Thompson happy to take Favre's call

GM Ted Thompson says Brett Favre made no pleas to upgrade the offense, and isn't sure if his veteran QB will have ankle surgery.

Even Mr. Even Keel himself, Ted Thompson, must have had his heart skip a beat when he looked at his Caller ID during a meeting Friday morning at Green Bay Packers headquarters at 1265 Lombardi Ave.

Thompson stepped out of the room to take a call he had been waiting for since the day after the 2006 regular season ended.

"I think he said something about, ‘I think I'm going to give it another shot,' something like that," Thompson said during a news conference Friday to talk about Brett Favre's decision to come back for a 17th NFL season.

"And I said, ‘That sounds good to me.' We talked about some other things, but that's how I found out."

Those other things, Thompson said, didn't include promises of an improved roster. Then again, Thompson said, "He didn't ask for any."

That includes a possible acquisition of wide receiver Randy Moss. Favre reportedly is in favor of a trade for the disgruntled and controversial receiver as a much-needed weapon to add some pizzazz to a very average offense.

Nonetheless, Favre's return is a clear signal he's happy with the direction of the team. With his veteran signal-caller back, Thompson says Green Bay should contend for a playoff spot next season.

"I certainly hope so," he said. "I think everybody goes into the new year with aspirations of being in the playoffs. We feel like we're getting better as a team, and certainly I think it's good to be having Brett coming back."

Favre's relatively quick decision stood in stark contrast to last offseason, when he finally announced his intentions just a few days before the draft. That, too, should be seen as an endorsement of the direction of the team, though Thompson refused to speak for Favre.

"I think all of us, Brett included, knew it was better for the organization, it was better for him, it's better for everybody, and his teammates, who he was quite concerned with, to decide this earlier," Thompson said.

"There were fewer uncertainties going into this offseason. Last year, there was a coaching change and other things that I think they had to work through. … I think he likes this team, and the team likes him."

Friday's conversation was the first between Thompson and Favre in a month, though the GM and quarterback had exchanged a few messages while playing phone tag between Thompson's scouting assignments and Favre's hunting trips.

Thompson didn't put a full-court press on Favre to coax him back for a 16th season in Green Bay, but he sounded happy to have him back.

"Like most people that like the game of football, they like the fact that Brett Favre's playing," Thompson said.

Thompson said he didn't think Favre was going to retire after watching his tearful interview with NBC's Andrea Kremer after the season finale at Chicago .

"No, I didn't necessarily think that," Thompson said. "In the locker room, he was happy as a clam, like he was in amongst the team and we won a game against an arch-rival, and he was pretty happy about everything. So, I didn't try to read too much into that."

Another thing that led to speculation Favre would retire is his canceling surgery on a nagging ankle injury. Thompson wasn't certain if Favre would elect to have surgery, or if he'd just play through the pain like he has the past few seasons.

"He might. I don't think anything's scheduled, but it's something that, like Mike (McCarthy) explained earlier in the year, it's something that he's played with," Thompson said. "But I think it's something that he might do."

Steve Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com.


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