Packer Report Classic: Holmgren sticks with Favre

Brett Favre has started an NFL quarterback record 205 consecutive regular-season games, 225 including the playoffs, for the Green Bay Packers. In 1992 after Favre stepped in and started three straight games for the injured Don Majkowski, head coach Mike Holmgren had to decide on whether to keep Favre as the starter, or put Majkowski back into the starting lineup.

Former Packer Report managing editor Al Pahl wrote a story about Holmgren on the two quarterbacks prior to Green Bay's Oct. 25, 1992 game at home against the Chicago Bears. The story appeared in the Oct. 31, 1992 issue of Packer Report. Here is Pahl's story as part of the Packer Report Classic series:

It looks like Favre is No. 1

This much is clear: Wednesday, Coach Mike Holmgren told Brett Favre he would start Sunday against the Bears.

Less clear is whether Favre is the team's starter for the remainder of the season – and whether Holmgren would have announced his decision Wednesday had not Don Majkowski mentioned it to reporters.

The first-year head coach said during his Wednesday-noon press conference, before practice, that he would not decide between Favre and Majkowski until the latter part of the week.

Sometime after the press conference, Holmgren met with all three of his quarterbacks. By 1 p.m., Majkowski was back in the locker room, telling media members Favre would be the starter.

"He decided it is going to be Brett for the season ... or for now," Majkowski said.

"A decision was made. I'm going to accept it for now and just work as hard as I can to keep getting healthy and keep getting better," added Majkowski, declining further comment.

Since Majkowski injured ankle ligaments Sept. 20, Favre has been the starter on a game-by-game basis. Holmgren has said he would make a decision once Majkowski healed. He also said he would not flip-flop quarterbacks.

'I don't know, I guess not. I haven't said that'
After practice, media members asked Holmgren whether this means Favre is no longer starting "Sunday to Sunday."

He replied, "I don't know.

"I told Brett this, too: If he continues to play well, in my opinion, and if we have some success as a team, I would expect him to continue to play.

"I also told Don he has to be ready to play in case, one, Brett gets hurt; two, the team is not functioning the way I think they should function. Then I'll put Don in the game. So, that's how it sits with those guys right now."

A writer asked, "So you have not made Brett the starter for the rest of the season?"

Replied Holmgren, "No. Well, no. I guess not. I haven't said that to anybody."

Asked whether Holmgren had indicated this is the way it will be the rest of the season, Favre wavered, humming and tilting his head from side to side. "As of right now, I guess," he replied. "You've got to have a permanent starter. But you know, it can always change. You've got to always be on your toes."

Added Holmgren, "I don't think he (Majkowski) is 100 percent, although he's close, physically. So I said (to Majkowski), considering that, I'm going to go with Brett Sunday as my starter. You're going to get reps in practice and be ready to go.

And now the Bears will know
"I told Brett and I told Ty (Detmer) so they know and so the team would know – and now the Bears will know," Holmgren said.

Asked whether he really believed this information would influence the Bears' game plan, Holmgren replied, "It might. I know that was a concern of defenses when we (49ers) played them. Different quarterbacks have a little different things they do. But the Bears are good, they are going to prepare for us, regardless.

"I wasn't sure I was going to make the decision this early. I kind of made up my mind, really, after this morning's press conference, to be honest. Because ... It's going to be news, I know that. But I didn't want it to become an issue."

Asked whether he was disappointed Majkowski disclosed the plan, Holmgren replied, "No I'm not. I told those guys to be honest with (media). He knew, and he was asked the question, so he's not going to lie about it. I'm not disappointed in that."

Favre was happy to find out so early in the week. "Knowing you're the starter and getting the chance to work on the Bears – or whoever you're playing, it doesn't matter – as long as you get the chance to get a whole week of work in," he said. "It's gotta help.

Favre: ‘We can't split reps all week'
"The starting quarterback has to get all the reps. It's just a proven fact. We can't split reps all week of practice and then come up Saturday and name a starter. You just can't prepare that way. We knew he was going to do this, probably today. "You feel good being the starter," Favre said. "Obviously, he has some confidence in you, but I know other guys could do the job too, so if I'm not performing, then something will have to be done."

But the second-year player also said he does not expect Holmgren to have a quick hook. "I think he feels I can't go out there each week, at my age, being young, and play well every week," Favre said. "There will be some times when you don't play that well. With him knowing that, I think he'll have some patience."

So far, Favre has done what he intended – "I think I made the decision hard on Mike," he said. "Obviously, if I wouldn't have performed well, then Don would be the starter again."

Until Holmgren informed him, "I really didn't know," Favre said. "I felt I played well, but Don has not done anything to hurt himself, besides twisting his ankle. Other than that, he's played well. I really didn't know."

Favre does not expect the decision to deteriorate his friendship with Majkowski. "We talked on the plane the other night, coming back: ‘Whatever happens, we're still buddies,' " he related. "It's a business decision. It's not who he likes better. Obviously, we all want to play but only one of us can. We'll be supportive of each other.

"I don't think anything has changed. We are still good buddies. It's a business. Obviously, he would like to start and Ty would like to play and I'd like to play. but only one guy can do it. I feel good it's me this week. But I don't think our relationship is going to change any."

Editor's note: The Packers fell to the Bears 30-10, but went on to win seven of their final nine games in the 1992 season with Favre as the starter.


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