Concerning Brett Favre and his announcement last Saturday. MAYBE if Favre didn't have to hear every year for what has seemed like 10 years about retirement, he would not be doing this right now. For sure if he comes back, one of the first questions from some stupid reporter will be, ‘Brett, is this your last year?' All I know is that if I was asked as many times as Brett about retirement, I would have gone postal.
When he is ready he'll retire and he should have told the reporters that if anyone asks about retirement, the news conference is over. He should have done that long ago and maybe we wouldn't be going through this now. I know that I get annoyed when people ask me the same question all the time every day.
Joe Kempski, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mesa AZ
Then he should have put an end to it instead of having fun with it.
Arrington signing would be huge!
I hear the Packers had talks with LaVar Arrington on Sunday. If TT can pull this off, he would right himself of his quiet off-season so far. This also brings us a few obvious guarantees.
1. Brett will come back.
2. With the 5th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers select Mario Williams.
3. The Packers will contend.
4. A stretch, but Javon Walker might shut up and play for the Packers.
Ted, if you're there, sign him. He's worth it. It will make the draft easier, and your job easier.
Mark, email@example.com, Coram, NY
Favre cares only about upgrades on offense
I read two articles (Tuesday) in which writers speculated if the Packers were to sign LaVar Arrington he might be the star power that would give Favre incentive to return for one last season. I'm not sure Favre gives a hoot about defensive signings. I think he's looking for quality offensive linemen before he'll come back.
And frankly, even if he does come back, if Favre doesn't play any better than last season, the Packers are looking at another losing season regardless of who they sign. Does he not realize he is a major reason for the 4-12 disaster? I know he threw 29 INT's. Does anybody know how many times he fumbled?
Ken Parrish53@aol.com, Lynchburg, VA
Give Favre a Break!
Okay everybody (especially the press!), you're blowing this all out of proportion. Claiming that Favre has the Packers all tied up and held hostage because they need his decision NOW. He really CAN wait. We all have seen how active Ted Thompson is involving free agency. I would really doubt that his strategy would be any different if Favre announced his retirement. Sure, we'll need a veteran backup, but it seems that Ted would pick up some guy hardly anybody has heard of anyway who hasn't been signed yet, and won't be until training camp. Ted will either put his faith in Rodgers or pick up a QB in the draft because he's not going to start with a different veteran at QB.
Thompson obviously is looking past this next season and wants to build HIS franchise through the draft. Whether or not Favre comes back or not has little effect. He's not going to be able to build HIS franchise during this off-season. It's going to take a while. Therefore, Favre's return has very little bearing on the team Thompson wants to build. Favre simply isn't in his plans.
I'm not saying that Favre shouldn't come back. I truly think that he should because the Packers still have a chance to make the playoffs. The franchise we've got can still be effective (even if it isn't Ted Thompson's team yet.) In each of the past two seasons we've had either a top 10 offense or defense. I know there has been some significant turnover, but I don't think there's been enough that we couldn't reach both those levels in this next season.
If you break down some of the major positions we still have some real strengths:
QB: Favre can still make the throws. He just needs a coach who'll tell him when he makes the bad ones.
RB: Green, Davenport, Gado. There's so much potential talent there, who knows what the depth chart order will be.
WR: Over his career, Favre has made plenty of WR's look better than they are. Look for Gardner and Boerigter to pass up Ferguson on the chart.
O-Line: Okay there's no pretending here. Something needs to be done. Hopefully they'll address this on day one of the draft.
D-Line: Some hard workers and no-names will get the job done again.
DBs: Let's hope we get some veteran help in Woodson. A name like that itself could bring Favre back judging on how he felt the effect of Reggie White addition in '93.
LBs: One name. A.J. Hawk. He could be an instant starter. That man is just plain scary. Put him with Barnett and hope somebody else steps up.
Special Teams: Yikes. Nothing good to say here. Let's hope we can find somebody with a leg.
In short, I think that we have a team that can still compete. Hopefully Favre will recognize this, and hopefully everybody will leave him alone for a bit and let him make up his mind! Honestly, Thompson is being so quiet about this because he wouldn't do anything different if Favre left!
Craig MacKenzie, firstname.lastname@example.org, Madison, WI
Stay calm and put trust in Thompson
Ah, free-agency; cue sigh, raised eyebrows and head nod. Like the flooding of the banks of the Mississippi — harken back to Favre's first home turf — is there renewal in Green Bay this off-season? Is there churning, and purging, and the delivery of silt that will cultivate new legacies? Yes.
Much more than renewal, there is the return to an old way of thinking, and the Packer Way to success. General manager Ted Thompson is scrutinized for not utilizing the team's salary-cap space, but don't be so blinded by the big names in free agency to realize the benefit there is in having an open mind over an open wallet.
Consider the Packers' undoubted greatest free-agency pickup: Reggie White. He helped deliver the Packers' most recent championship, and a series of legitimate title runs, but who was the league MVP three consecutive years? Who was the Super Bowl MVP? Those were player acquisitions that didn't make the sports pages of papers across the country. Brett Favre is a legend; coal turned diamond through seasons of change, with no guarantees things would turn out the way they did. Desmond Howard's one season in Green Bay is captured in the record books, just as Ron Wolf captured him off of waivers; a player no one wanted on their team. They were both affordable and worth the chance.
Are titles won through free-agent acquisitions? I may have a better chance at winning the Powerball twice next month than Arizona has at winning Super Bowl XLI, but they do have running back Edgerrin James. Is James a fool for leaving Indianapolis, or does he know something we don't? It's certainly more romantic to believe he left Peyton Manning's juggernaut team to chance fate with the Cardinals, rather than his more likely motivator of the economic type.
Teams will gorge in the free-agent market, but that's no guarantee of success. The Washington Redskins restock themselves in free agency every year but have no more promise of post-season success than do teams like the Packers.
Meanwhile, as our free agents exit Green Bay, consider this: Players like Howard and Andre Rison were lured away after Super Bowl success, but achieved next to nothing outside of Green Bay. The same is the likely fate of those who left this off-season, most of them past their primes, anyway.
Thompson's off-season activity gives us no promises, no guarantees, but his method is far from unorthodox. Instead of going after some high-priced "sure thing" in free agency, he may be seizing a chance by signing unheralded players like safety Marquand Manuel or linebacker Ben Taylor.
And while Favre ponders his future, the thought of a young quarterback just needing to be taken by the facemask (as Holmgren did to Favre) makes me salivate. Packer fans: Hold on, sit back and remain on board with Thompson. Draft day is coming, and you never know if the next Super Bowl MVP will be found on waivers or is stocking shelves.
Melissa Dill, email@example.com, Menominee, Mich.
Incompetence and stupidity
The Packers will be most fortunate, under this regime, to win TWO games of 16.
Ted Thompson has some other agenda. Winning or even playing competent football is not even in his field of view. We need to know the motives. And the axe needs to fall where the axe needs to be...
I have seen better general managers working at the sides of roads in rotholes like Arizona, bearing signs saying "will work for food"...
What we have here is a nincompoop moron. And he needs to be treated with precisely that amount of respect. And gotten rapidly the hell out of town.
Jim Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org, La Crosse, WI
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