Lombardi: Favre always a joy to watch

Meet the new and improved Brett Favre. The Brett Favre who hired a personal trainer and consequently is in great physical shape. I speculated last fall in Packer Report that Favre would retire before this season and luckily I was wrong. Happily, he will be lining up behind center to start his 15th NFL season and 14th with the Packers. He is the heart and soul of this team and is still a great representative of the team and the league.

There are a great deal of questions about the 2005 season. The offensive line needs to be rebuilt. The receiving corps is in flux with Javon Walker possibly holding out and Robert Ferguson recovering from his neck injury. Ahman Green had a so-so year and who knows what effect his legal problems will have on his level of play. The defensive questions are too numerous to list.

But let us take a look at where Favre sits in the chase to accumulate statistics. I get the feeling he could not care less about records and stats, but it is fun to speculate during this dead time.

Favre trails only John Elway and Dan Marino in career passing yards. He should pass Elway before the half way point of next season. He trails Marino by 11,0628 yards. Favre passed for more than 4,000 yards last year. At that pace, he could catch Marino in less than three years, if he plays that long.

He trails Elway and Marino in pass attempts. Again, he will pass Elway sometime next year. He attempted 540 passes last year and at that pace, he could catch Marino, who leads him by 1,355 attempts, in less than three years. He trails only Marino in the completion department by 662 and would pass the Dolphins signal caller in less than two years. In 2004, Favre completed 346 passes.

Favre trails Marino in touchdowns thrown by 45 and since he threw 30 scoring passes last year, he could catch Marino in a 24 games.

Elway leads in the victory department with 148. Marino is one back with 147. Favre sits at 135 and it is possible, but not probable for him to break that record before the sun sets on New Years Day, 2006.

Favre has played 14 years and since he sat the bench his rookie year, he has accomplished all this in 13 seasons. Marino and Elway started as rookies. It took Marino 17 seasons and Elway, 16 seasons to pile up those numbers. So if he plays three more years, he would eclipse all these records in less time than these other greats. No one knows if he will play that long, but he has indicated this off-season that he may do just that.

In every imaginable category, Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks and players to ever play the game. Enjoy him while you can. He makes the game fun.


John Lombardi

Editor's note: John Lombardi is the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi. John resides with his family in Green Bay . His football experience includes stints with two teams in the World League (now NFL Europe); in the scouting departments of the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans; and graduate assistant coach and director of football operations at Vanderbilt. He will be contributing columns for PackerReport.com.


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