like I was in the best possible shape.'"

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