Helping history: QB knows he's in a special spot

He's the most popular player no one wants to see start a game.<P> Packer reserve quarterback Doug Pederson has stood by as superstar Brett Favre has forged a record 173 consecutive starts including playoffs. Pederson said he loves his role in the special things that have happened in Green Bay, but also knows that it's his job to be prepared at all times.<p>

p> "I'm excited for Brett that he can have a streak like that because it's not often, especially for quarterbacks, that you can get a streak going," Pederson said. "But you never know when your number is going to be called."

Pederson, who first played for Green Bay from 1996-98, rejoined the team last season after one year with the Eagles and one with the Cleveland Browns. He started 17 games in those two seasons, but returned to the Packers in 2001 and settled back into his role as backup to one of the NFL's most durable players.

A 10-year veteran, Pederson has seen a lot from the sidelines. And like everyone with a stake in the Packers, either as a player or a fan, Pederson has had some nervous moments. Pederson said he has seen some close calls where he wasn't sure if Favre would be able to get up off the turf.

"It can be pretty nerve-racking at times seeing Brett out there taking some of the shots he does, but he gets right back up and is ready to go on the next play," Pederson said.

Don't think Pederson just lounges on the sidelines while Ironman Favre gets the job done. Pederson holds for kicker Ryan Longwell, and Pederson's absence was felt in that capacity during his two-year absence from Green Bay. Pederson serves as an extra set of eyes for Favre. The backup is responsible for monitoring the opposition's defense and discussing it with Favre when the offense is off the field.

The developing friendship between Favre and Pederson promotes that on-field communication, Pederson said.

"I felt like last year was a great stepping stone for Brett and me as a starter-backup combination," Pederson said. "We did a lot of things off the field, like golf and hunting, and getting our families together, because you've got to have that cohesiveness."

One of the best parts of this relationship is the lack of competition. Pederson, who certainly has brains and ability comparable to many of the NFL's starters, knows he's working with a one-of-a-kind QB in Green Bay. And that's fine with him.

"I've learned that I'm not Brett Favre and I can't do the things that he does," Pederson said. "I understand that there are some limitations that I have so I've got to take my personality and my skill and do those things in a fashion that gets the job done."

Packer Report Top Stories