John Brockington Q&A

Former running back visits team's annual Fan Fest

John Brockington played for the Green Bay Packers from 1971 until early in the 1977 season when he was released by then-coach Bart Starr. Brockington rushed for more than 1,000 in each of his first three seasons.

As a reward for his fast start, Brockington was rewarded by the Packers with a no-cut contract in 1974 worth about $150,000 a year, more than five times what he was earning in his first three seasons, and a signing bonus of $450,000. However, when Dan Devine left the Packers and the Starr era was ushered in, the coaching staff changed the offense and Brockington's rushing totals suffered. The Ohio State product rushed for 434 yards in 1975 and 406 in 1977.

Like Javon Walker, Brockington requested to be traded by the Packers to another team in the off-season of 1976. Green Bay held firm, but released him after one game in 1977.

Brockington, 57, was in Green Bay at the team's annual Fan Fest in early March. Here are his thoughts on the state of the current team, Brett Favre and Samkon Gado:

Q: What does it mean to you be asked back to Green Bay and be a part of Fan Fest?
JB: It's always a compliment. They could have asked any number of people to come back. They called me back and we get along really well. In fact a few years ago when Ron Wolf started the honorary captains program, they called me and I was a little hesitant because I didn't leave here under the best of circumstances. But they said, ‘that stuff is over. People have forgotten that stuff.' So I said, ‘I'll come back if you want me to.' It worked out. Now I'm back as many times as I can get back here. I like coming to Green Bay. I love this stadium. It's the best in the country. The things that the team does with the fans. It keeps them involved, so it's really a compliment to come back here. I really like it.

Q: Living in San Diego, do you follow the Packers?
JB: Oh yeah, the Packers and the Buckeyes (smiles).

Q: What do you think about the team last season and what it will have to do this season to improve?
JB: We've been on a serious role for a long time, so eventually it's going to happen. Everybody has that disaster season. We got hit with a lot of injuries at key positions. We had a horrible season, but everybody has them. We just go from here. Once the people get healthy and our linemen are more in tune this year, and we get some help in the draft, maybe a trade here or two, we'll be back in the hunt. You never know.

Q: Do you think Brett Favre will return to play football with the Packers this year?
JB: I think he will. I don't think he'll quit on a season like last year, but I think this year will be his last season, I think. He still has the power in his arm. He can play as long as he wants, but the thing that changes is the routine, the monotony of training camp and all that business. It kind of gets to you. It's the mental stuff that gets to you and you just don't want to do it anymore. Brett has had some challenges in his life with his dad passing away. His wife got cancer and her brother is killed. All these things, with all his years in the league and his injuries, it gets to the point where you say, ‘I just want to stay home and have a good time. Go fishing.'

Q: What are your thoughts on Samkon Gado?
JB: He is a good story. I met him. He's a nice young man. He has good values. He wants to play football. If it doesn't work out, he wants to be a doctor. His goal is to make enough money so he can go to med school. There's nothing wrong with that because that's something he's going to do until he's 60 years old, right? He's a good football player, so he could make even more money. He may have to put off medical school if this works out for him.
I think he was a great story (in 2005). He came in and got one of my records, single season rookie rushing record. His knee is fine. He could have a good career here.

Q: What advice can you offer Gado from here on out?
JB: Every year is a new year. Always train in the off-season and come back ready to play. Don't come to training camp out of shape. Don't get cocky. Go back to the basics. What made you good last year, and try to hold onto it. But there will be distractions. The more success he has, the more people will come to him.

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